If you own a dog, or you’re a pet owner, there are high chances you have seen fleas. You will observe the dog scratching at his leg or body.
You may wonder, “does my dog have fleas?”
Sorry to burst your bubbles. But it does have fleas. Dogs can get fleas larvae anywhere. This happens more if you’re the type that takes your dog along with you.
You might wonder, but they don’t appear just because the dog gets dirty sometimes. Even if you wash your dog often to make sure it does not get fleas. Every pet is at risk of getting it.
In this article, our topic with several categories will show you what these tiny insects are. They usually suck blood from your pet. You will know how they come about and the various ways to get rid of the fleas on your dog. So, let’s dive in.
What Are Fleas?
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Fleas are tiny pests that attach to a host. They feed off on their host blood. They do not have wings. Thus, they move around by jumping from one host to another.
Fleas multiply quickly. So, it is true that once there is one tiny bug or insect, many will follow suit. This is the reason why it is hard to get rid of fleas without using pesticides.
Their eggs are tiny and very small in size. Thus, you might think that you have already rid your pet of dog fleas. But without you knowing it, there are still eggs. They can thrive in any condition. More so if you have pets in your dwellings.
If you ignore any sign of dog fleas in your place, they can quickly infest your room. In this case, it would be harder to control and get rid of them.
Do not ignore the signs showing your canine friend has fleas. They can quickly infest your dwelling. This would be even hard to control.
How Does My Pet Dog Get Fleas?
1. Dog Get Fleas From Your Home
Fleas can enter your room from anywhere. It is easy for your canine friend to pick them up from a coffee shop. They do not only affect pets. It is also possible to bring them to your place in your clothes or shoes.
Rats have easy access to your dwellings. Chances are, they can also bring fleas into your household even if you end up killing the rat. This is due to the flea’s ability to jump around.
They can drop off at your foot rugs, bedding, and clothes. Also, in other areas that you can think of. Thus, bugs can easily attach themselves to your pet and multiply quickly.
2. Dogs Get Fleas From Pet Facilities
Your dog can get fleas from dog facilities like dog daycare, pet school, dog training centers, also during events of AKC or American Kennel Club.
Some canines have no home training and rely on training schools. In this case, you could be busy and have no time to take care of your dog. Your pet might come in contact with another dog with fleas while at the training school.
Because bugs and insects can thrive in any place and condition, they can jump into many corners of any place, waiting for their prey to cling on t0o.
3. Laying On Through Dirty Clothes
Your pet can quickly get flea larvae through dirty clothes. For instance, in your daily routine and you see a dog flea. These tiny pests may attach to your clothing, and you bring them into your home. Keep in mind, the clothing gets dirty, and you keep it in the laundry.
Canines are very inquisitive. They like to go through things. Your hound might lay on your pile of dirty clothing or probably go through it. This is an open door for bugs to attach to your mongrel through your clothes. I know, right! It is shocking!
4. Getting Fleas From the Outside
Fleas are everywhere. You might fall victim to the infestation no matter how careful you are. It just happens. Hounds can get them quickly during outdoor activities like taking a walk and playing at the park. They can even get scabs just by staying at the back of your yard. They can quickly attach to the dog’s skin through the grass or in the gate. In truth, they might be anywhere waiting for a host they can attach to.
5. Getting the Infection Through An Open Door.
These tiny pests can quickly jump around the room. They can attach to your dog’s body when you leave the door open. Or, your hound might be passing through a door, and these tiny pests cling on to them.
6. Through People Or House Guest
You know how exciting your friends will feel when they see your puppy. Due to excitement, people who have them can easily infect your pet just by hugging it. Or, you know, Guffy stuff people like to do.
7. Getting Fleas on Your Dog Through Other Animals And Pets
As a pet owner, you might have a partner that you go on long walks. Your friends could be bringing their pets along, as well. Now, these animals may have the infection already. Your canine friend playing with them is enough to get the infection, too. Also, At the parks where other animals are. Your pet can get flea larvae if it comes in contact with an animal that has them.
How Do You Know If One of Your Dogs Has Fleas?
Now that you think your dogs have fleas, you will want to confirm your suspicions. To know for sure, you will want to locate them on your pets or around the household. Take the time to properly inspect for fleas by following a specific set of steps that will help you locate the fleas quickly.
