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Fleas are prevalent and annoying parasites. They bite, and they spread quickly. If left untreated, they can even cause some more serious conditions! Here are some tips on how to spot them on your best friend.
Scratching and Biting
If you notice your dog scratching and biting at their fur more than usual, that could be the first sign of a flea infestation. Flea bites are painful, and their saliva can irritate your dog’s skin. Fleas usually set up shop in hard to reach places, such as the head, behind the ears, the tail, and groin area, so those are the ones you should check first.
Check your dog’s skin for redness, small bumps, and irritation. Fleabites tend to be smaller than regular insect bites, so check thoroughly. Dog fleas don’t shy away from biting humans, so you might notice red, itchy bumps on yourself as well.
Comb Their Fur With a Flea Comb
Get your dog on a white towel or cloth, and brush their fur with a flea comb. If your dog has fleas, you will see pepper-like specks on the towel. Adult fleas are small, brown bugs, and you should be able to recognize them easily. Have a bowl with soapy water on hand to dip the comb in, so you can drown any fleas you comb out.
Ergo Flea Comb, clear.
Check the Environment
If your dog has fleas, you’ll find flea dirt everywhere. Check your dog’s bed and other favourite spots for ‘salt and pepper’ specks. The white specks are flea eggs, and the black ones are flea droppings. You can check if black spots are flea droppings by dissolving them in water; they will turn red because they’re mostly blood.
Set a Flea Trap
At nighttime, put out a bowl of water with soap, and place a nightlight over it. If there are fleas around, they will be drawn to the light, and they will drown in the water. Make sure to keep the dog in a different room so they don’t accidentally drink the soapy water.
Mains powered flea traps are also available to buy if you’d rather not leave out soapy bowls of water. This flea trap heat lamp mimics warm-blooded animals to attract fleas from bedding and carpets over a 10-metre radius.
More Serious Symptoms
Fleas are common, but they’re not harmless. Fleas can carry tapeworm eggs, which they will transfer to your dog. If your dog has tapeworm, you will notice white tapeworm segments in their stool. A serious flea infestation can give your dog anaemia because of the large loss of blood. Pale gums are a sign of anaemia. Your dog could also experience hair loss. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should consult your vet for treatment options.
Keep up with your flea treatments and regularly worm your dog to keep them healthy and happy.