How to Tell If Your Dog Has Fleas

Fleas are common parasites that can infect dogs and live off their blood. Fleas will cause itchiness; in puppies, fleas may cause anemia or can even be fatal. Recognizing if your dog has fleas is important, to make sure that your dog gets proper care and medication and you also avoid other complications. Monitoring your dog and noticing certain symptoms will help you detect the fleas.

Watch Out for Flea Symptoms

Fleas are tiny parasites that jump and feed on canine blood. The fleas can cause a few symptoms that may help you suspect fleas:

  • Severe itchiness; the dog will scratch at all times; he will try finding cold places to stay on, as these can relieve the itchiness
  • Increased irritability
  • Flea bites, which are small and red and there will be a lot of bites
  • Some dogs can develop allergic reactions to flea bites; the flea saliva may be a irritant for dogs that are more sensitive; the allergies will manifest through bumps and redness
  • Secondary skin infections

These symptoms may not always indicate fleas; the dog may have allergies or tumors, so you need to look for the fleas on the dog’s skin.

Visible Fleas and Eggs

The fleas are small parasites, but they can be visible. They are about 2, 5 millimeters in size and they are dark brown. They can be seen moving or jumping. If your pet has light colored hair, it will be easier for you to identify the fleas. Also, the fleas may leave behind feces, which are also dark brown; the feces are actually digested blood. The areas you should look at include the dog’s belly; the fleas prefer this area, as the dog’s belly is warmer than the rest of the body.

In dark colored pets you may detect the fleas by looking after the flea eggs, which are small and white and may look like dander.

Identify the Fleas

You should get a metallic flea comb and see if you can find any fleas. The combs should reveal black specks (the flea feces) or you may even detect live fleas.

You should look in several areas of the body if you don’t find any fleas in the first place.

If you find flea droppings, these will turn red when discarded on a paper towel.

Flea Treatment

The treatment of fleas should include some topical insecticides, which will kill the adult fleas. Opt for Advantage or Frontline, which will eliminate the fleas right away.

You should also get additional treatment to get rid of the flea eggs. Get also some shampoos or flea powders.

Cleaning the house and bleaching the dog’s bedding is essential in getting rid of all the remaining flea eggs and to make sure that the fleas won’t be back in 2 weeks.

Some preventive measures may also be taken; a monthly flea prevention treatment may be administered.