● Excessive scratching or chewing in your dog is an undeniable sign of flea infestation.
● If you notice sores or black specks on your pet’s skin, irritation, or redness of the skin.
● You can go further by checking its furs for fleas.
● Make your dog stand on a white or light surface, then brush its fur and check for agitated fleas that may fall off.
● Check for flea dirt while bathing it.
● Thoroughly check through your dog’s bed and bedding for any sign.
● Check for Droppings and waste left by fleas on your dog’s fur.
● Inspect areas where they're commonly found, like the neck area, behind the leg and tail.
● Loss of hair in your pets is also a sign of infestation.
● Examine their gums, if it looks pale chances are they have been infected with fleas
● If your dog is getting lean, it may be a negative sign too.
If you notice these symptoms, you should act quickly to remove them from your dog and your surroundings. Infestations can quickly cause your dog to become easily agitated, miserable, or even contract illnesses as a result.
Contact your vet to discuss any potential medications, home remedies, and flea treatments if experiencing severe symptoms.
Health Complications Caused By Fleas
These insects might be small. But they can cause a lot of health damage to your pet if you do not always check. They might even lead to further health issues. At worse, resulting in the death of your pet. Below is a list of health issues due to scabs.
● Bacterial and fungi infection through open wounds
Dogs have sharp claws, and constantly scratching their bodies may create wounds or marks on their bodies. With this, bacteria have easy access to their body, causing further bacterial infections. If this is not checked on time, it may get even worse and lead to death.
● It causes anemia
Like human beings, we all need a certain amount of red blood cells in the body to keep us alive and healthy. And when there is so much blood loss, or we relent on eating blood giving foods, we become anemic from loss of blood or lack of blood. This also applies to dogs. Fleas are a parasite that feeds on their host blood. If this is not treated on time it may cause drastic blood loss, leading to anemic. Severe cases have been proven to lead to death. But hopefully, it won’t come to that.
● Flea Allergy dermatitis
Most dogs are allergic to these bloodsucking moochers. They become extremely uncomfortable by flea bites. This can cause very painful dog scratching so that they can get that spot. This can lead to skin infections and skin inflammatory.
if your dog probably by mistake, ingest a flea into its body, it might progress into a tapeworm. This is yet another problem because you may not be aware. And slowly, the tapeworm eats your dog’s intestinal walls and deprive it of its vital nutrients.
Why Do You Need To Get Rid of Fleas Immediately?
Aside from being a problem, they are also known to spread diseases and even parasites. Although in rare cases, some of the diseases and parasites include the “flea-borne typhus and the bubonic plague.” Another issue is that if a flea issue goes undetected for some time, your dog is likely going to develop either heartworm or tapeworm. Tapeworm can also be transmitted to human beings.
How To Get Rid of Fleas Instantly?
Coupled with the fact that this parasite is a nuisance in your place, it also causes diseases, and both dog owners and their dogs are at risk of being infected. The mistake people make is not treating it once they notice it. They allow it to become worse. Pests are difficult to eliminate once they are many. And of course, where there’s one, there most definitely would be more if you look further.
3 Steps to Treat Dog Fleas.
● Talk to a veterinarian who can give you proper advice on how to help your dog.
● Using anti-flea products on your dogs and taking medications to treat fleas
● Understand the life cycle of a flea. You might think that by just killing the adult fleas, they have treated the infestation. This is a big no! My friend. Like every other insect, fleas have a cycle to grow—egg, larva, pupa, and then adult. To treat fleas completely, every stage has to be killed, especially the eggs. Because if you only kill the adult fleas, the eggs would eventually grow into adult fleas.
● Use small combs to comb out fleas and nits on your dog’s fur. Doing this continuously would reduce the number of fleas on your dog. With this, other methods could help even further.
● Wash all bedding and rugs, anything that fleas can easily attach to.
● Use warm or hot water to bathe your dog and wash off all the dirt left by the fleas. This method should also be used alongside a flea comb or brush to comb through the furs over running water.
● Make use of insecticides after the dog house has been cleaned. Spray around your yard and home to kill fleas and their eggs.
