Fleas are quite literally a pest, they can be a problem for many dogs and dog owners. It can feel a little embarrassing to find fleas on your dog, as there is an assumption that fleas live in an unhygienic environment.
What Are Fleas?
A flea is a bloodsucking insect, they are small (about 1/12 inch), wingless, dark brown or black, six-legged insects that look flat from side to side. Fleas have been known to jump as far as 13 inches, about 200 times their own body length.
Fleas can be picked up very easily out on walks, fleas can jump so they can transfer easily from one dog to another. Once a flea makes contact with your dog it can lay up hundreds of eggs. Fleas go through 4 life cycle stages,
Egg- Shed by a female flea in the environment.
Larvae- The eggs hatch into Larvae, these are free moving and feed on blood and flea faeces in order to continue their development.
Puppa- Larvae then spin into a cacoon until the fleas are ready to emerge.
Adult- Fleas then emerge only when the conditions are right and there is enough blood meal readily available.
How To Tell If Your Dog Has Fleas?
There are a few ways to tell if your dog has fleas:
Itching, excessive scratching or chewing skin.
Check for any flea bites.
Take a good look at your dog's coat- part the hair and take a good look, fleas are very small but they can be spotted by the human eye. Fleas can jump and crawl. You may also spot flea dirt, which looks like teeny tiny grains of sand. You can use a flea comb to use to comb through your dog's coat, this will pick out any fleas
My Dog Has Fleas: What Do I Do?
Give your dog a bath straight away and use a special flea shampoo.
Comb your dog using a Flea comb.
Vacuum your house thoroughly, including rugs, carpets and furniture.
Vacuum the car.
I recommend using a Flea Bomb or Flea Powder to help kill and get rid of Fleas in your home.
Wash all bedding and blankets that your dog is in contact with.
Keep up to date with Flea prevention treatment.