Fleas are the most common dog parasite and range in length from 1mm to 3mm depending on the type. The adult fleas lay hundreds of eggs and these will fall from the animal and remain viable and can go on to develop in carpets and even between gaps in floorboards. In this way, the eggs remain a constant source of reinfection.
There are several different species of flea that primarily stick with the same host. Some fleas specialise in birds, others in cats or humans, but all of them can (unfortunately) affect dogs, which means that poor dog is at multiple risks from infestation.
Fleas and ticks can cause other problems in your pet, too. These could include flea bite allergies, tapeworm, Lyme’s Disease (which is particularly nasty and often incorrectly diagnosed), and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Given that tapeworms can be carried by fleas, if your dog gets them, in addition to giving your dog flea treatment, make sure that his worming is up to date. Puppies can be wormed as well as treated for fleas from as early as 2 to 4 weeks so there’s no excuse for skipping this treatment even in young dogs.
Dog Fleas Signs
Dog fleas’ symptoms are pretty straightforward. They are visible to the naked eye. You can see them crawling and jumping, particularly at bath time when the dog’s hair is wet and they are scrambling to the head to escape drowning.
Fleas are also more obvious on a dog’s belly because the hair is thinner there. You might be able to make out the three fleas lurking in the picture on the left.
Dog Flea Treatment
There are a number of options for dog flea protection and treatment ranging from the mild and herbal to the full-strength scientific, chemical based approach. A very cheap flea treatment is simply to hold the dog underwater (with its head above the water so it can still breathe, obviously) for 15 minutes.
Some food supplements could also be treatment options they say. These could include brewer’s yeast and vitamin B but it’s extremely sceptical about whether they work or not.
To able to completely get rid of fleas, you must pay attention to the three areas that pose the greatest risk of reinfestation.