Ask any pet owner what they dread the most, and you will inevitably find them complaining about fleas!
These dark brown tiny insects are a horrible infestation and create a headache for dog owners.
The worst bit is that they are readily available all year round. If you fear that your dog has fleas, you should seek professional help on how to get rid of them.
However, there are plenty of home remedies available that you can try to successfully get rid of these pests! But how to tell if a dog has fleas or just dry skin? So first, let’s find out what fleas look like on a dog.
- Are Fleas Parasites?
- How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Fleas?
- What Home Remedies Get Rid Of Fleas On Dogs?
- Which Vinegar Kills Fleas?
- What Are Some Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Sand Fleas?
- Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Fleas In Carpet
- How To Get Rid Of Flea Eggs?
- Can Fleas Live On Humans?
- Are Fleas Harmful To Humans?
- What Are The Signs Of Fleas In The House?
- Where Do Fleas Live In The House?
- Are Fleas Attracted To The Light?
- When Are Fleas Most Active?
- Are Cat Fleas And Dog Fleas Different?
Are Fleas Parasites?
Fleas are an ectoparasite, an external parasite that affects dogs and lives on the outside of the dogs’ bodies. You will notice black dots on your dog's skin, which is a clear indicator of fleas.
These fleas also lack wings and tend to jump from one position to the next in the fur of your dog's skin. (When you are dealing with these pests, they might even jump onto your skin!)
You should also know what flea eggs look like on a dog. Flea eggs are usually off-white, oval-shaped, and found in the bedding of your dog's fur. They are usually difficult to identify and may seem like salt or dandruff on your pet's body.
How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Fleas?
Adult fleas are quite visible to the naked eye; however, they move fast and are hard to capture. They are usually black, brown, or reddish-brown color and have six legs.
How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Fleas?
This brings us to our next course of discussion. How can you tell if your dog has fleas? This is because flea eggs can easily be mistaken for dry skin, and most pet owners find it difficult to notice if their pet has a flea problem.
Here are 3 general signs to look out for.
- Your pet's skin might look red and bumpy.
- Your dog might also express discomfort and scratch away at his skin.
- You'll notice red pimples or bumps, especially near your dog's groin or belly, under the legs, and near the rump.
These fleas are quite visible to the naked eye, and if you look close enough, you might even see them jumping from here to there. Finding flea eggs is a bit more difficult but not entirely impossible; you can closely inspect the deep bedding of your dog's fur for larvae or flea eggs.
You would want to use a flea comb to filter out fleas and feces/flea dirt for a proper inspection. Having your dog stand on a white paper towel while you do so will make it easier to identify any flea dirt or fleas.
What Home Remedies Get Rid Of Fleas On Dogs?
You will be glad to know that most fleas are pretty easy to get rid of and may not always require that you go to the vet. You can try some home remedies instead;
1. Use ACV To Make A Flea Repellant Spray
Using apple cider vinegar mixed with water is the best home remedy to get rid of fleas on a dog. The slightly acidic pH levels in apple cider vinegar will create an unwelcoming environment for the fleas. So while this won’t kill fleas, it will repel them.
You will have to use a diluted form of apple cider vinegar with a 1:3 ratio of apple cider vinegar to the water. Your pet might be resistant to the smell of the concoction if it is any more concentrated.
Add the homemade flea repellant into a clean spray bottle and apply it directly to your pet's fur coat.
Avoid spraying onto areas with open cuts or sores; this may cause discomfort to your pet. Also, avoid your pet's eyes as the solution may sting.
Make the experience as calm for your pet as possible, so they easily adjust to the process.
Once you apply the solution, work it on the dog’s fur with your hands and let it dry.
Do not wash it off. Instead, wait for up to twenty minutes and then use a flea comb to brush out any fleas. You should repeat this process every couple of days to be fully effective.
Which Vinegar Kills Fleas?
Note that you can make the same flea repellant using white vinegar; however, some pets simply prefer the smell of apple cider vinegar, so it might be preferable. Distilled vinegar work well too.
2. Give Your Dog A Bath
The second method is to bathe your dog. When doing so, mix in gentle herbal shampoo to wash your dog. This will help drown adult fleas and make it easier to remove them. However, be mindful of bathing your pet too often as this can dry out their skin.
PETA warns against using flea pesticide shampoos as they are toxic for your pet; water and soap are enough to kill fleas on their own.
The same is said for flea collars, powders, sprays, or dips, as they contain harmful chemicals. Some may even cause disease and, in the worst case, death. So, be sure to avoid them at all costs.
What Are Some Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Sand Fleas?
Sand fleas are pretty similar to dog fleas; they too hop from one place to the next. They usually burrow deep into the sand where they reside.
However, you might run into a sand flea problem in homes near sand and wet areas. Sometimes your pets might also carry in such fleas after a trip to the beach.