● Treat all of your pets for fleas too. The chances are that if your dogs and cats have fleas, other household pets would too.
● Vacuum your place every day. If your dog has fleas, then it possible that they might have laid eggs all over the house. Constant cleaning and vacuuming get rid of flea eggs and fleas that may have dropped off on the rug or floor.
7 DIY Natural Remedies To Get Rid of Fleas
There are many organic, naturally-derived ways for treating ticks and fleas on our dogs, and many of them can be made with common household products you may already have. Let's take a look at some DIY products and natural remedies for treating fleas and ticks on your dog.
1. Essential Oils
If you haven't heard of essential oils, where have you been living for the past few years? Many people use essential oils to calm their nerves, treat their pain, relax, and relieve stress. With the right combination, such oils can also ward off fleas, ticks, and other insects when you put them on your dog. These organically-sourced mixtures have been shown to repel and kill fleas, flea eggs, ticks, and mosquitos, while also giving your furry friend a refreshing and calming scent.
Essential Oils to Naturally Treat Dog Fleas
- Tea Tree
How to Use Oil for Treatment:
Place 6-7 drops of these essential oils in a cup of water and shake well to dilute properly. Keep the solution in a spray bottle, and spray it onto your dog's fur every day to repel insects. Many pet owners report that it works best when massaged into your dog's skin.
Unlike traditional flea treatments, they can save you from spending a fortune on medicines. They also require minimal effort and instructions to place directly on your dog's fur.
2. Lemon-Rosemary Mixture
If you notice fleas swirling around your dog's fur, you will want to act quickly to eradicate these pests. Instead of grabbing flea shampoo products, opt for the homemade, natural remedies for treating fleas, using lemons, water, and rosemary. Lemon is another powerful scent that repels pests. This mixture works effectively to keep them off your pets and out of your place simply and safely.
4 Steps to Create Lemon-Rosemary Mixture to Treat Parasites
Step 1: Boil two cups of water.
Step 2: Add one sliced lemon and 1/3 cup of dried rosemary to the boiling water.
Step 3: Boil for five minutes, cover, and let sit overnight.
Step 4: Strain the mixture, removing the lemon rinds, and place in a spray bottle.
Spray the lemon-rosemary mixture onto the fur of your dog liberally. You may also want to add a portion of the mixture into your dog's shampoo. This will disperse the lemon scent throughout the entire coat fully. Be sure to keep this potent lemon-rosemary mixture away from your dog's eyes.
3. Herbal Flea and Tick Collars
There are many flea collars like this one the you can purchase to repel insects from your dog when they are outdoors. But did you know that you can make one yourself?
With the right home remedies of herbs, oils, and scents, you can turn a regular dog collar into flea collars. This will help keep the bugs away.
This is the best option if you do not like to rub creams, sprays, and medicines on your dog's fur. Hand-making a herbal collar is easy and quick.
The only supplies you need are a dog collar, lavender, and cedar oil. First, dilute 7-8 drops of each herb in a bowl of water. After mixing, place the collar in the bowl with the mixture. Give it a few minutes to soak, and then let it dry. Once the herbal flea and tick collar is dry, put it on your dog. That's it!
4. Vinegar (Apple Cider) Water
Apple cider will make your dog's blood much less appealing to ticks and insects. This is an easy ingredient to pick up when you make your next grocery run. Just add two tablespoons of vinegar to your pet's water bowl. The acidity of the vinegar works to naturally repel insects from targeting your dog next time they are outside.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar Flea and Tick Soap
Apple cider is also useful when you mix it with the other ingredients and apply it directly to your dog's coat. To make an effective flea and tick soap, you will only need cider vinegar, Castile soap, and warm soapy water. Castile soap is a natural vegetable soap that has cleansing power.
4 Steps to Making Apple Cider Vinegar Flea Soap
Step 1: Mix 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup warm water, and 1 ounce of Castile soap.
Step 2: Use gloves to work the mixture into your dog's hair. Cover his entire coat with the solution. It should be bubbly and easy to spread.
Step 3: Let the solution sit on your dog's skin for at least 10 minutes.
Step 4: For best results, comb the solution through your pet's fur before rinsing.
Step 5: Rinse the solution thoroughly off your pet.
