Posted on Apr 19th 2021
Does your best friend seem itchier than usual? If you’ve noticed your dog scratching, licking, or biting his or her skin more than usual, they’ve likely come into contact with fleas. These parasites are common for dogs and cause a wide variety of issues, from extreme itchiness to hair loss and skin infections. Fortunately, with a little bit of patience, you can successfully remove fleas and take steps to prevent them from coming back.
Signs and Symptoms of Fleas
If your poor pal has a case of the fleas, you may notice:
- Excessive scratching
- Licking and biting, often to the point of creating open sores
- Bald patches and red, irritated skin
- Raised bumps or scabs on the skin
- Seeing flea dirt or live fleas on your dog
How to Remove an Active Infestation
Once you’ve confirmed that your dog is indeed infested with fleas, you’ll need to take action to kill and remove these parasites. Various products are recommended for flea treatment, from shampoos and powders to medications. Your treatment protocol will depend on how badly your dog is infested. It’s possible your pup just picked up a flea or two from a romp in the dog park. If this is the case, less aggressive treatment will work just fine. If your dog is infested, however, you’ll need to try a combination of therapies. A bath with flea shampoo can take care of most adult fleas, and a brush out with a fine comb will remove any larvae stuck in your dog’s fur.
At Wag n’ Wash you will find flea shampoos at our self-wash stations. If you’re dropping your dog off for professional grooming, alert the groomer to the flea situation and he or she will use flea-removing products during the grooming session. Our flea shampoos also kill bugs, larva and eggs of dog lice.
Regular Flea Prevention
You should also regularly treat your dog with flea prevention medicine. It’s always best to check with your veterinarian about their recommendations for flea treatment and prevention, especially if your dog has allergies or sensitive skin.
Wag n’ Wash stores also carry natural flea-deterring products, which can help keep your dog bite and itch-free!
Exterminating Fleas in Your Home
Treating your pet is only the first step in tackling a flea infestation. The lifecycle of these parasites makes a one-and-done treatment ineffective. While shampoos and medications remove fleas from your dog, there may still be fleas around your home. You must treat your home to prevent re-infection from occurring.
- Wash all bedding (dog and human!) and slipcovers for furniture in hot, soapy water and/or with flea treatment products.
- Vacuum, steam clean and treat carpeting with flea-killing products.
- Use chemical treatments for your home, or contact a professional pest control company that offers flea extermination.
Protecting Your Dog From Fleas
Dogs pick up fleas from the outdoor environment or from other dogs that are infested with fleas. The best way to deal with a flea infestation is prevention. Medications that protect your dog from fleas offer months of prevention - talk with your vet to see which brand and dosage is right for your dog. Frequent grooming will also help keep fleas in check as professional dog groomers know how to spot and remove fleas.
While spotting a flea on your best friend is an awful sight, it’s a common occurrence for any dog owner. Unfortunately, these parasites are resilient and found all over the environment. With the proper treatment and prevention steps, however, you can protect your pet from the itchy consequences of these nasty bugs.