Warning Signs of Fleas on Dogs: Most people who own pets know how hard it is to get rid of fleas on dogs. You can get your pets through it, though, if you have the right tools and medicines.
You need to know what to look for to keep your dog from getting flea bites and getting sick. Learn how to treat flea bites on dogs and see what they look like.
How Do Flea Bites On Dogs Look?
The question you may have is “how do I know if my dog has fleas?” If you don’t know where to start, here are seven signs that your dog has fleas.
1. Licking, Biting, or Scratching.
You might think your dog has bugs before you even see them. When dogs have fleas, they often itch their ears, legs, and tails. Check for flea bites if your dog is scratching.
The most common sign of fleas is when your dog scratches, bites and licks at themselves excessively. Fleas and their droppings can seriously irritate your dog’s skin, causing an itch they can’t ignore. Check your dog for any red, irritated patches of skin, especially around the base of the tail, tummy, and toes.
2. Adults Fleas
If you part your pet’s fur and see what look like black pepper seeds moving on its skin, it probably has fleas. You can see adult fleas on your pet the best with the naked eye.
3. Flea Dirt
Small black spots on your dog’s skin are flea dirt. In fact, it’s flea feces, which are tiny bits of blood that have been digested. Put some flea dirt on a white paper towel that is wet to test it. If it turns a dark brown colour, it means your dog has fleas.
Flea dirt, also known as flea feces or flea excrement, are tiny black specks that look like pepper. If you spot these on your dog, especially around the base of the tail or on the belly, you likely have fleas. The fleas feed on your dog’s blood and the flea dirt is essentially digested blood. Lovely, right?
To check if it’s really flea dirt, place some on a white paper towel and add a drop of water. If it turns a reddish brown color, it’s flea dirt. Congratulations, you have fleas! The little bloodsuckers can bite your dog up to 400 times a day, so you’ll want to take action fast.
Fleas are excellent hitchhikers and can easily infest your home. They lay tiny white eggs called flea eggs or flea nits that fall off onto your carpets, bedding, furniture and anywhere your dog frequents. A single female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day, leading to an explosion of thousands of fleas emerging in your home if left untreated.
4. Eggs And Young Fleas
Eggs and young fleas may also be around your house, but they may not be as easy to spot. When fleas are hungry, they lay thousands of tiny white eggs on your pet. Beds, carpets, and furniture can all be home to eggs until they hatch into larvae.
5. Loss of Hair.
People who get flea bites often lose their hair. Because flea saliva is so itchy, cats scratch or bite to get rid of the itching. You might see hair loss on the back, tail, and hind legs of your dog.
Fleas irritate the skin and cause hair loss and hot spots. You may notice your dog chewing or licking at areas where hair is missing or the skin looks red and inflamed. These hot spots can become infected if left untreated. Look for hair loss around the base of the tail, groin area, and belly—common spots for fleas to congregate.
As a pet, especially a puppy, anemia often shows up as pale gums and low energy. This happens because a huge amount of blood is lost. Fleas can eat up to 15 times their own weight, which means they are very bad for your pet’s health.
7. Scabs And Getting Sick
If a flea bites your dog, it will leave behind small red bumps. Flea bites are much smaller than mosquito or tick bites, but they can get red and tear open if your dog scratches them a lot. Scratching too much can cause other kinds of illnesses.
4 Diseases That Dogs Often Get From Fleas
For the same reason as other pests, fleas can spread disease. There are some diseases that fleas can spread that could affect your pet, but most of the time, diseases spread by ticks are more dangerous.
This is flea allergy dermatitis (FAD).
Dogs in the United States often get flea allergy rashes on their skin. When cats are allergic to fleas and their saliva, they get this skin infection.
There are two parts to the response. The first is when a flea bites your pet, and the second is when your pet scratches the bites to make them feel better.
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Symptoms of Fleas on Dogs
- Loss of weight
- Feeling weak or tired
- Belly swollen
- Having diarrhea or vomiting
How to Get Rid of Fleas
Feel like you’ve tried everything but it won’t work? Fleas are hard to get rid of because they move slowly. In fact, getting rid of fleas for good can take up to three months.
To get rid of fleas for good, be patient and do what it says below:
- Get a flea and tick treatment for your pet to keep them safe.
- Clean your floors, carpets, and furniture with a vacuum often.
- Toys, beds, and bedding for your pet should be washed often.
- Use a poison that is safe for pets on your home.
- Check your dog in places where fleas often hide.
- You should talk to your vet if your pet gets sick.
Getting rid of all fleas doesn’t happen fast. As for getting your pets the care they need, the first thing you should do is learn how to spot fleas on dogs.