One of the most feared parasites by the owners are fleas, small bugs that feed on blood that suck with their bites. Fleas in dogs are very common, it is strange not to find a dog that has never had one, or does not currently have one.
They are dangerous for both the dog and the human being, since they are annoying and can also transmit many diseases. If you notice that your dog is scratching very often and intensely, or that he occasionally bites on his back or tail, you may have a flea that is causing the itching.
Don’t worry, fleas are easy to get rid of if you follow the right steps, both for adult dogs and puppies. We explain how to eliminate them effectively.
Index of contents
- 1 A little practical information What is a flea?
- 2 Why does my dog have fleas?
- 3 How to eliminate fleas on a dog?
- 3.1 How to eliminate fleas on a puppy?
- 4 Can fleas in dogs affect humans?
- 5 Tips to eradicate fleas
A little practical information What is a flea?
A flea is an insect – parasite that is between one and four millimeters long. They have a life cycle of about four weeks, and during that time they lay about 40 eggs a day, so they reproduce at amazing speed. In just a few days an immense colony can be created, according to the wikipedia.
Fleas not only lay eggs on the host (dog in this case), they can also lay them on the bed, on the sofa, in the cracks in the parquet … anywhere where the temperature is warm.
Even if there are more than two thousand different species of fleas, variety “Ctenocephalides felis felis ” It is the most common in both dogs and cats. They feed on the blood of our pets, sucking it and creating irritations and itching of the skin, dermatological problems and itching.
Some dogs even develop flea bite allergy (DAPP)They are really annoying and irritating. Although it is normal that they do not transmit diseases, the truth is that fleas can transmit some dangerous diseases such as plague or typhus, although cases in which this occurs are very rare.
- Diseases that a flea can transmit to dogs and humans
In general, a flea will not stay in a human if it has a dog at hand, since the large mass of hair they offer them is a perfect refuge where to live and reproduce.
Why does my dog have fleas?
Dogs that have low defenses or are a little sick are more likely to catch fleas than healthy dogs, hence the saying “in skinny dogs everything is fleas.”
If we walk with our dog in the field, through unclean places or where cattle (sheep, cows, horses …) have passed, it is likely that our dog can easily acquire a flea.
Healthy dogs also catch fleas, often playing with other dogs that may have fleas and are immediately infected. A flea can jump up to thirty centimeters, so going from one dog to another is very easy for them.
Dogs with poor hygiene are the most prone to fleas, if they are not washed when appropriate or carry the corresponding protections, such as dog pipettes, they will be an easy target for fleas.
Nor worry if your dog has caught fleas it’s not your fault and it has a solution. The first thing we must do is detect if it has fleas, we will open a small hole in its fur with our hands, gently and without hurting it, all we want to do is observe.
If we see small black or brown bugs about the size of a pinhead move through his hair, he has caught fleas.
The best places to look for fleas are within reach, for example, our dog’s back, tummy, neck or head. If we find a single flea, we must apply the appropriate treatment to eradicate it since a single flea can lay up to forty eggs a day, which in fifteen days will be forty new adult fleas.
How to eliminate fleas on a dog?
Treatments to remove fleas from our dog and our home they are very effective, today we have a whole range of products that will make the task of disinfecting fleas in dogs much easier, always recommending to take into account the classic home remedies to eliminate fleas.
Remember to also follow these tips and you can enjoy a flea free dog.
- The first thing we must do is maintain rigorous hygiene both at home and in our own pet. We will wash our dog with a special anti-flea shampoo, which we can find in any veterinary clinic.
- We will repeat the wash after fifteen days and thereafter, once a month. We will throw the dog’s bed in the trash and buy a new one, thus eliminating the possible eggs or larvae that are in its bed. We can also wash it in the washing machine at maximum temperature, this will eliminate the existing fleas (if possible, add a little bleach to the washing machine).
- We will wash the area where our dog usually plays or sleeps, the places where he usually stays at home, with water and bleach, to eliminate any possible flea eggs or larvae.
- After bathing our dog, we will wait 48 hours and then we will apply a flea pipette, for sale in any veterinary clinic. These pipettes have a monthly duration, so every month we will add a new pipette, always two days after washing.
- There are collars that we can also use, they are flea and tick repellents, so they will help our dog not get infected again. These necklaces usually last between one and eight months, depending on the brand and composition.
Remember that it is useless to eliminate them from your dog if there are eggs and larvae at home that can re-infect it at any time. You can get complete and detailed information on how to keep your home clean from parasites at : How to remove fleas from home
For the most complicated cases, where a dog can be infected with hundreds and hundreds of fleas, there are also special pills to eliminate fleas. They are sold in veterinary clinics, we give them to our dogs with food and in a short time all fleas will be gone.
Although these pills are only recommended for very extreme cases. Its effect is not permanent, much less, it will be
necessary to reinforce its effect with pipettes and flea collars.
How to eliminate fleas on a puppy?
Puppies are much more sensitive than adult dogs, so many times (in most cases), we will not be able to use the effective pipettes or flea collars. But do not worry, it is very easy to eliminate fleas on our dear little puppies.
In veterinary clinics a special sprayer for fleas is sold in puppies, it is a very soft poison that we can spray on our puppy. Then we will shake his hair by hand, so that the poison enters the hair root and with it, we will kill all the fleas that he has.
We must not allow our puppy to have fleas, since being more sensitive, their immune system is not developed and could cause serious dermatological problems in addition to infecting them with other diseases.
Can fleas in dogs affect humans?
It is not usual, since they prefer to live in our dogs. Their high hair content makes them a fantastic place to live, humans, on the other hand, have hardly any hair.
Although that doesn’t mean we can’t get bitten by a flea… Usually, we will notice that we have three pecks, all together. When fleas bite a human, they normally do it in batches of three bites, so it is very easy to know if the bite we have is from a flea or a mosquito.
Also, generally, we will notice an irritation in each of the bites. If there are several fleas, we will notice that from one day to the next we will have dozens of new bites, it is very easy to detect them by their bites.
Eliminating them is as simple as in our dogs. A complete wash with an anti-flea gel, sold in pharmacies and some pills that our doctor will prescribe, will be more than enough to end the fleas that we may have contracted. You have to sanitize the house of course, washing sheets and sofa is essential.
Tips to eradicate fleas
- Forget about natural remedies like eucalyptus or lavender oil, they only work as preventives. When the fleas have already lodged, we must use specific “chemical” products, they are the ones that will offer us the best result.
- Prevention is better than regret, the best way that our dog does not have fleas is to prevent them. A monthly wash with anti-parasite shampoo, a monthly pipette and a good flea collar, they will be more than enough so that our dog does not catch any fleas.
- If your dog lives in your garden, there are powders and other products for you to spray your kennel and surroundings. Thus eliminating any possible flea or dangerous insect for your dog. Add to this the preventive measures we have mentioned to always be safe.
- Do not walk with your dog through landfills, dirty places or places where livestock circulates (sheep, cows, horses …). Avoiding walking through possible sources of infection we will have half the work done.
- Fleas are insects, like lice in children. Never be angry with your dog for contracting fleas Well, it’s your fault for not having prevented it. Its elimination is simple and in a few days you will have finished with the fleas, take it easy.
- Do not use insecticides throughout the house to kill bugs … Many insecticides are harmful to our dogs, you could even poison them!