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How to Get Rid of Fleas

small brown and white dog scratching
Jordan Ashley author of how to get rid of fleas

Dogs and cats might be welcome in our homes and on our furniture, but they’re walking magnets for fleas! If you’re not careful, your dog can end up as a welcoming home to a whole colony of these pests. 

Fleas are really bad for a dog’s health and can infect an entire house if left untreated. However, for many dog owners they are unavoidable at least once in a dog’s life, so how do you get rid of fleas?

How Do Dogs Get Fleas?

If you want to get rid of a dog’s fleas, the easiest way is to not get them in the first place. If you understand how dogs actually get fleas, you can take precautions to prevent it. Removing fleas from your home takes quite a lot of effort, and they can do a lot of damage when they are on your dog. These are some of the spaces were dogs typically get fleas from.

Contact with Wild Animals

Fleas are pretty common in the wild and like to move from animal to animal. They can jump from a different animal onto a dog from a close range, a flea can get across and start a new colony on your dog’s back. While you can’t keep your dog away from every other animal in the world, this is one of the most common sources of fleas.

From the Home

Fleas don’t have to come from other animals, they can come from the home too. A single flea can begin a new colony, so all it takes is one flea finding its way inside. This can travel on an animal like mice, or even on people's clothes from outside. Once in your house, they might set themselves up on your carpets, blankets, drapes, anywhere with fabric.

Dog Facilities

Facilities, where you take your dog, can be breeding grounds for fleas. From a flea’s perspective, this is a great place to live! Every day a new dog comes in, which is a perfect home. You have to be careful about your choice of kennels and groomers, if they've had fleas it can easily spread to your dog. 

Outdoor Areas

Fleas don’t just live on dogs and carpets; they can be happy enough chilling out in the grass. Even taking your dog for a walk could risk a flea latching on to them. They can be found in yards, parks, anywhere they can survive.

How to Tell if Your Dog Has Fleas

Husky laying in dirt  and scratching behind its ear

Most dogs visit somewhere that puts them at risk of getting fleas. Recognizing the signs that your dog has picked up a flea infestation can save you time in the long-run. Once you know what to look for, you'll spot it quicker in the future and be able to treat the problem before it becomes an infestation. These are the main symptoms:

  • Loss of Fur – A flea infestation can actually cause a dog to lose hair in patches where the fleas have damaged it.
  • Excessive itching, Biting, and Scratching -With a whole colony of bloodsucking pasts on their backs, dogs are bound to be doing some extra itching, biting, and scratching.
  • Flea Dirt in Fur that Resembles Black Pepper –Dirt from the fleas is going to build upon your dog. This is definitely something to watch out for.
  •  Pale Gums –A dog’s gums can go a bit pale when they have fleas. This is less obvious than the signs of fleas on their bodies, but it is another clear warning sign.
  •  Red Bumps and Scabs –These will occur on a dog as a result of the flea’s presence, it can be painful for your dog.
  •  Irritability –A dog is going to be under quite a bit of stress when they have fleas. Between these uncomfortable symptoms and the pain of flea bites, a dog is likely to be irritable.

How to Get Rid of Fleas on Your Dog

If your dog has some of these signs of fleas, then it is likely that you need to check them over. Fleas are fairly easy to spot. Once you’re sure your dog has to fleas, you need to know how to get rid of fleas on a dog. Usually, you'll need to give your dog a combination of these treatments to fully get rid of the fleas.

Oral Treatment

Oral treatment is primarily administered as a flea preventative. This helps to make your dog’s body unliveable for fleas and should prevent them from bringing the bugs back into the house.

Bathe with Flea Treatment

Flea treatment is really just a special type of shampoo, although a type of shampoo which kills everything in its path. Bathing your dog in hot water and treating them with flea shampoo should kill off all living fleas and their eggs.

Flea Comb Dipped in Dish Soap and Water

Sometimes bathing isn’t quite enough to fully remove all of the fleas from your dog. In these cases, it is best to use the second round of treatment.

This time, dip a flea comb in a bowl of soapy water, make sure the water is warm and then run it through your dog’s hair.

This is equivalent to going over them with a magnifying glass to remove any fleas that were left behind. The comb should be fine enough to only allow hair through while it catches and kills adult fleas.

Dawn Dish Soap is a wonderful choice to kill and treat fleas, as the soap essentially drowns and kills the fleas.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a natural remedy and way to kill fleas. The natural Lauric Acid in the coconut oil can kill fleas in as little as 20 seconds. A CBD infused coconut oil has additional remedies as well, as it will reduce the inflammation and your dog's itching and scratching of the flea bites. CBD infused coconut oil will help kill the fleas, as well as reduce the negative effects of the flea bites.

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Coconut oil is good for dogs and can help aid your pets' digestion, improve their coats, help prevent infection and more.

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A natural pain and inflammation reducer, this powerful natural combination now reduces anxiety and also helps with allergies and skin issues.

Keep Fleas Out of Your Home!

Now you know to get rid of fleas on a dog, but this is just the first step. You also have to remove the fleas from your home, or they can quickly get back onto your pet. To do this, you’re going to need to do quite a lot of cleaning.

Call Vet for Confirmation

Before you can start to remove all of the fleas in your home, you need to make sure your dog won't continue to carry them. Check-in with your vet to ensure that your flea treatment is working first.

Vacuum Fleas and Eggs will be Removed Quickly

Using your vacuum cleaner is a great start to removing all fleas from your home. A powerful vacuum should easily take care of the fleas and eggs that have gotten into your carpets, one of the main areas they live. If your vacuum has an arm attachment you can even use this on soft furnishings.

Wash Bedding and Blankets to Remove Fleas

Beddings and blankets are breeding grounds for fleas and need washing at a high temperature to ensure you’ve gotten all fleas out of there. This applies to your dog’s bedding, but also all bedding around the home. Fleas can spread quite quickly, so treat everything with suspicion!

Spray Treatments for Your Carpet

A spray treatment can be used on your carpet to make sure all of the fleas in there are dead. This combined with a good round of vacuuming should ensure your home is entirely flea-free!

How to Get Rid of Fleas in Dogs

Dogs are bound to get fleas every once in a while. They can pick them up from just about anywhere and it is easy to end up with an infestation. While removing the fleas is quite a bit of work, if done properly it should solve the problem permanently. Make sure you completely remove them from your and dog and your house, so it only has to be done once!

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Meet The Author 

Jordan Ashley author of how to get rid of fleas

Jordan Ashley

Jordan is an experienced author who enjoys writing about all things dogs. He loves all animals and when he is not working he spends his time curled up with his two dogs playing video games and maybe enjoying a craft beer.

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