Fleas are an annoyance. These tiny, blood-sucking parasites irritate your dog and infest your home — often before you envision it. Flea bites can cause intense scratching, red and flaky skin, scabs, hot spots, and hair loss in many dogs. Additionally, fleas might result in anemia and tapeworm.
Fleas prefer animal hosts but will bite humans if animals are not available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They can spread disease-causing germs by feeding on hosts or through fecal contamination, which occurs when infected flea feces are scratched into an open wound.
If you’ve been scratching your head and wondering how to kill dog fleas, we’ve got you covered. Here are the four steps you must take How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Dogs of these unwanted freeloaders.
Table of Contents
1. Recognize the Flea Life Cycle
The first step is to comprehend the adversary. Fleas go via four phases of evolution:
Adults feed on animals such as your dog, where they digest blood and lay eggs. A female flea can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day. These eggs hatch in one to ten days and spread throughout your home and yard whenever your dog scratches, shakes or lies down.
They then hatch into larvae capable of moving around the host and feeding on blood and flea dirt (digested blood from the adult fleas). They form cocoons during the pupa stage, where they wait for several days or up to a year — preferably in the comfort of your carpet, sofa, or bed — until a warm-bodied host appears. They hatch, grow, and invade their animal announcers, such as your dog.
It’s important to understand these stages because different flea treatments for dogs address different stages of the flea’s life cycle, so read the label and follow the directions before using any flea elimination products.
2. Prevention and Care
The finest way to deal with fleas is prevention. Flea and tick repellents kill fleas that come into contact with your dog, preventing them from entering your home in the first place. There are numerous options available, ranging from flea collars to topical liquid applications and pills. Consult your veterinarian about the best flea preventative for your puppy or dog.
If your dog already has fleas, these preventatives will kill them; however, you may need to take more aggressive measures, such as a prescription preventative. You can also use flea shampoo or quick-acting chemical treatment, such as a flea pill, to kill the fleas on your dog in a matter of hours. Again, consult your dog’s veterinarian for recommendations.
3. Remove Fleas from Your Home
Killing fleas on your dog is only one part of the solution. You must also figure out how to get rid of fleas in your home. Patience is required. It can take three to four months to get rid of a flea infestation because this is how long it takes for all of the fleas in your home to go through their life stages.
Here are the steps you must take to get rid of fleas in your home:
- All dog beds and faint dog toys should be cleaned in hot, soapy water. Repeat this methodology as needed until the infestation is gone.
- In hot water, wash your own bedding, throw rugs, bath mats, and any blanket or cushion where your dog likes to sleep.
- Vacuum all carpets, hardwood floors, linoleum and tiled floors, curtains, and upholstered furniture, and immediately dispose of the vacuum bag in an outside garbage can. To ensure that all stages are addressed, you will need to vacuum on a regular basis.
- Select and apply an environmental flea control spray or fogger that treats all stages of fleas, or contact a local exterminator.
- Choose a spray, pellet, or nontoxic flea treatment for your yard and apply it. Maintaining short grass and brush will also make your yard less appealing to fleas and ticks. Repair fences to keep raccoons, rabbits, and other flea-carrying wildlife out of your yard.
- If your dog has recently ridden in your car, you should vacuum the seats.
- Continue to administer a monthly preventative to your dog and any other pets.
- During flea season, keep your dog away from strange dogs and make sure his puppy playmates are flea-free.
4. Consult Your Veterinarian
When in doubt, consult an expert. Inquire with your veterinarian about how to get rid of fleas on dogs; vets are up to date on the latest flea treatments and preventatives and can assist you in determining the best and safest treatment option for you and your dog.