Dog Lice Inspection: An Owner's Guide

Dog lice inspection can be tricky since the lice are hard to see and smaller than fleas. You can inspect your dog very carefully to find lice on his skin without worry since lice do not jump around like fleas. Lice eggs (nits) are easier to spot since they attach to your dog's hair and look like white dust.

If lice does get on one of your pets, it usually infects the other animals living in your home as well. Be sure to check your cat and other dogs, too. Look for the wingless bugs, which are light in color, ranging from tan to beige.

Dog lice penetrates the skin to feed . This will cause acute irritation. Be aware of these infestation signs:

  • Intense scratching and biting of the skin.
  • Irritation that can result in bald patches.
  • Eggs on dog's hair that are small, white flakes.
  • Lice around the ears, neck, shoulders, and the anus.
  • Anemia: typical in puppies infected with lice.

Lather Up

The first thing to do after an initial inspection is to shampoo your dog. You must continue the bathing process for a period of time until all the eggs are gone. The following process will initially eliminate the dog lice but not all their eggs. Keep inspecting your dog each day to make sure he is lice and egg-free.

  • Shampoo your dog daily with a quality product that has d-limonene in it. This is a natural insecticide derived from citrus.
  • Lather up your dog's entire body and keep the lather on for at least 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Wash off the shampoo lather with a lemon rinse made of one whole lemon, thinly sliced, added 1 pint hot water steeped overnight.

Foster Healthy Skin

Enhancing your pet's health will make his skin less attractive to dog lice. Give him pure, clean water, plenty of fresh air, sunlight and regular exercise.


Supplements can help soothe the effects of lice infection and provide your dog with healthier skin. Get a supplement at a pet store and administer it according to your dog's weight.

Supplements containing fatty acids, Vitamin E and beta-carotene, or a combination multi-vitamin can benefit your dog's skin. The upgrade of fatty acids in your dog's skin makes it healthier and stronger.

Cleanliness to prevent dog lice:

An abundance of things can build up on your pet's body including dirt, toxins, and secretions that foster the growth of parasites and germs. Regular grooming and bathing will help stimulate his skin's natural elimination process.

In addition, wash your pet's bedding, grooming tools, carriers, and crates. Clean them with a mild bleach solution or with soap and water.

Additional Treatment Options

  • Pyrethrin-based shampoos: An effective treatment will have at least 0.05 percent of the solution to kill the lice. For a serious case of lice and eggs, use a shampoo with a 0.15 percent pyrethin solution once a week for three weeks. Do not get it in your dog's eyes.
  • Antihistamines for severe itching: Give an antihistamine, such as dye-free Benadryl, to alleviate the itch and prevent a skin infection from arising.
  • Sprays: Use dog lice sprays twice a week. This will zap any new lice that may hatch in between shampoos.
  • Powders: A lice powder is not as effective as a spray, but it does work. Powders are ideal for dogs who don't like sprays or frequent bathing.
  • Sprinkle the powder on his entire body, but avoid his nose and eyes.