Many dogs will have a run-in with fleas in their lifetime. These pesky critters flourish in warm and humid climates, which makes them a more pervasive problem in states that feature such weather conditions throughout the year. If your pooch has recently come down with fleas, here are some ways you can get rid of them before they get out of control.
Dogs can get fleas from just about anywhere. After all, these pests are known to exist in every nook and corner of the country. However, in many cases, canines contract these pests through from other animals.
Rodents, squirrels, raccoons and foxes all harbour fleas. However, these bloody-sucking critters are especially adept at hitchhiking from one canine to the next. So if your dog enjoys socializing with others from their species, they may be more likely to develop fleas.
Many owners assume fleas are a natural occurrence and that they do not pose a severe threat to their canine’s well-being. This mindset can lead to serious problems in the future as these pests tend to multiply at a rapid pace. Female fleas can lay up to fifty eggs per day, and a single hatchling can bite their host up to four hundred times a day!
If your canine is an unfortunate host to these settlers, they may experience a severe amount of discomfort in their day to day lives. Dogs often bite and pull at their fur in areas where the flea bites are concentrated. This can lead to hair loss from excessive scratching.
This scratching can also result in scabs which may get infected over time. To make matters worse, many fleas carry tapeworms which could get into your pup’s system when they inadvertently ingest them. If left untreated, a tapeworm infection could get worse over time and cause your dog to lose weight.
To prevent these complications from occurring, all dog owners should check their canines for fleas regularly.
There are many different methods that can be used to get rid of fleas. Three of the most common ways are:
● Flea sprays
● Flea shampoos
● Grooming with a flea comb
Flea sprays are special compounds that can be applied to your canine’s skin or fur. These products kill and/or repel fleas, so that your pup can be free of their itchy invaders.
Flea sprays can be purchased from most pet stores; however, you should make sure they are the correct type which can be applied to your pet’s skin and fur. Some products labelled as “flea sprays” may actually be pesticide sprays which are suited for getting rid of fleas in your home. These could be harmful if applied onto your canine.
Once you have purchased the right type of flea spray, you can apply it using the following steps:
● Wear a pair of thick latex gloves.
● Apply a small amount of flea spray onto the glove.
● Gently rub the compound around your dog’s head, ears, eyes, and any other flea-infected regions.
● This process can be repeated every 4 to 12 weeks.
Flea spray treatment typically works within 24 hours. If your pooch’s flea problem persists after this application, you should try an alternative treatment method to avoid applying the flea spray too frequently. Overusing flea sprays products may cause your dog to develop muscle tremors and excessive salivation.
Flea shampoos are another anti-flea product that can be applied to your dog’s fur and skin. These are typically less concentrated compared to flea sprays and can be applied just like any other bath product.
There are many different types of flea shampoos available, but you should look for ones that target both live fleas and flea eggs. The steps for treating your dog’s fleas with a shampoo are shown below:
● Fill a bath with warm water and wet your dog using a bucket or a shower head.
● Apply shampoo to your dog’s fur and lather thoroughly. You may need to wear gloves if the flea-shampoo’s instructions specify so.
● Make sure shampoo is applied to every part of your dog’s fur, but avoid letting it get into their eyes, nose, and ears.
● Rinse off the shampoo using warm water. Ensure that all shampoo has been washed away removing them from the bath.
● Dry off your dog using a towel.
You should use flea shampoos once or twice a week if your dog suffers from an on-going flea infection. Avoid using it long term as it may cause irritation and dryness.
A flea comb is a special grooming tool that features finely spaced teeth. These “teeth” are close enough to get rid of fleas and flea eggs, which makes them a useful tool for physically removing pests from your canine’s fur and skin. The steps for using a flea comb are show below:
● Start by brushing your dog’s fur using a regular pet brush. Be sure to untangle any knots in the fur, as they will be hard to drag the flea comb through.
● Fill a bucket with hot water and a few drops of dishwashing soap.
● Place a large newspaper under your canine to catch any fleas or eggs that fall off.
● Comb your pooch’s head, neck and back using the flea comb.
● Dip the comb in the bucket after every few strokes to remove any fleas and debris that build up.
● Continue combing their fur until you have completed every region. Leave their legs and tail for the end, as fleas may seek refuge in these areas during the cleaning process.
● Discard the water in the bucket and dispose of the newspaper as quickly as possible.
Flea combs can be helpful for removing large clusters of fleas; however, they are usually used in combination with flea shampoos and other flea removal methods to ensure the best results.
Our pet parent experts at DhohOo has listed the aforementioned methods that are just a few of the many ways in which you can de-flea your dog. However, these pests can be persistent, so you should avoid exposing your canine to conditions where they may contract them in the first place.