How to handle fleas on your dog?

Just the thought of fleas is enough to eat a dog owner alive. Fleas are the most common parasite found in dogs. Getting rid of fleas is a tough job. Once these fleas settle in, these blood-sucking creatures make the life of your tiny friend a torment.

Easy methods to get rid of fleas

Your canine friend can easily get irritated by dog fleas. Fleas are brown or black parasites that live on the skin and coat of a dog. One female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day. Fleas can cause skin irritation, scaly skin, and bad odor. Fleas are not only dangerous for the infected animal but other animals and people as well. Fleas have the power to jump onto other creatures; therefore, removing fleas should be a top priority. Here’s how you can identify if your pet has fleas:

  • Excessive scratching
  • Over-grooming
  • Bald spots
  • Redness or soreness in the skin
  • Foul smell
  • Restlessness or nervous behavior

First things first

The best way to handle dog fleas is to prevent them. Make sure that your dog does not bring fleas home. There are several dog flea preventatives available in the market. These preventatives are available in the form of pills, liquids, and dog-collars. Contact your vet to find the best one for your dog. This would help your canine friend to never get fleas in the first place.

If your dog gets fleas, then do not worry. There are several methods to get rid of fleas. Identification plays a key role because some other parasites have the same symptoms. Once you have identified that your dog has these deadly parasites, then you can follow these techniques:

Treating your dog

Topical medication and sprays

Flea killing topical medication is extremely effective and has the power of killing fleas within 6 to 24 hours. Some flea and tick topical creams only target full-grown fleas while others even remove the eggs. Make sure that you keep your dog clean as well. Do not bathe your dog right before or after applying any cream or spray. These medications need to penetrate the fat layer of your dog to be effective. They make the skin uninhabitable for the fleas. But frequent bathing could deprive the skin of natural oils that help in the penetration of such creams. Ask your pet before using topical creams as your dog could be sensitive to them.

Flea shampoo

Flea shampoo, along with topical creams, can completely kill fleas after a bath. It is advised to use the shampoo once per week as it dries the skin and hair. This could lead to an increase in itching. Try to give your dog a warm bath while using flea shampoo. The temperature of the water completely kills fleas and larvae. If you have a puppy, then it is advised to avoid flea shampoos as puppies have sensitive skin.

Flea combs

Flea combs are easily available in the market. As it is advised to wash your dog once per week with flea shampoo, use a comb in between bathing sessions. Flea combs also regulate the blood in your dog’s skin. It also calms your dog’s itching. 

Oral medication

Oral medication such as tablets and liquids absorb into the body of your dog. These medications make the skin of the dog poisonous for the fleas, hence, killing them as soon as they bite your dog. Oral medication cannot be used as a topical medicine. You need a proper prescription from a vet before giving it to your dog. 

Injections

Vets only provide dog flea injections. If you feel that your dog still has fleas after trying everything, then it is better to get your dog injected. Injections are highly effective when used in combination with topical treatment.

Powders

Powders are not commonly used these days. But powders have always been a good method to deal with dog fleas. Powder needs to stay on the coat of your dog to kill fleas. This makes the whole process messy. It is also dangerous for your dog if it inhales it. Therefore, people usually avoid flea-killing powders.

Treating your dog’s environment

Treating other pets

You are making a huge mistake if you are not treating other animals in your house. Treating the infected one only solves 50 percent of the problem. Therefore, always make sure that other pets are getting the same treatment. This is essential as fleas can easily transfer from one pet to another.

Cleaning your house

  • Clean your entire house by vacuuming. Make sure that the carpets and sofas are thoroughly vacuumed.
  • Steam clean your carpets to kill the larvae.
  • Wash the bedding of your dog with hot water and dry it in the sun. Do this once or twice a week.
  • If you have a backyard or lawn, then use a flea spray there.
  • Use Methoprene within the house to kill any flea.
  • Borax is also good for flea control. Sprinkle some onto the carpets of your house. Make sure to vacuum it after one night as it is dangerous for kids and pets.

If the situation persists even after taking the above-mentioned measures, then call a local exterminator. An exterminator might help to completely clear your house from fleas.

Conclusion

Plan ahead of time. It is always better to take precautionary measures in case of fleas. The flea growth rate is exponential. It starts from a few tiny insects to a thousand, all over the house, within weeks. Fleas not only harm the infected animal but are also a danger for other humans and pets in the house. Flea bites are highly infectious for human beings, especially babies. Hence, proper eradication is necessary. Fleas can easily live in the house for months. Therefore, even if you kill the fleas on your dog, it would not completely solve the problem. You have to clear the house and other pets to completely get rid of fleas. Other than that, always look out for the symptoms. Early detection could save you from the hassle. If your dog has already been infected and is not getting better despite trying every technique, then check with your vet. A vet might suggest any medicine to ease your dog’s pain. Just stay calm and vigilant when dealing with fleas.

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