Fleas are known to be the most common external parasite that affects your dog.
If left untreated your poor dog could end up with a chronic infestation making him not only miserable but could lead to a more serious infection or even flea related diseases.
Keeping a close eye for signs and symptoms of a flea infestation on your dog and environment along with fast and effective treatment will keep your pet healthy and happy.
Common symptoms of dog flea allergies
Scratching and itching, Fleas like all parasites rely on a host animal to be able to live, and in this case it’s your dog’s blood.
The protein in the fleas saliva can cause your dog to have an allergic reaction.
As soon as a flea bites your dog’s skin they will start to itch and scratch which left untreated will only get worse.
Just one flea bite could cause a dog to scratch excessively for several days and become agitated and nervous.
Red pimples or bumps, Look for symptoms on your dogs belly, groin, at the base of the tail, under the legs and it’s behind.
Scratching and constant itching in these areas can result in dry skin and hair loss.
If it’s left untreated infections and crusty lesions could develop and in some cases lead to severe flea related diseases.
How to Check Your Dog for Fleas
During regular grooming sessions make it a habit to check your dogs comb for signs of fleas.
If you think you might have a problem with fleas there are several ways to check
Visual check, Using the naked eye adult fleas which are small and brown are relatively easy to spot.
With your dog lying on its side check the thinly haired areas like their hindquarters and abdomen.
Flea combs, You can purchase a metal fine toothed flea comb from a pet store or your vet.
Run the flea comb down your dogs back and underbelly checking the comb for fleas as you go.
Use a small bowl of soapy water to drown any adult fleas you find on the comb otherwise they might jump back on your dog.
Make sure you apply enough pressure so that the comb comes into contact with your dogs skin.
Look for small black pepper specks, these are adult flea feces more commonly called flea dirt.
White towel check, get you dog to stand on a white towel, cloth or kitchen roll and rub or brush it’s coat.
You’re looking for black droppings on the towel.
Flea dirt looks like grains of sand which will turn red if you apply water.
If you don’t find any signs of fleas but you dog still scratches and looks uncomfortable ask your vet for a check up.
Your vet can do a skin test that tests for flea allergies which will put your mind at rest.
Other possibility’s is that your dog could be suffering with another allergy which could be food or contact allergy, your vet will be able to diagnose this during your visit.
Getting rid of fleas on your dog and home
Until you break the life cycle of the flea adults will continue to reproduce and even thrive on your dog and in your home.
Luckily there are plenty of effective and safe flea treatments available.
Sprays, powders, shampoos and topical liquids are all designed to eliminate and prevent fleas on your dog and its surroundings.