The more you spend time with your pet dog, the soon it becomes a part of your family. Being a careful and loving dog owner, you would never want your dog to suffer when it comes to its health. Besides, we believe that you would move mountains to provide a healthy environment to ensure your dog’s best survival.
However, specific problems are bound to happen no matter how much you protect your dog. One of such problems is catching fleas. No matter how hygienic the environment you provide to your dog, it may get fleas anytime from anywhere. Understandably, dealing with your dog who has caught fleas is frustrating, yet you have to help your dog get rid of these filthy parasites.
This article briefs on how dogs get fleas, which aims to help you in protecting your dog from catching these. So, let’s get started!
Are fleas easy to visualize on dogs?
Fleas are highly tiny parasites that you might not visualize on your dog quickly. Therefore, you may not know that your dog has fleas unless it starts itching and ends up scratching itself wildly. Speaking of fleas, these are external parasites that tend to attach to the skin’s outer surface on both humans and dogs. These parasites can survive only externally while getting the nourishment from host.
If you notice that your dog has developed severe itch and scratching issues, please rule out whether your dog has fleas or not. You can get yourself a magnifying glass and inspect your dog’s skin closely by parting its hair and fur slowly and carefully. With a magnifying glass, you would detect these minute creatures that are otherwise highly difficult to detect.
Besides, you can only see the adult fleas and never their eggs. Therefore, if you see a few fleas, they are probably the adult ones. It would help if you kept in mind that one adult flea can lay hundreds of eggs. Therefore, a few adult fleas on your dog ultimately means thousands of fleas, including both the eggs and adults.
How do you say if a dog has fleas?
Detecting fleas on your dog is time-consuming and difficult since these little creatures are not visible very quickly. As mentioned earlier, you would need to have a magnifying glass to see fleas on your dog’s skin. Besides, there are characteristic signs if your dog has fleas, like itching, scratching and licking. If the condition is severe, your dog may scratch to the extent that wounds develop on its skin.
First and foremost, close inspection of your dog is the key to confirm if it has fleas or not. If you can visualize these tiny creatures on your dog’s skin using a magnifying glass, it is indeed an excellent catch! However, you may also look for fleas in specific areas of your dog’s body, like armpits and groin. Your dog may have numerous fleas in mentioned areas owing to the warm temperature.
Besides, while you part your dog’s hair and fur to see the skin more closely, you might witness fleas jumping on hair, which is indeed a gross scene to visualize! Moreover, you can also say that your dog might have fleas if you observe red patches secondary to scratching on its skin.
Indeed, you must be aware of how black pepper looks like. While you observe your dog’s skin, you will see the ‘flea dirt’ or black specks which resemble black pepper. These black specks are specific to a flea infestation. The flea dirt turns reddish brown with water which confirms their presence.
Since dogs with fleas tend to keep licking their scratched skin, the chances are that they may ingest fleas and their eggs. If your dog has ingested fleas, it will suffer from a tapeworm infection for an unknown reason. Therefore, it would be best to consult a professional vet no matter what the situation is.
How does a dog get fleas?
Understandably you cannot keep your pet dog confined to your home, nor it does any good to your dog’s health. Outdoor walks and daycare socializing are essential to provide your dog with better and prolonged living. Besides, we assume you might attend pet shows with your pet dog as well. Since your dog has exposure to an outside world, it can get fleas from anywhere.
Moreover, even if your dog stays home for longer durations, it can still get fleas because you can carry these external parasites as well. So, without any further delay, let’s see from where your dog can get fleas;
1. From outdoor animals
It is essential to be vigilant with your dog when you take it for an outside walk in the evening. However, understandably you cannot keep a watch on your dog every second. Besides, many animals outside, both wild and pet, have fleas and tend to transfer to other animals.
If your dog comes even slightly closer to the infected animals present outside, it will catch the fleas at once! If your dog is friendly with other pet animals, the chances are that it might not get fleas from them because pet dogs grow up in a hygienic environment. However, you never know when it comes to other outdoor animals like squirrels, skunks, rabbits, birds etc.
2. Your home can be the culprit
As mentioned earlier, even if you try to keep your dog inside the house all the time, you cannot guarantee a flee-free dog! Fleas can stick to human’s clothing and come inside your home. You may not have carried them, but maybe your guests did it. You never know!
Besides, mice are familiar visitors of your home, and they can also carry these external parasites on their bodies and leave these creatures everywhere in your home.
3. Kennel or groomers
Your dog can also catch fleas from pet facilities centers, like kennels, groomers, or daycare social activities. Undoubtedly, these facility centers ensure that your dog gets a healthy and hygienic environment, especially flea-free, but some miserable dogs may still get these.
Not necessarily your dog would catch hundreds of fleas immediately in one go. However, even if your dog gets one or few fleas, the number soon increases due to transforming eggs into adult fleas. Each female adult flea can give around 40 eggs per day!
4. Warmer areas
As mentioned earlier in the article, fleas are external parasites that need to attach to the bodies of animals and humans to survive. However, another essential supply for their survival is the warm temperature. Therefore, if the surrounding temperatures are favorable, the fleas can survive without any host animal.
If you travel to warm areas along with your dog quite often, then catching fleas would become a pretty common sickness with your dog since warm and humid areas tend to have more fleas than anywhere else.
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Undoubtedly, it is a pretty awful situation to deal with if your dog catches fleas. However, before you jump to help your dog get rid of these parasites, it would be better to trace the root source since the source area would also need the treatment. In this article, we have tried our best to brief you on how do dogs get fleas. Hopefully, it will prove helpful!