Being a dog owner can be a fun experience, but there is an unfortunate downside that you must be aware of: fleas. Dogs are prone to getting them, and they can cause your pup significant irritation if not taken care of correctly and in a timely matter.
If your dog is fortunate enough never to have encountered fleas, it is still a good idea to know how to battle these little pesky pests so you know the correct and quickest course of action. There is nothing worse than seeing your furry friend suffering from unwanted fleas.
What Are Fleas and Where Do Dogs Get Them
The most common flea that affects dogs are called Ctenocephalides felis, and these tiny nuances hurt!
Dogs can get them from anywhere. They can be in the grass they roll around in, or they could have hopped from pup to pup when they were at the dog park. It can be challenging to pinpoint the exact time and location of when your dog brought these fleas home.
How to Detect Fleas
There are several ways to detect fleas on dogs. You will often see your dog scratching a lot. When a flea hops onto your canine, they tend to bite them. Their bite is a small sharp pain, and what makes it worse is their saliva contains an agent that irritates your dog’s skin.
One flea might not be problematic, but several all over your dog’s body can quickly become a painful experience! This causes your dog to scratch constantly.
Maybe your dog isn’t scratching or chasing their tail enough to cause alarm just yet, but you start to notice specks around your house. Yes, fleas are not small enough where they can’t be seen with your naked eye. The combination of specks around your home and your dog scratching may indicate it’s time to check if your pet has fleas.
The third way to detect if fleas are invading your dog is something called flea dirt. You will often find it on your dog’s bedding, their fur, or anywhere else they might have been. Flea dirt is specks of dried blood or droppings.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Your Dog
You have now confirmed that your dog has fleas, but how do you get rid of them, so your dog starts feeling better again? There is a simple but thorough process involved. First, you want to bathe your dog immediately. Using dawn dish soap is a common and simple practice to use to rid the fleas. If you’re going to use a flea shampoo, it is recommended to talk to your veterinarian first.
There are also plenty of home remedies for fleas on dogs which include, apple vinegar and salt flea spray, which will also help your dog’s pH levels in the process. All you need to do is mix six cups of apple cider vinegar with four cups of water and a pinch of salt into a spray bottle.
It is essential to avoid their eyes when spraying their coat. A lemon bath is also a simple natural solution that will help get rid of the ticks and leave your pup smelling fresh and clean. Simply mix half a cup of lemon juice, two cups of water, and a drop of the soap you want to use, and you have the perfect concoction.
Next, you want to comb your pet with a fine-tooth flea comb. Flea combs are specially made for fleas because they are spaced correctly to extract fleas and any flea dirt trapped in your dog’s fur.
Make sure you are thorough with this step. If there is a flea with every comb, make sure to kill them by dunking the comb into hot and soapy water. You don’t want those fleas hopping off the comb and all over your home and eventually back onto your pup again. It is essential to check regularly to make sure you have completely free of all of the fleas.
How to Get Rid of Fleas From Your Home
Now that you finally said good riddance to the fleas that invaded your dog, it is essential to not forget about your home or car! Wherever your dog has roamed, there may be a potential of rogue fleas, and you need to get rid of them! There are several steps to get rid of fleas in your house, but it’s essential to get rid of them all, so they do not overtake your pup again.
First, you need to use a vacuum on anything that your dog may have encountered when infested. Make sure the vacuum has powerful suction because a low-power vacuum just will not cut it!
To ensure extra flea protection, consider sprinkling baking soda on your carpets first because the baking soda will entice the fleas to come up from the fibers, making it easier to vacuum them. The best defense against fleas is heat and soap, so this is where a steam cleaner comes in handy. You can also use other treatment options like a flea collar.
Pay attention to all the furniture that your pup was near or laid on. If you can wash any furniture, couch cushion coverings, dog beds, etc., that will work just as well.
Unfortunately, fleas can come with the territory of pet ownership, but luckily there are many remedies to solve this pesky problem. Always be aware of your dog and how they are behaving because this can be the first opportunity to realize if they are scratching more than usual.
Early detection of fleas, proper extraction, and elimination in your home of these unwanted guests will mean your pup will suffer less!