Dogs are frequently plagued with fleas due to contact with other animals or fleas in the environment.
Because fleas lack wings and cannot fly, the insect’s strong back legs allows them to jump from one host to another or from the environment to the host.
A flea bite can induce itching in the host, but irritation in a sensitive or flea-allergic animal can be severe. It can cause hair loss, redness, and secondary skin infections due to intense scratching and chewing. Some dogs are extremely allergic to flea saliva and will itch if even a single flea bites them.
In some parts of the country, fleas on dogs are more than just a summer nuisance, as they like temperatures of 65-80 degrees and humidity levels of 75-85 percent. Fleas can survive and torment your pet all year in many parts of the southern United States.
How to Spot Fleas on Dogs
Unlike the burrowing, microscopic Demodex or Scabies mites, fleas are usually visible, scurrying along the skin’s surface.
Fleas are about the size of the head of a pin and have a dark copper hue. Because fleas detest light, the ideal place to look for them on a dog is in the furry parts and on the belly and inner thighs.
The presence of “flea dirt” on a dog can also indicate that it has fleas. Flea dirt appears on the skin as dark specks of pepper (This is flea feces that is formed from digested blood).
Pick some flea debris off the pet and place it on a wet paper towel once you see it. If the specks spread out like a small bloodstain after a few minutes, it’s flea dirt, and your pet has fleas.
how to get rid of fleas on my dog
Here are a few things you can do to provide relief for your pet once you discover that your dog has fleas
Oral and Topical Flea Control
It’s critical to buy the appropriate one because some only target adults while others target flea eggs and larvae fleas.
Others will use a single medication to treat fleas and heartworms. Some will require a prescription, while others will not.
So, what is the best flea medication for dogs that may be used orally? Your dog’s specific requirements will determine it. Consult your veterinarian to determine which choice is best for your pet.
Nonprescription Medication to Treat Fleas on Dogs
There are a variety of alternative remedies that will kill fleas on your pet without requiring a prescription. However, there is a risk that these items will be less effective than prescription medications.
Many doctors report that their patients still have fleas after using these over-the-counter medications, although some of these products have received positive feedback from pet owners.
Capstar, for example, is an orally administered medication that kills adult fleas. Within 30 minutes, it starts working and kills more than 90% of all fleas within four hours. Flea infestations are treated with it.
Dog Flea Shampoos
On the market, there are various dog flea and tick shampoo solutions for dogs and cats that, when used properly, can be highly successful. Flea dog shampoos can contain several chemicals, some more effective than others.
We should be sure to use only non-toxic dog shampoo should be used to bathe small puppies. However, because the shampoo takes five to ten minutes to sink in, you’ll need to evaluate whether your pet can endure being soaked and lathered for five to ten minutes.
You’ll have killed the fleas after a lovely warm wash, and you’ll be able to remove the dead fleas from your dog with a dog flea and tick comb.
On the other hand, Flea shampoos do not prevent your dog from further flea infestation.
Prescription Flea Medications
Many flea products are available today, but the newest prescription flea and tick medications are finally taking the hassle out of flea control with well-known and very effective brands.
Consult your veterinarian regarding flea and tick prevention for dogs, as many are prescription-only medications. Prescription flea treatments are one of the most effective ways to kill fleas quickly.
Bravecto (fluralaner) kills fleas in two hours and lasts three months, but spinosad-based medicines (Comfortis, Trifexis) start working in 30 minutes and last one month.
Some flea products don’t kill the adult flea, but they do stop her eggs from hatching, therefore terminating the flea’s life cycle.
Because there is no reproduction, the flea population dies out as long as the pet isn’t constantly exposed to new fleas.
Prescription flea and tick treatment for dogs is usually done all year in warm areas, but in other climates, treatment should start early in spring before the flea season begins
If your pet is allergic to flea saliva (flea bite hypersensitivity), look for a solution that kills adult fleas, as they can still bite the animal. Flea repellent products (Seresto collar, Vectra 3D) are the best solution for dogs with flea hypersensitivity so that fleas never bite.
How to Treat Fleas in the Environment
To ensure that any flea treatment is completely successful, it is vital to treat all animals in the house. Furthermore, you will need to treat both the interior and outdoor environments.
How to Treat the Home
It is critical to wash all bedding in soapy, hot water while treating the indoor environment. Vacuum all carpets thoroughly, then discard the vacuum bag or empty the canister and carry the trash bag outside. Some of the larvae can be killed by steam washing the carpet. However, keep in mind that cleaning and shampooing a carpet will still leave many live fleas, necessitating the need for a chemical treatment.
The entire house is now flea-free and ready to be treated. There are a variety of options available, including highly effective foggers. Boric acid-based products may be better for families with small children or in other settings where chemical residues are an issue.
The most effective products include both an agent that kills adult fleas and another that kills the other stages. An insect growth regulator is the latter.
One such growth regulator is methoprene. Aerosol foggers may not penetrate deeply enough to kill all concealing fleas and larvae in rare circumstances. A sodium borate product applied to carpeting is another option for indoor management. You should contact a local exterminator for an estimate and a guarantee that their approach will eliminate fleas from your home.
Outdoor Flea Control
Sprays and pelleted pesticides are commonly used for outdoor control after dog houses and kennels have been completely cleaned. Insect growth regulators are also a viable option here. Pyriproxifen is more stable in the sun than methoprene and lasts longer outside.
It’s vital to note that the insecticide chlorpyrifos has been banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Dursban). In December of 2000, production came to an end.
Nontoxic diatomaceous earth can be particularly effective in and around vegetable gardens and children’s outdoor play equipment. Look for a food-grade diatomaceous earth product, such as Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade Powder that is safe to use around dogs.
Certain harmless nematodes can also be spread in warm, moist areas of the yard frequented by pets and fleas. The nematodes feed on the flea larvae. When the ground is covered with snow, much of the principal source of fleas is destroyed.
Consult your veterinarian to determine which procedures and products are appropriate for you and your dogs.