How to Tell if Your Dog Has Fleas?

how to tell if your dog has fleas
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The affection and love you have for your dog keep increasing over time. Understandably, you would never want to see your dog in misery. Therefore, you do your best when it comes to taking care of your little friend. However, no matter how much you look after your dog, it always tends to catch few issues that might become difficult to treat; however, it is not impossible.

Since you are a responsible owner of your dog, you must watch its activities; like whatever it eats, wherever it goes, what animals it plays with when it’s outside, etc. Understandably, you cannot stay vigilant all the time. If you observe that your dog is scratching a lot from the past few days to the extent that its hair and fur start to fall, you should think about fleas immediately!

In this article, you will learn how you would know if your dog has fleas and the measures you can take to help your dog get rid of this annoying problem. So, let’s get started!

Can you see fleas on dogs?

Fleas are parasites that get attached to the external surface of an animal/human body. On a human body, it is easier to see fleas. However, you may not see fleas when it comes to dogs because these are very tiny creatures. Besides, too much hair and fur on your dog’s body hide fleas. Since these external parasites are microscopic, therefore you can use a magnifying glass to detect them.

It is excellent to detect fleas on your dog’s hair and fur with a magnifying glass. However, it is essential to mention that you may see an adult flea and not the eggs. Adult fleas lay hundreds of eggs each day. Therefore, if you visualize one flea, there might be thousands of fleas present, which you must not ignore.

How to know if a dog has fleas?

There are various methods to catch fleas on your dog. Your little fellow may show different signs and symptoms if it has fleas, one of which is severe scratching and associated nuisance. If you observe that your dog has got an itch that has increased to such an extent that your dog is now portraying irritating behavior, you must think if your dog has got fleas, and you must search for these parasites.

Let’s have a light on the methods by which you can get to know if your dog has fleas;

1. Inspection of your dog’s skin

The first step towards the identification of fleas is a close inspection of your dog’s skin. However, as mentioned earlier, these external parasites are extraordinarily tiny, and your dog’s furry body may make it difficult for you to detect them. Therefore, it would be better to see them using a magnifying glass.

Moreover, there are a few particular areas of the body where you can find the maximum number of fleas on your dog; armpits and groin. The presence of a large number of fleas in the mentioned areas is a warm and moist atmosphere.

When you remove the fur and expose your dog’s skin, you will mostly see red patches on skin secondary to scratches. Rarely, you may also see fleas larvae transforming into adult fleas. Moreover, you may also witness adult fleas moving and jumping.

2. Black specks on your dog’s skin

While you inspect your dog’s skin infected with fleas, you will see black spots resembling black pepper. These tiny black spots are also referred to as ‘black specks,’ characteristic of fleas infection. These black specks fall off easily from your dog’s skin. Therefore, you may also call it ‘flea dirt.’

Since both the typical and flea dirt tend to fall off, it would be better to differentiate between them. You can take a white cloth/towel and let the dirt fall off on it. Next, spray a tiny amount of water on the collected black specks and see if they turn brownish-red. The brownish-red dirt is a strong manifestation of flea infestation.

3. White ovals on your dog’s skin

Secondary to flea infection, your dog might catch tapeworms and other parasites, further worsening its skin condition. As mentioned earlier, adult fleas are capable of giving off hundreds of eggs. These flea eggs are white, and you may see them as white ovals on your dark-colored carpet or stuck in a dog’s hair/fur.

If your dog accidentally has ingested fleas, your dog may get a tapeworm infection of the intestines. Unlike fleas, tapeworms are parasites that live inside the body of your dog. Whatever indications you observe suggestive of fleas on your dog’s skin, it would be best to take it to the vet as soon as possible.

What to do if your dog has fleas?

Undeniably, helping your dog get rid of the irritating fleas is difficult, however, not impossible. All you have to do is to be consistent and patient with your dog’s treatment. In addition, you may have to try out multiple methods to eliminate fleas from your dog’s skin.

Let’s have a look at what you can do if your dog has fleas;

1. Buy a flea shampoo

When you are sure that your dog has fleas, first and foremost, you need to have flea-specific cleansing shampoo for your dog. Then, all you have to do is apply the shampoo in your dog’s hair and fur for a few minutes before you rinse it with warm and clean water.

Flea shampoos ensure the removal of adult fleas along with their eggs from your dog’s skin. However, you will see the results over time.

2. Flea – proof collar for your dog

If you take your dog for outside walks daily, your dog may catch not only fleas but multiple other parasites. Therefore, it would be best if you buy a flea and tick-proof collar for your young dog, which guarantees to prevent fleas and ticks from your dog.

3. Flea prevention spot treatment

There are multiple flea prevention spot treatments available for dogs that get infected with fleas. All you have to do is apply the treament to your dog’s skin and let it dry. Vets recommend such treatments because they tend to eliminate fleas and their eggs.

4. Flea comb

You can get a flea comb for removing fleas from your dog’s hair. Although it is simple to use, you have to part your dog’s coat and fur and start combing it. The fleas in your dog’s hair should get trapped in the specialized comb. It would be best to put the comb in soapy water to prevent the survival of fleas after cleaning your dog’s hair.

5. Cleanse your home and yard

While you help your dog get rid of the fleas, you must not ignore your home and yard. Since fleas tend to shed, therefore, your carpets and rugs may have got some. Similarly, your lawn and yard may also contain fleas. Consequently, it would be best to buy different garden and home sprays to kill the fleas and their eggs.

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Final word

Your dog is vulnerable to catching fleas, and the scratching it develops, as a result, may leave it in misery. However, you can help your dog eliminating fleas from its skin. In this article, we have tried our best to discuss if you can see the fleas on dogs, how to know if your dog has fleas and what you should do to eliminate them. Hopefully, it will prove helpful!

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