Dog Fleas

What Are Dog Fleas?

Dog fleas are very small parasites which live on the blood of animals and can be found living predominantly on dogs, cats and birds as well as in the environment.  They tend to congregrate around the tail and butt area of a dog or cat but if the dog is infested badly enough by fleas you will find them crawling all over the body, including face and ears.

Fleas on a dog or cat will not only live 100% of their time on the dog but will jump on and off the dog’s body and live in the environment.  If you have brick paving or surface area with cracks and grooves the fleas can live in there for up to a year.  That is why you will find, if your dog or cat has fleas, they will also be in the carpet and around the house or garden.   It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether your dog has fleas – one flea can cause allergy and skin irritation – as they can hide in the most obscure places, particularly around the anus and tail.  A good way to determine if your dog has any fleas is to use a flea comb, like the ones below, to groom through the whole of the dog’s coat.

Another way of telling if your dog has fleas is if you part the fur and see tiny black dots near the skin.  These black dots are the flea dirt and, depending how prolifant they are, they may not be easily visible, particularly if your dog only has one or two fleas – it is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

How Do Dogs Pick Up Fleas?

Dogs can pick up fleas from virtually anywhere – even the groomer’s, the veterinary clinic, the beach, the park are not excluded – basically anywhere other dogs frequent.  If fleas are living in the ground then there doesn’t even have to be another dog around at the time.  Fleas can jump and that is how they are transmitted from animal to animal.  If there is a population of cats in an area then that also increases the potential for your dog getting infected.  At some point in your dog’s life there is likely to be a period of time when your dog is infected and you will need to take action to get rid of them.

How to Tell if Your Dog or Cat has Fleas and Allergy Dermatits

As mentioned above these are the indications that might appear if your dog is suffering from flea infestation and / or allergy:-

  • Black specks of flea dirt can be seen throughout the coat and you can see fleas running around in the fur;
  • A flea infestation will, in most cases, cause extreme itchiness causing your dog to constantly bite and scratch, especially around the tail area;
  • Licking and biting in other specific areas;
  • Red and raw inflamed skin and skin infections or sores as a result from the licking and scratching;
  • Hotspots and bald patches.

Flea Allergies and Skin Infections

When the fleas suck out the blood from the dog or cat it leaves saliva on the skin.  This saliva is what some dogs are allergic to and can cause severe itching and great distress.   This is quite often the cause of your dog licking and biting himself constantly.  The constant licking and biting results in dermatitis on the skin and sometimes hotspots if not treated immediately.  Sometimes it only takes one or two fleas on a dog or cat to cause a skin irritation and allergy.  Generally this will lead to bald patches as the fur falls out from around the affected area.  It is for this reason that a flea treatment programme needs to be commenced immediately.

Fleas can also transmit tapeworms so if you dog does have an infestation of fleas then it is a good idea to worm the dog in conjunction with the treatment for fleas.



How to Treat a Dog for Fleas

Step One:….. Give the dog a really thorough flea bath using an effective flea shampoo.   What shampoo you use will depend upon how severe the flea infestation is and whether there is any inflammation or irritation of the skin as a result of this.  If it is bad then you may need to rinse the shampoo through twice to get rid of all the dirt and the fleas (they can be stubborn and sometimes difficult to get off).  If you’re not sure of which flea shampoo to use check out our page on Flea Shampoos for ideas!

Step Two:…..Spray the environment around your home – inside and out (you may need to flea bomb inside).  A tip for brick paving and slabs outside is to use some drops of eucalyptus oil in a bucket of warm water and wash over the surface.  This will eradicate fleas plus it gets down into the cracks between the pavers.  Alternatively, you can purchase flea treatments for the outdoor area.

Step Three:..Start your dog on a course of flea treatment.  Use a spot-on treatment which kills the whole cycle of the flea, not just a flea collar and powder.
Flea treatments all have chemicals in them of some sort which which kill fleas but not harm the dog.  As we don’t know exactly what long-term effects these chemicals have on the dog’s body through absorption into the skin it might be a good idea to cease the treatments once you are confident that the fleas have been completely eradicated.

Check out the pages below for more information!


How to Get Rid of Fleas in the Home

As mentioned in step two above you may find it necessary to treat the home area for fleas.  Flea bombs can be used inside the house where carpet is laid on the floor and outdoor sprays and solutions can be purchased for the outdoor area.

What is the Best Treatment for Flea Allergy Skin Irritations in Dogs

The first thing to do to help your dog’s irritated skin is to follow the steps above with the direct flea treatment programme.  As the fleas are killed off then your dog won’t itch so much however if you want to give your dog’s skin and coat a boost to healing even quicker then check out a wash with Vetisse Neem Fur Soap is a good place to start.

Only Natural Pet Easydefense Flea And Tick Control Collar Tag For Dogs And Cats – Natural Active Ingredients For Prevention, Control & Enhanced Defense

Protect your dogs and cats from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes naturally! The Only Natural Pet EasyDefense Flea & Tick Tag is a safe, chemical-free way to keep harmful pests off of your pet. Using state of the art holistic technology, the EasyDefense Tag utilizes your pet’s own energy to create a natural barrier to pests. There are no chemicals or pesticides involved. It is completely safe for pets and humans in the household.
The EasyDefense Tag begins to work in just 3 weeks, and it will remain effective for up to a year. Arm your pet with a natural defense against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, safely and easily. Just clip it and forget it
How it works:
The EasyDefense tag is treated with a bio-energetic process and sealed in an electro-magnetic shielded envelope. When opened and placed on your pet, it uses your pet’s own inherent energy to send out frequencies that repel pests. The process operates with quantum mechanic’s refined frequencies, and is somewhat similar to the basic principles of homeopathy. (It does not use traditional energy forms like electrical, chemical, thermal, magnetic, or radioactive.)
This holistic energetic approach combines the knowledge of Eastern medicine with advanced Western technology, and is the result of more than 10 years of targeted research in collaboration with renowned doctors and scientists. This quantum energy approach has been used in Europe for many years to enhance human health and wellness through the energizing of objects, water, drinks, and supplements.
Why this is the most cost-effective protection available:
Compare the cost of the EasyDefense Tag with its one year life span against the expense of other flea control methods, which must be continually reapplied on a regular basis. Not only will it save you money, it also offers these additional benefits:
  • Completely safe for your pet with no possible side effects
  • Repels mosquitoes in addition to fleas and ticks, and mosquitoes are how heartworm disease is transmitted
Important Note If Your Pet Has Fleas: The EasyDefense Tag is designed for flea prevention, not to eliminate existing flea infestations. If your pet is already infested by fleas, most likely their environment is also infested, and the tag on its own will not be enough to mitigate the infestation.


Refer to our related pages:

Dog Flea Shampoo
Dog Flea Treatment
Dog Flea and Tick Collars

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