Fleas are common pests that have been known to cause havoc on the bodies of living organisms. Fleas are mostly attracted to living organisms since that is where they get their food, blood.
In as much as fleas can attack any living organism, they are mostly attracted to dogs. That is why you will hear so many cases of dogs receiving treatment after a flea infestation.
Since this is already a known menace, it should be dealt with appropriately. Let us take a closer look into the issue of fleas on dogs and everything around it.
Identify Fleas on Your Dog
Every time a dog is itchy, owners ask themselves whether the dog has fleas. It is true that flea infestation causes itching, but, not all itches are caused by fleas. So how do you identify fleas?
The first part of flea identification on dogs is knowing how fleas look like. One of the most important things you need to know is that fleas are small insects with flat bodies.
They come in a wide variety of colours. Some fleas are red, others are black, and there are others that are brown.
One factor that distinguishes fleas from other insects is the lack of wings. They usually use their six long legs to get onto the body of a dog. The legs are so long that they can jump to great heights to get onto the host.
The dark colour of their coats makes it difficult for you to see them using the naked eye. This is why you should be keen on looking at the dog’s fur for flea dirt. Flea dirt is the waste released by fleas.
With background information fleas, the process of identification becomes smother. One way of checking for fleas on your dog is by using the white towel test. All you have to do is lay the dog on its side on top of a white towel.
You then begin brushing its fur continuously. If you notice any specks of dirt falling off the dog, then there is a problem. There is a high possibility that your dog has fleas.
This is because flea dirt usually looks like speaks of dirt (what you just saw). Flea dirt is a mixture of flea poop and blood. Therefore, where flea dirt exists, so do fleas.
Treat Your Dog for Fleas
There are several pesticides on the market that can kill fleas and their larvae. Killing the larvae is important as it ensures that the dog becomes and remains flea-free.
The best thing to do when buying pesticide is checking its ingredients. The pesticide you choose should contain methoprene or pyriproxyfen.
The most common pesticides are spot-on treatments. Their effectiveness makes them popular among dog owners. However, there are is one thing that you should know when using spot-on treatments.
Your dog should not be bathed for 4-5 days before or after applying spot-on flea treatments. This is because most spot-on treatments usually move to the subcutaneous layer of the dog’s skin. This makes their bodies inhabitable for fleas.
If you bathe them too close to the application day, natural oils would not be available in plenty. Little amounts of natural oils cannot carry out the migration. Also, when you wash the dog immediately after applying the pesticide, the water may wash it away.
Please note, that fleas will also also bite humans, and can cause infections. So treating your dog or other pets for fleas is crucial for your own health too.
Prevent Fleas from Getting on Your Dog
One of the ways of preventing fleas from getting onto your dog is through vacuuming. The breeding areas of fleas are normally in carpets, dog beddings, and other related areas.
Basically, these are the areas they normally live in. Therefore, make sure you vacuum them frequently. This ensures that you eradicate them before they even get on to your dog.
Flea prevention is also possible through the application of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is not a common product in the fight against fleas. This is because it does not actually kill fleas but repels them.
In case there are fleas on the dogs’ skin already, this mixture makes them jump off the dog. All in all, it is an effective product when you want to prevent fleas from attacking your dog. For great results, mix apple cider vinegar with water.
After properly mixing the two liquids, place the mixture in a spray bottle. Thereafter spray it onto your dogs’ skin and allow it to take effect.
Flea collars are also a great way of warding off fleas. A flea collar is a normal dog collar that has been medicated with certain drugs. Fleas are usually affected negatively by these drugs. This then makes them stay away from dogs with flea collars.
The best place to put the flea collar is on the dog’s neck. This is because, fleas usually love attacking the dog’s head, ears and neck. With a flea collar in place, the fleas will be discouraged from attacking the dog.
Neem oil is one of the best ways of preventing fleas from getting onto your dog. Neem oil is a unique type of oil that is extracted from the neem tree. The tree is native to India.
One way of using neem oil is by diluting it with grapeseed oil. The resultant mixture is then applied to all parts of the dog’s body. Another way of using neem oil is by adding it to the dog’s shampoo.
Fleas suck blood from the bodies of dogs. That means that there are high chances of dogs getting anaemia. Furthermore, fleas are known to transfer tapeworms to dogs which is very risky.
The fact it is dangerous to have fleas on dogs means that eradication measures should be put in place. A great way of clearing fleas is by using pesticides. Getting rid of fleas is great.
However, you should also put a lot of effort in prevention. There are so many ways of preventing flea infestations. One of the ways is by applying neem oil on the dog.
You can also vacuuming carpets and beddings. Even with all this, it important to visit a veterinary doctor. This helps in case there might have been severe damages on the dog due to any flea bites.