Dog Fleas: Signs, Symptoms, Dangers and Prevention

Dog Fleas

Dog fleas are one of the most irritating aspects of dog ownership. Dog fleas not only annoy your pet, but can cause health problems. Fleas feed on your dog's blood and can cause skin irritation, allergies, anemia and even death. Fleas also carry tapeworms and diseases such as Lyme Disease.

Check your dog for fleas every day, especially after going outdoors. Use a flea comb to find fleas. Put a little petroleum jelly on the tines; the fleas will stick to it. Use a cotton ball and some rubbing alcohol to disinfect your dog's flea bites. Remember to look for dog fleas between the toes, in and around the ears, in the armpits, on the tail and on the head. Look for flea droppings, which appear as small black specks, in your dog's fur.

Talk to your vet before using a chemical flea remedy on your dog. Over-the-counter flea treatments usually carry some risk of side effects, or they may trigger an allergy in your dog. Your vet can recommend the best flea treatment, and prescription flea treatments are usually more effective than over-the-counter remedies anyway. It's also a good idea to talk to your vet about treatments you can use on your carpets and furniture at home. Fleas love to lay eggs in these places and you may have problems controlling dog fleas if you fail to regularly treat carpets, curtains and upholstered furniture.