When pet owners ask their vet, do dogs get fleas? They try to escape the apparent truth. Dog parents are ready to admit that their dog’s itching is attributed to food allergy, environmental allergy, or some kind of behavioral issues but certainly not fleas!
Preserved dog owners believe that the presence of bacteria, worms, fleas, or any type of invader in their puppy’s body is mainly due to irresponsibility from their side. Yet, that can’t be far away from the truth.
As we will discuss in this article, these tricky flightless parasites can use the help of many environmental tools to reach their end goal (which is your pup’s fur) that it becomes nearly impossible to prevent the infestation from happening just by proper care.
However, before we answer today’s question, do dogs get fleas? Let’s discuss first and know more about fleas, what are they?
What Are Fleas?
Fleas (scientifically known as Siphonaptera) are small parasitic wingless insects that depend on their living on what’s known by Hematophagy (a specific feeding method in which animals suck blood from their host’s body).
Fleas are classified into more than 2500 species according to the type of host they rely on. Ctenocephalides canis is the species of fleas that depend on nutrients in dogs’ blood to live.
Do Dogs Get Fleas? The Answer!
The short answer to the question, do dogs get fleas? It is Yes! However, there is more to that. Fleas can be dangerous to dogs, and they could cause serious health problems. Also, fleas will not only manifest danger on your dog only as they are highly contagious, as we will discuss later on.
Therefore, it is only about answering the question, do dogs get fleas? But it is about knowing more information about feals for dogs, as we are going to discuss in this article. So let’s begin by understanding how dangerous fleas can be for your dog.
How Dangerous Can Fleas Be For Your Dog?
Severe health impairments are the main apprehensions by those who are consistently asking, do dogs have fleas? Luckily, there are no permanent health issues to be afraid of.
Nevertheless, dogs’ vulnerability to fleas can pose three main health problems. The first is intense itching or scratching. Not only that, it will ruin your dog’s mood, but consistent itching could lead to the formation of some kind of skin scabs that could be an open invitation to all sorts of parasites seeking nutritious blood for lunch.
The development of tapeworms inside your dog’s body is another possible health issue. However, tapeworms only appear if your dog somehow mistakenly ate the fleas, which is quite frankly very rare.
Flea infestation could also lead to death in rare cases in which dogs suffer from severe anemia. This happens in cases where the fleas have spent a considerable amount of time inside the puppy’s body to the extent that they have sucked all of his/her blood.
Luckily though, the effects are subject to be reversed by the help of a professional veterinarian. The main problem is that sometimes dog parents don’t seek veterinarians help in the first place due to the lack of proper knowledge on whether dogs do get fleas or not.
How Do Dogs Get Fleas?
The surrounding environment is a crucial factor that could determine whether dogs get fleas or not; environmental factors can include various things. We’ve listed the most common ones.
- From Other Animals With Fleas
Being “super friendly” isn’t a well-known reputation for dogs among mankind alone. Other outdoor animals that share social interactions with puppies show that as well.
Yet, dogs’ friendliness could act against them at times, infestation with fleas could come from many animals like rabbits, birds, squirrels, deer, and foxes.
The good thing is that your dog’s odds of establishing interaction with these animals are very rare, if not non-existent, unless you and your pup go hunting together. Flea-infested cats could pose a danger to dogs even though their fleas species are different from those present in dogs.
- From Your Yard
The grass in your back yard could be very alluring for critters like fleas. They can use it whenever they feel hungry as a jumping tool to reach your pup’s body in a desperate attempt to grab a nice dinner.
- Neighbors And Friends Could Pass Fleas As Well
Fleas could jump from the dog’s fur to the owner’s shoe and from there to their cloth whenever they get dressed to go out. If you have any other pet owner friend coming for a visit, the chances that they could be flea-infested are very high, so keep your dog away.
- From Home
The indoor environment isn’t safe from the danger of fleas. This is mainly attributed to their hitchhiking ability. One way fleas can get invited to your home is by wild mice. Another way is from your shoe. Whatever the method fleas rely on to enter your house, they won’t need a long time planning colonization.
