Fleas are a very common problem for dogs. Your dog can get fleas regardless of how clean your home is or how well-protected you think that your pet is, they can still get fleas. If you suspect that your dog has fleas, you need to act quickly. The longer you wait the worse the problem will become and the more your dog will be at risk. If you notice that your dog is biting, licking and scratching himself, there are a few steps that you should take.
What To Do If Your Dog Has Fleas
Step 1: Make Sure That It Is Fleas
The first thing that you need to do is make sure that your dog actually has fleas. Just because a dog is scratching, it doesn’t always indicate fleas. If your dog is scratching at his ears, it could be either ear mites or an ear infection. If he is scratching or licking at other parts of his body, it could be a food allergy or some other irritation. In some cases, you might be able to see the fleas. It is especially easy if your dog has light colored fur. You may also find flea poop on your dog. It can collect on his skin or fur and it will look like crumbs.
Step 2: Treating Your Pet
Once you have determined that your dog has fleas, you need to treat him as quickly as possible. There are plenty of products on the market that will kill the fleas and their larvae. You need to kill the larvae to be sure that your dog won’t become infested again. When purchasing the right pesticide for your pet, you should look for pesticides that list either pyriproxyfen or methoprene on the label. After applying the pesticide, you should not bathe your dog for 4 to 5 days. We recommend Advecta II, it has the same active ingredients as Bayer Advantage, but comes at a big savings.
These treatments travel into the subcutaneous layer of fat on your dog’s body. If you bathe your dog too soon, there won’t be enough natural oils in his fur to carry the pesticide to the layer of fat. Until you can bathe your dog, you should brush him with a flea brush.
A week later, you should give your dog a bath with flea killing shampoo. When bathing your dog, make sure that you don’t use more shampoo than directed. Flea shampoo can dry out your dog’s skin that may already be tender due to the flea bites.
Step 3: Treating Your Home
After you have treated your dog for fleas, you will need to treat your home to prevent a reinfestation. You should start by vacuuming your entire house (with a dog hair vacuum, of course), both the carpets and the hard floors. As soon as your finish, empty the vacuum bag or canister. If you want to be on the safe side, sprinkle a layer of borax onto the carpet. After letting it sit overnight, vacuum it up. The chemicals in the borax will suffocate the fleas, making it easier to vacuum them up. If your dog often sits on your upholstered furniture, you should repeat this process there as well.
Next, you should wash your dog’s bed in hot water. When drying, make sure that you have the dryer set to the highest setting. If your dog spends time on the beds in your home, you should wash that bedding as well.
Step 4: Preventing a Reinfestation
Dog flea prevention is just as important as treating the fleas. The first step in preventing your dog from getting fleas is to use a spot-on flea repellent. These products need to be applied every 30 days. If you don’t want the fleas to come back, you need to stick to the schedule.
You should also use a flea shampoo each month, even if there are no fleas present. Be sure not to give your dog a bath for at least 5 days after using the spot-on flea repellent. Pay close attention while brushing your dog for any signs of fleas.
Finally, if you are really worried about your dog getting fleas again, you can have a professional exterminator spray chemicals around your yard to keep the fleas away. If there are no fleas in the grass when you take your dog outside, your dog won’t be able to get fleas.
Be Diligent With Dog Flea Prevention
Fleas can make a dog miserable and uncomfortable. If left untreated, it is possible for your dog to develop tapeworm. Because of this, as soon as you suspect that your dog has fleas, you should take action.