Help, My Dog Has Fleas!

Chihuahua scratching fleas

This is a common plea to many veterinarians. But just what do you know about fleas; these tiny little biting insects, and how do you get rid of them?

There are many species, although the most common type to live on a dog interestingly is a species known as the cat flea.

Many of this species will even feed on birds, should the opportunity arise. But it doesn't matter what the actual species is infesting and biting your dog, they are a nuisance that can make your pet and your family miserable...

Graphic of insect

To begin with the adult female can lay up to 50 eggs per day and approximately 2000 in a lifetime!

Other Interesting Facts

  • Some pets eat 50-90 percent off their bodies
  • A female ingests an average of 15 times her body weight in blood daily
  • Up to 5,000 may live on a dog at one time without treatment
  • They can jump as high as 13 inches

Once on your pet they can easily spread to your house or yard or vice versa, so you must treat both your pet and your pet's environment.

The worst part is if your pet has long hair it’s more difficult to spot them before you have a major infestation. Multiply that effect if you have more than one, and then again if they are outdoor pets.

Flea shampoos, dips, sprays, combing, and collars can be effective, but generally don’t have a lasting effect.

With recent advances in these control products, many topical insecticides like products are available now that last for one month of control.

Ridding your pet is a lot easier than ridding your carpet, furniture or your entire home of these prolific, biting little creatures.

If this becomes a problem you will need to bomb your home with foggers, stay out for at least three to four hours. A lot more costly but a must do or you will be fighting an endless battle.

Preventive Care and Products

Preventive care is the best and easiest way to go. The most popular products on the market today are Advantage, Frontline or Revolution, these are applied directly to the pet's skin, they are toxic to the adult insect, and provide quick relief.

Some also provide protection against ticks which is great if you live in a rural area or you take your dog camping with you.

Talk with your vet before using any insect control product on your pet and make sure you use the right dosage.

An important warning - Some flea control treatments for dogs can be deadly if given to cats instead, make sure you use the right product.

Talk to your vet about these products, you can purchase them at your local pet supply store.


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