Fleas in Dogs – What are the dangers and how to prevent them

Fleas in Dogs - What are the dangers and how to prevent them

Fleas in Dogs – What are the dangers and how to prevent them

Fleas in dogs are one of the most dreaded aspects about the summer for dog owners. Fleas are an issue in all types of dogs, but these insects prefer the warmest weather of the summer. They proliferate at a fast rate. A female flea will lay at least 20 eggs per day, which will turn into at least 20,000 fleas in 60 days.  

How does my dog catch fleas?

Dogs and cats as well can catch fleas through contact with other dogs or from the environment. Pet owners might get a break from these insects during the winter, but when temperatures begin to rise during spring and summer, the luring and patient visitors begin to find bodies to inhabit.  

Fleas do not fly but their powerful hind legs enable them to jump over 100 times their own length. So they will patiently wait for your dog to pass close to them. When they land into the dog´s fur, they will quickly burrow through the skin to bite and feed on the host’s blood. 

What are the symptoms of a flea infestation?

Sometimes, you will clearly see fleas jumping out and into your dog. Other times, it is not that evident. Since they hate light, you might have a better chance at finding them on areas under the legs or the paws. The most evident sign that your dog has fleas is constant itching. In some dogs, this itching may not be too severe but it can be a serious problem for sensitive dogs. 

When fleas in dogs are burrowed in the skin, they deposit a small amount of saliva. This may cause Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) in your dog. Due to incessant scratching, scabs and bumps may also appear on your dog’s neck or back.  

If fleas remain in the dog for a too long time, sucking in all the blood, anemia can be developed. Also, if a dog consumes a flea, he can become infected with tapeworms.  

How do I get rid of fleas in my dog?

To confirm that your dog has fleas, which are very tiny and not easy to spot with the naked eye, you might note some brown speck on your dog´s skin. This is “flea dirt”. Remove some with a comb or your hands and place it on a wet paper towel.  If the speck spreads like blood then your dog has fleas. Getting rid of them comprises four important steps:

  1. Get rid of the adult fleas in your dog
  2. Kill any new arriving adult fleas
  3. Prevent future infestation by using an insect growth regulator (IGR)
  4. Get rid of any egg, pupae, or larva that may be still at your home

In Dogalize we know that living in a flea-free environment is important for the dogs and their owners.  We have updated information on how to better handle unwanted invaders. Visit us to learn more.