If the problems look like a severe case, repeat the process a few more times. Also, anytime you are working to kill fleas from your canine friends, it is best to work outside.
This apple cider soap will make it easier to detect insects in your pet's fur. Also, it will repel bugs and ticks from your dog’s coat.
6. Coconut Oil Shampoo
Tick shampoos are typically full of toxic chemicals that can be harmful to both your dog and your household. To avoid exposing your four-legged friends to these chemicals, make your own tick shampoo that effectively works to prevent ticks.
How to Make a Natural Flea Shampoo that Works
- 1/2 cup Castile soap
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 6-7 drops lavender oils
Combining all these ingredients can repel insects by making your dog's skin no longer appealing. You will not only repel the ticks with the odor. People also love the calm and the lavender scent of the shampoo.
7. Lemon and Vinegar Cleaning Solution
Aside from giving your pet flea treatments, you should also treat your residence for potential flea outbreaks. Avoid using toxic chemicals when cleaning your place, as these powerful soaps and detergents can degrade air quality and introduce toxins into your surroundings. Instead, opt for a homemade solution that will continue to work to repel fleas.
Lemon not only offers a clean and refreshing scent into your residence but also prevents fleas from getting comfortable here. When mixed with vinegar, the two ingredients have more repellent properties.
How to Make Homemade Lemon and Vinegar Cleaning Products
What you need:
- 1-gallon vinegar (apple cider)
- 1/2 gallon water
- 16 ounces lemon juice
- 8 ounces witch hazel
Combine all in a large bucket. After that, place them in spray bottles. You may want to bottle up any remaining solution to use at a later date. This recipe makes a large batch.
This solution is safe, and it works when you spray them on all surfaces in your room. This includes the furniture, carpet fibers, specks, wood floors, walls, windowsills, and trim.
It is best to use this solution for up to 7 days after you notice fleas on your dog. As a measure, you should spray this mixture once a month.
How To Prevent Flea Infestations?
While every dog is at risk of a flea infestation, you should still take measures. These should keep them from entering your household.
The first step to take in preventing fleas is to mow the grasses in your yard. Fleas do not grow out of anywhere. They come from outside. Keeping your lawn or yard clean would help prevent fleas from getting into your homes.
Avoid other animals from coming into your dwelling. This might look like a hard thing to do. But the leftover food can attract stray dogs and cats. Thus, create a warm place where your pet can eat the food without attracting stray animals.
Always vacuum the area every day. This can help prevent infestation. In case you bring in an adult flea in your shoe, and it drops on the floor. The flea will not last long if you vacuum the house often. Collect the dirt with a paper towel and place it in a vacuum bag.
Finally, maintain cleanliness in your household. They say, “cleanliness is next to godliness. Meanwhile, see our best natural fleas collars for dogs here.
Removing Fleas from Your Home and Yard
After you have thoroughly inspected and treated your dog for fleas, you will want to take care of the pest that may have spread around your home. Because they're quick jumpers, they may have already laid eggs and began to multiply in your home.
Depending on where you believe your dog got the fleas, you may also want to treat your yard with insect repellents as well.
There are a few things you need to do to remove fleas from your home and yard, including:
- Vacuum and steam clean all floors, carpets, upholstery, and furniture
- Wash all blankets and bedding in hot water
- Use professional treatments that target flea infestations.
- Treat your lawn with insect repellent.
- Remove any debris, dead branches, and overgrown landscaping.
By taking these steps, you can treat any fleas and prevent future infestations from occurring on your dog, in your yard, and your home.
Read more: Fleas on Pets: Q/A
It can be quite upsetting to detect a flea infestation. But do not worry. With the right measures, you can solve them in no time. Just follow these simple steps. Vacuum your room every day.
Always clean your lawns to reduce the movements of bugs and insects. Also, you can stop them from getting inside your place. Wash every bedding and linen in hot water to remove bugs and pests. Make sure to wash all linens and clothes in hot conditions to destroy the eggs and kill these tiny pests.
Lastly, do not forget to always treat fleas at home. The same way you treat your pet in the yard. Doing this at the same time will help prevent flea problems. You will also preserve the beauty of your home. Thanks for sharing your time to read this, and I hope this helps promote health for your canine friend.