Indoor objects that your dog interacts with daily, like beds, toys, blankets, and rugs, could be flea-rich environments.
- From You!
Whether dogs get fleas or not is mainly determined by the owner’s outdoor interactions as he/she spends most of the time with the puppy, there is no surprise that the owner could be the one introducing it.
How To Remove Fleas From Your Dog’s Body
A vet diagnosis is the only way to confirm or deny a flea infestation. Your veterinarian could instruct you to use some helpful medications to prevent any unwanted guests from coming near your dog’s body.
Clearing the house from flea-rich environments like beds, blankets, and rugs is a must-do to prevent any possible future infestations. Once fleas settled on an environment, they lay more than 4000 eggs there, so frequently vacuuming the house could eliminate a flea infestation.
If you are already sure that your dog has fleas, you must understand that medicine is necessary. Getting fleas off your dog is imperative, too. It helps your dog reduce the abundance of irritating, itchy bites your dog gets. It also benefits keep fleas out of your home where your dog lives!
But the question here is not “do dogs get fleas,” but “how do you do it?”
- Give Your Dog A Good Warm Bath!
Giving your dog a good bath with warm water, or only water, and mild soap, will assist get rid of fleas off your dog’s fur and skin. You can also use special flea shampoo or anything like that to get rid of fleas; however, you must first talk to your veterinarian.
In some cases, your dog might have what your veterinarian would call Flea Allergy Dermatitis, and that is simply your dog allergic to fleas when its skin is exceptionally sensitive. Another reason to cause this allergic reaction is when your dog has wounds on its skin and the fleas release different chemicals, which can cause irritation and probably infections.
While a warm bath can benefit your dog, it’s not a necessity. If you’re concerned about how your dog will behave & react, it’s OK to skip this point.
- Comb Your Dog’s Hair Using A “Fine-Tooth” Comb (Flea Comb)
The fine-tooth comb is aligned to catch fleas while letting your dog’s hair pass through. They also help eliminate flea dirt, called “flea poop.” Flea poops are black or dark brown bits that seem similar to pepper flakes. You must also make sure to take proper care while brushing around your dog’s neck and tail regions because that’s where fleas tend to feed.
- Make Sure To Kill The Fleas
Fleas are generally so small in size between the size of a sesame seed and a herb seed, and they’re dark brown or reddish-brown. Also, make sure to prepare hot water, soapy water, so after you catch fleas on the comb, you can dunk it inside this water to kill them. Another important information you must be aware of is that fleas are fast and super challenging to kill by hand and therefore don’t try to smash fleas with your hands.
- Make Sure To Do Regular Checkups
Doing a regular checkup at home and visiting your vet is a must! Especially if your dog has a history of fleas infestation. So, be sure to comb your dog once a week until you’re 100% confident that your residence and dog are free of fleas.
- Let Your Dog Groom Itself
Many dogs groom themselves often when annoyed by fleas itching and irritation, which is OK in most cases. However, suppose your dog is starting to act weirds, such as chewing, nipping, or scratching itself so much that you began to notice reddish inflamed, bloody skin, or hair loss. In that case, you must contact your veterinarian immediately as your dog may have a flea allergy, and that can cause further infections.
Remember that although you might not find fleas on your dog’s body while search, they can still live inside your house on different surfaces such as your carpet and bedding. They may jump on your dog just to eat and then hide again. However, your veterinarian can confirm your dog has fleas from different signs like bite marks and fleas infestation signs.
Do Dogs Get Fleas? Final Thoughts!
Now that we answered the question do dogs get fleas, you have good knowledge about these annoying little buggers. Fleas can cause some severe conditions like infections and anemia, which may lead to other health issues.
Therefore, as a dog owner, you must take special care to keep your dog and house clean from fleas. As we mentioned before, cleaning the house is as important as killing the fleas from your dog’s body. Don’t forget to consult your vet as they will support you with the best way to get rid of fleas!
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