If you are a pet owner, then you know how important it is to keep your dog healthy. One of the most common health issues that dog owners have to deal with is fleas. If you have seen a flea, it is round or oval in shape with tiny legs. They cling to the bodies of the dogs and suck their blood (eeeuu!)
When you notice that your dogs are scratching themselves very often, you should brush their hair and see if there are any fleas there.
However, if you groom them well, the likelihood of finding fleas is not too common. There are many different ways that dogs can get fleas including living in an environment where other animals live, walking through areas with wild animals such as raccoons or squirrels and even from contact with another animal like cats.
Hot to Spot & Remove Fleas
- Besides brushing the dogs with a comb, I always use my hands to brush their body and I find that I am able to detect the fleas better this way.
- Pay particular attention to areas around their necks, groin, legs and base of their tails. Whenever I feel a small lump, I will part the hair to locate the flea. I will use either a tissue or put a small plastic bag over my hands, using it like a glove, to peel the flea off the body. I will then use my slipper or sandal to kill the flea. Most of the time, you will see the blood splatter over the dead flea. So, if you do a body search with your hands regularly, you should be able to detect any presence of fleas and even ticks on your dogs.
- However, you may not be comfortable brushing and peeling the fleas off the dogs, there are products like flea collars, spray and shampoo. You may want to use them regularly or periodically as part of your bathing regime. You must read and follow the instructions closely for them to be effective when applied to the dogs.
- To keep the likelihood of fleas away, I do a daily body search on them and at the same time apply a medication like Frontline which is very effective in keeping the fleas and ticks at bay.
- I also check the beds and clean them daily to ensure a clean environment free of fleas. I would also use a spray on the surroundings spaces that dogs roam and rest in the house.
- If there is a major flea infestation, it should be self-evident as you are likely to see a few of them falling off their bodies. If this is the case, I strongly suggest that you take your dogs to the vet for immediate treatment. You will also need to clean the physical environment that your dogs roam around including their crates and beds.
For those living in countries with four seasons, it is found that the fleas and ticks breed more quickly in spring and leading to major infestations in summer. Fleas can still breed during the cold seasons like autumn and winter due to central heating in homes.
If you maintain good hygiene and a regular grooming regime for your dogs, the chances of a flea infestation are very slim. However, because your dogs may pick a flea or two from other dogs or when they are out for walks in the woods, you will have to be diligent and take immediate actions once you have detected the presence of a flea.