How to Find Out if Your Dog Has Fleas?

Fleas are a common parasite that may itch and annoy your dog, and they are annoying and difficult to get rid of, besides their potential danger to the dog if left untreated.

In most cases, you can check for flea infestation by observing their behavior, performing a visual inspection while bathing and combing them, and checking the environment for signs of fleas or their droppings.

Examine your dog for fleas

Watch for excessive biting or itching in your dog:

Flea bites cause intense itching, so seeing your dog itch or bite themselves more than usual is the first sign of a flea infestation.

  • Other behavioral signs of fleas may include shaking of the head, hair loss, scales, or hot spots.

Check your dog’s skin for small, red, raised bumps:

Flea bites are smaller than other insects, which can be difficult to detect, so look carefully.

  • In some dogs, an allergic reaction to fleas’ saliva may be strong, causing a large red area to appear and more irritation.
  • You may notice small red spots on your skin, which may be the effect of flea bites.

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Check your dog’s hair for adult fleas:

Use your fingers to separate the dog’s hair so you can see its skin and look for signs of adult fleas. Fleas prefer the base of the tail, the belly, and behind the ears, but we can find them anywhere on the dog’s body.

  • Adult fleas are about the size of a pencil head. They are small, flat-bodied insects that range in color from reddish brown to black.
  • Remember that fleas will always move away from your fingers when searching through your dog’s hair, which can be difficult to find.
  • Most fleas live in the environment around your dog, so it may be difficult to find them in his hair if his condition is mild.

Have your dog stand on a white towel and comb his hair:

Combing hair may irritate existing fleas, and if you jump off your dog, you will see them on the white towel.

Use a flea comb and soapy water to check for flea droppings on your dog’s hair:

Place the flea comb on the dog’s hair and press gently until it touches its skin, then slide the brush into the dog’s hair, making sure that it continues in contact with its skin throughout the entire movement.

  • Check the comb for fleas and their droppings after each movement, then dip it in a bowl of warm soapy water to clean it.
  • Flea dirt or flea droppings look like tiny black crumbs, but may contain dried blood. If you dip the comb into a bowl of soapy water, you’ll see the crumbs turn red again.
  • If the crumbs remain black after adding it to the water, then it is often normal dirt.
  • You can also place the crumb on a wet cotton pad and monitor it to check for discoloration. If a bright red shade appears around the crumbs, it is a sign that it is flea excrement.

Look in the dog’s mouth to check for pale gums:

Pale gums may be a sign of anemia, which may show blood loss because of fleas.

  • Other signs of anemia include hypothermia and apathy.
  • Anemia caused by flea bites become especially dangerous for small dogs and puppies.

Check the environment

Check the environment

Check your dog’s litter and food area for flea droppings:

If you see little black crumbs on your dog’s litter, wipe it off with a tissue or a damp white rag. You will know that it is a peacock excrement if it turns red after a few minutes.

  • Check the surroundings of the dog’s litter, the area of the food, and where it spends most of its time.
  • You can also see adult fleas in the area.

To Read: How To Protect Yourself From Dog Attacks?

Wear white socks and walk near his bedding:

If there are fleas or their droppings, your socks will get stuck in what is easy to see.

Set up a light trap with a water bowl and flashlight:

Prepare a small bowl of soapy water, place it on the floor near the dog bed, and turn on the night flashlight. If there are fleas in the area, they will be attracted to the light, causing them to jump into the sewage water and drown.

  • Keep your dog indoors or in a separate area for the rest of the night so he does not drink from the source water.

Treat fleas

Treat fleas

Call a veterinarian if your dog becomes infected with fleas:

Your vet will advise you on a treatment plan that works for your home, and you will have to treat all animals, including cats, inside and outside the home.

  • Common options for exterminating fleas include using a monthly treatment on the dog’s neck from the back, along with shampoo, sprays and powders.
  • It is important to create a treatment plan tailored to your dog and his environment because combining certain products may be toxic to your pet.

Try natural or commercial flea killing remedies:

Commercial flea powder and sprays can be an effective way to kill fleas on your dog, in his litter, and around your home.

You may also deter fleas from settling on your dog’s body by dipping his brush in lemon juice before combing his hair.

Clean your home well:

Vacuum and wash all carpets, rugs, sheets, and upholstery to get rid of fleas and their eggs.

  • Wash your dog’s litter at least once a week to prevent the fleas from returning.

Spray your home with flea repellant to get rid of severe infestations:

These chemicals are very dangerous, so they should only be used if you cannot get rid of the fleas any other way.

  • They sell some flea repellants as a spray, while sprinklers or insect pumps will automatically fire when you activate them, giving you time to leave the area so it does not expose you to the chemicals.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself while using these chemicals, or have a professional come to your home.
  • You will need to temporarily evacuate your home during this process, so plan what you will do with the dog and other animals. This evacuation will take about 3-6 hours, but be sure to read the label carefully.

Mow your lawn once a week to keep it short:

Mowing the lawn will help prevent fleas from jumping on your dog while he spends his time outside.

  • Fleas prefer dark places and mow the lawn to expose them to sunlight, which will help deter them from invading your lawn.

To Read: All You Should Know About The Dog’s Muzzle

Helpful ideas

  • Vacuum your home at least once or twice a week to reduce the chances of your pets infesting fleas, as this method can remove large and small fleas, eggs and larvae from carpets, rugs and furniture.
  • Wear a face mask to protect yourself while using flea spray or sprays, or have a professional come to your home.
  • Never use cat flea products on your dog.

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