Getting Rid of Fleas
Fleas can be uncomfortable for both the owner and dog, as fleas will also bite humans even though they prefer to burrow into pet hair to feed and breed. Getting rid of fleas effectually and efficiently can prevent any diseases from spreading or allergic reactions.
Signs of Fleas
Dogs do not hide their body language when they are uncomfortable, which makes it easy to know if they have fleas. They will itch, bite, roll, scratch and shake excessively from the irritation to their skin. Fleas can produce 40 to 50 eggs a day, so the problem can quickly get out of hand and become unbearable.
How Do Dogs Get Fleas?
Dogs can pick up fleas from playing outside, from their playmates or from other outdoor animals.
Bath Time for Flea Treatment
It is ideal to start with bathing the dog to help kill the fleas and soothe their skin. The water should be warm but not hot.
Start at the neck and apply flea shampoo for dogs to prevent fleas from trying to run away—they may try to hide on the dog’s face. This section of dense fur makes a great hiding spot for fleas. Wet the fur and lather the dog, making sure to cover every inch for improved results. Any missed spots mean fleas will just reproduce later.
Use a flea comb to start brushing through the dog’s fur, taking out fleas along the way and rinsing them off in another area. Thoroughly rinse off all shampoo and use a washcloth to clean the dog’s face.
Some dog shampoos recommend completely submerging the dog’s fur to ensure any fleas are drowned during the bath.
After towel or air drying, use a flea comb to once again go over the entire dog’s fur to pull out both dead and living fleas, as well as their leftover eggs. Discard everything that comes off with the comb into a bag that can be tied up and thrown into an outside dumpster.
An over-the-counter, after bath flea spray can be sprayed on dogs. Check with the local veterinarian before putting anything on pets that is not specifically for animals. Some essential oils and other flea home remedies can be harmful to a dog’s skin and create more problems than they solve.
Other Actions to Take
Washing the dog is not the only way to get rid of fleas. All bedding should be washed, floors swept and vacuumed and furniture sprayed down with flea mist. Using a flea flogger is a great way to ensure the entire room is cleared, though all animals and humans need to stay out of the room for an extended time afterward.
Once you have the fleas gone, prevention is the next step. Veterinarians can recommend flea and tick prevention medication, including flea collars for dogs, thereby eliminating the need to repeat this removal process all over again.
It is better to prevent than to treat.