Fleas are a problem for dogs and owners alike. These horrible tiny insects will live on the body of your dog, sucking his blood and laying eggs. The bites and presence of fleas will cause your dog to itch and if he’s allergic to fleas, he can experience extreme itching, loss of fur in some places, inflammation and infections.
Infestations must be dealt with or they will go on and on and the fleas will also infest your home, other pets and even you!
If you think your dog has fleas because he’s scratching more than normal, there are ways to check for them. Fleas are very small, but visible to the naked eye and brownish in color. They prefer dark places so will try to hide beneath the dog’s fur, under the collar or on his underbelly.
Their fecal material can also be seen on a dog’s coat and looks like pepper. If fleas or their droppings are found, it is time to treat your dog and get rid of them.
Treating your dog
While flea collars, powders and sprays can help to prevent infestations, they will not help if your dog is already infested. When fleas are infesting a dog, the female lays eggs at a rate of about thirty per day. These eggs fall off your dog and into the carpet, soil or wherever your dog is. In these areas they hatch and pupate, eventually growing into adult fleas which can then re-infest.
To halt the cycle, all the fleas on your dog and in its environment must be killed or the life cycle must be interrupted.
There are several flea treatments available for dogs, but one of the best is an oral medication. This will not kill adult fleas, but does kill eggs and larva. This interrupts the flea life cycle and prevents them from coming back, as long as your dog is not continually exposed to new fleas of course!
Fleas are a real nuisance for dogs and owners, but catching them and treating your dog quickly is the key to eliminating the infestation and preventing the insects’ return.