Fleas & Dogs

Most pet parents have experienced a flea problem at least once or twice. Read our basic guide to understand the signs, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of fleas in dogs.

What are the signs that my dog has fleas?

The symptoms of fleas vary from dog to dog. Sometimes, signs show up right away and other times it can take weeks. Here are some things to watch for:

  • Excessive scratching, licking or biting at the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Pale gums
  • Flea Dirt
  • Skin Abrasions
  • Tapeworms

How do I know if my dog has fleas?

The first thing that you’ll want to do is inspect your dog’s skin. Look at their armpits, groin, and ears first for signs of fleas, flea dirt, and flea eggs, along with signs of scratching – blood, scabs, and redness. Next, get a flea comb and run it through the hair along their neck, back, and base of the tail. Finding dark specks (flea dirt) with a flea comb is often easier than finding live fleas. Lastly, if you haven’t found fleas, but suspect your dog has them, contact your veterinarian. They will help you determine if fleas are a problem for your dog and what steps you can take next.

Next, get a flea comb and run it through the hair along their neck, back, and base of the tail. Finding dark specks (flea dirt) with a flea comb is often easier than finding live fleas. Lastly, if you haven’t found fleas, but suspect your dog has them, contact your veterinarian. They will help you determine if fleas are a problem for your dog and what steps you can take next.

Lastly, if you haven’t found fleas, but suspect your dog has them, contact your veterinarian. They will help you determine if fleas are a problem for your dog and what steps you can take next.

How do I get rid of fleas if my dog has them?

When it comes to fleas and your dog, you’ll not only need to treat your dog but also your house and anything your dog has come into contact with.

In Your House

  • Vacuum your floors, furniture edges, drapes, under cushions, and even cracks in the floor.
  • Some situations require carpet powders, flea bombs, and sprays.
  • Wash your bedding and any furniture.
  • Wash your pet’s furniture, bedding, and toys on the hottest water setting possible.

On Your Dog

Depending on the severity of the infestation, here are some things you can use:

  • Flea Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Flea Spray
  • Flea Combs
  • Oral Medication

Keep in mind that you need to treat all the pets in your household, not just the ones that go outside. Even indoor cats get fleas!

How can I prevent fleas in my dog?

The key to keeping fleas off your dog is using preventive medications. There are a variety of products out there to prevent fleas in dogs including:

  • Oral & Topical Medications: There are both prescription and non-prescription oral medications that prevent fleas. Talk to your veterinarian about both options to see what’s right for your dog.
  • Flea Collars
  • Flea Spray

Additional Information About Fleas

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Whether you’re concerned that your dog might have fleas, or you’ve found an infestation already – we’re here to help. Download our app and chat with one of our veterinarians for FREE! You can ask all of your flea related questions anytime.

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