How to Tell if your Pet Has Fleas + The Best Flea Treatment for Dogs

Dogs, if neglected, are susceptible to infestations from parasites. They are mostly affected by external parasites such as ticks and fleas. Unlike ticks, fleas are not easily noticed by the naked eye, and therefore, most people don’t realize that their dog is infested until it’s too late.

If left untreated, dogs can suffer a lot from flea infestation. Fleas also open pathways to other diseases such as skin diseases, causing your dog to look unpleasant.

 

does-your-dog-have-fleas

 

The easiest way to recognize a flea infestation is by looking for signs of allergic reactions to fleas. Symptoms of allergic reactions include:

 

  • Itching and scratching

 

If you notice your dog constantly acting agitated and scratching a lot, it is possible there could be some unwanted guests on his bodies. Fleas depend on the host’s body to survive. They feed on the dog’s blood and release saliva protein in the process. Dogs are allergic to the saliva protein, and that explains why they scratch a lot to get rid of the itch.

 

  • Bumps and several red pimples

 

Parts of the body which are not covered by fur develop pimples and bumps when there is flea infestation. If you see pimples on the dog’s belly, groin, rump, or under the legs, then your dog could be in trouble. When dogs scratch on these parts too much, crusty lesions develop, leaving them at risk of other infections.

 

Now that you have noticed the telltale signs of a flea infestation, it’s time to start treating your dog. Here are some of the things you can do:

 

  • Perform a visual check – lay your dog sideways and check for small brown insects moving around the belly or the rump.
  • Use a flea comb – comb your dog’s back and belly using a metal comb or a fine-toothed flea comb. Black specks on the comb mean that the dog is infested. The black specks are fleas’ fecal matter. Adult fleas can also cling on the comb so you can easily see them.
  • Use the white towel test – comb your dog while it is standing on a white cloth or paper. Tiny black droppings mean that the dog has fleas.

 

Now that you have confirmed that your dog has fleas, what next? Any dog lover will definitely seek treatment. If you ignore the infestation, your dog could be heading for the grave. Chronic infestation can cause diseases which can lead to death.

Fortunately, you can easily get rid of the infestation by using flea treatments or consulting the vet.

 

flea-treatment-options

 

There are two types of flea treatments for dogs:

 

  • Oral treatment – this includes medicine pills administered to dogs for flea infestations. Dog flea pills are available over-the-counter or can be prescribed by a vet. Some pills kill eggs or adult fleas only while some kill both.
  • Topical treatment – this includes powders, sprays, and shampoos. Spot treatments and flea drops are the most popular topical treatments. Flea drops last longer and are probably the most effective topical treatment.

 

For treatment, here are some of the highly recommended products on the market:

 

  1. Frontline Plus Flea Control

 

This is one of the most famous flea control treatments. A package of the Frontline Plus lasts for three months and is enough to deliver quick results in a short period of time. Treatment is administered by applying each vial on the back of the dog’s neck. The oil spreads throughout the body, killing of fleas.

 

  1. Seresto Dog Flea Collar

 

This is the best alternative treatment for topical applications. It stays active for up to 24 weeks. The collar works by releasing a clean formula free of odor onto the body of a dog. It does not require monthly applications, is waterproof, and can kill all stages of a flea.

 

  1. Capstar Flea Tablets

 

The Capstar tablets are considered the best flea pill medication for dogs. It is available the over-counter, but it is advisable to consult your vet before purchasing the tablets. The tablets start working 30 minutes after administering. It instantly kills all adult fleas on your dog. It works best with another product that can kill larvae and eggs.

 

Conclusion

 

Whichever treatment you choose, remember to consult your veterinarian. Some dogs have sensitive skins which react with certain drugs and can have side effects. You might also need other products that can finish off fleas and eggs that have fallen of the dog and onto your carpet, couch, or yard.

 

Lisa
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About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile

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