There are some natural and effective home remedies to get rid of fleas in your yard home and your home. You can use these home remedies to get rid of fleas on furniture as well.
For example, you can use diatomaceous earth, a talc-like powder made from silica. Sprinkle this on your carpet, bedding, and furniture and leave it for a few hours.
This powder will dehydrate sand fleas and leave them to die. Once you let them sit for nearly 24 hours, use a vacuum to clear away the dead pests and powder. It is one of the top home remedies to get rid of fleas in your house.
Diatomaceous earth is quite safe and not poisonous; you will find it readily available at home improvement stores. However, it can be harmful if inhaled, so keep your pets away from the infected area while you clear away the pests.
2 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Fleas In Carpet
What if you get fleas on the carpet? What home remedies may be effective in this scenario?
You can use baking soda as a flea home remedy. Lay down the baking soda along your carpet and furniture and use a brush to rub it into the carpet. Once done, leave for a while before you vacuum your home thoroughly.
You can also use salt for the same effect. Sprinkle salt over your carpets and leaves to rest for 1-2 days. Then vacuum your home and empty the contents in an outside trash can.
How To Get Rid Of Flea Eggs?
Fleas are primarily hard to kill because they are hard to capture and reproduce eggs at an extremely fast rate. To truly get rid of fleas, you should also be targeting flea eggs.
Be sure to vacuum your home thoroughly while treating your pet's fur. This can remove a large portion of flea eggs from your home since adult flea eggs tend to fall into the environment, usually your home carpet.
You can also use our previously mentioned salt and baking soda remedy to get rid of both fleas and flea eggs from your home.
Can Fleas Live On Humans?
Fleas can jump up to quite a distance when fully grown, even onto a human’s skin.
Fleas do not live in the human body since we lack substantial hair like animals.
Are Fleas Harmful To Humans?
Fleas can be harmful to us.
Fleas can then bite your skin, usually on the feet, ankles, or legs. Flea bites on humans can look like a small scale on your skin or tiny red marks that are swollen, almost like a mosquito bite.
While these small bites might annoy more than harm, they can become dangerous if your flea infestation grows out of control. This is because flea bites can still spread other diseases such as flea-borne spotted fever, typhus, and cat scratch fever.
What Are The Signs Of Fleas In The House?
There are plenty of signs that might tell you that you have a growing flea infestation that needs to be taken care of. Some signs you need to look out for include the following:
- Your pets expressing discomfort, excessively scratching and biting their skin
- Pets losing patches of hair due to constant scratching
- Flea bites and bumps on your pet's skin, particularly around the ankles
- Flea dirt or dust like red-brown/black specs around your home, particularly on the carpet.
- Fleas hopping on your carpet or furniture
- Dot-like insects residing in your pet's fur
Where Do Fleas Live In The House? Where Do Fleas Hide?
Fleas can live anywhere in the house, but they are often found in areas where your pet spends a lot of time.
This could be in your pet’s bedding, on their favorite piece of furniture, or on your bed if they sleep with you.
Are Fleas Attracted To The Light?
Fleas prefer dark places where they can hide from predators and humans. This is why you often see them in cracks and crevices around the house or on your pet itself.
When Are Fleas Most Active?
Fleas are most active during the warmer months of the year. However, they can survive year-round in homes and other indoor environments.
Are Cat Fleas And Dog Fleas Different?
Cat fleas are a different species than dog fleas. However, they both look quite similar and may not be easily distinguishable unless observed under a microscope.
What’s more, cat fleas are a lot more common than dog fleas. The majority of the North American flea problems tend to be cat flea-related. However, dog fleas still appear now and then.
Can Cat Fleas Live On Dogs?
Yes, cat fleas can live on dogs. They will often choose to do so if given the opportunity.
This is because fleas are not host-specific, meaning they will feed on any animal they come into contact with. This means that your dog could be harboring a population of fleas that are intended for your cat.
If you think that your dog may have fleas, it is vital to take them to the vet for a check-up and get treatment. If left untreated, fleas can cause anemia in dogs due to the blood loss that they cause. In extreme cases, this can be fatal.
Can A Cat Get Fleas From A Dog?
Yes, cats can get fleas from dogs. If a dog has fleas, those fleas can jump onto a cat and start biting and feeding off of them.
Want to know more about Cat flea solutions? See What do Fleas look like on cats?
So now you know what fleas look like on dogs and home remedies to get rid of these vexing fleas.
If you notice signs such as black dots on your dog’s skin, red and bumpy skin, increased discomfort, and excessive scratching, your dog might be a victim of fleas.
But worry not because you can easily eliminate these fleas with some simple home remedies such as using a homemade vinegar flea repellent spray and giving your dog a bath with regular soap and water.
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