Killing fleas on dogs has many specific features primarily connected to the behavior and biology of these insects. How to get rid of fleas on dogs is known by perhaps everyone who at least once had a dog as a pet. But at the very moment you realize: “my dog has fleas!”, you may be puzzled or take wrong steps in removing the insects.
If you face the problem of red fleas for the first time, you probably will panic and ask many questions like “Can fleas kill a dog?” or “What to use for fleas on dogs?” Good news is that fleas are the least dangerous animals’ parasites because fleas infestation very rarely leads to serious illnesses or death of an animal. Even though fleas carry pathogens of serious diseases, they rarely infect pets with them. Besides, most pets are vaccinated from these diseases.
The main danger is that fleas carry helminth eggs, which can transform into colonies of worms. That is why it is necessary to treat fleas on dogs, and if your pet is infested, you should take measures to get fleas off your dog as soon as possible.
General Rules For Fleas Control
What to do when your dog has fleas? Before you start looking for tips on how to get rid of dog fleas, you must first make sure that your dog suffers exactly from fleas. It can happen that your pet is bothered by some other parasites. “Does my dog have fleas?” The following tips will help you to find it out:
- Your pet constantly scratches itself in different places. If your dog scratches, for example, only its ear or a particular spot on its body, it may be a sign of a tick attack. Carefully inspect the place your dog scratches to find out the reason of itching;
- You can find white grains in your dog’s fur that look like salt. They are flea eggs. You can also see black and white spots that are easy to remove from fur. They are flea droppings;
- If your pet likes to be in water, you can see how fleas move to the animal’s head or jump into the water, while your dog is swimming;
- Finally, you can simply comb your dog. Many parasites will remain on the comb.
How To Kill Fleas On Dogs
It is very difficult to determine where your pet can catch fleas. Sometimes the owners themselves bring insects into the house on their clothes or shoes. While being outside your dog can get fleas almost everywhere.
Here are some important clues on how to kill fleas on dogs fast:
- Act quickly. It is easier to stop fleas on dogs when you take immediate actions. These insects reproduce very rapidly and already a few weeks after the infestation they severely bother your pet. Furthermore, the more fleas live on your dog, the more difficult it is to remove them;
- Choose the right treating. Before you try any remedy, it is necessary to find out what medicine is available and decide what medication to use in every particular case. Try not to believe seller’s or manufacturer’s promises but look for the reviews of experienced breeders, who have already tried many ways to kill fleas and know the best treatment;
- Strictly follow the instructions to the chosen remedy. Generally, all means against fleas require repetition of the procedure after a certain period. If you skip it, fleas will attack your pet again;
- Observe the prevention measures. Do not let your dog play with stray animals, avoid places where there is a possibility to catch fleas.
Many people find the second tip the most difficult to fulfil. Indeed, there are so many various means to keep fleas off your dog. You can find dozens of remedies on the market today and most of them are effective, but for each dog it is better to choose one of them and use it every time to cure your pet from fleas.
If you know what kills fleas on your dog, you can always save a considerable amount of money which you would have to spend in veterinary clinics for the same procedure.
It is important to remember that no remedy kills fleas forever, because fleas can infest your dog everywhere. Therefore, even if you have found the best dog fleas treatment that removed all the fleas from your dog once, you will have to use in future.
Repelling Flea Drops
Flea drops are the most easy to use on a dog with fleas. According to the instruction, you should apply a certain amount of drops on your dog’s withers, so that the animal cannot lick the remedy away. Do not let your dog swim or get wet for some time after the procedure.
Each remedy has its own active component which determines its efficiency. However, there are some disadvantages of flea drops. They are relatively expensive and in some cases even toxic for animals and humans. Only a few of them can be used for puppies up to six months old.
However, there are nontoxic drops to be found which you can use for treatment of puppies and pregnant or lactating dogs. All flea drops have their own distinctive features of use and should be used strictly according to their instructions. Drops are the fastest way to kill fleas in cases when the dog is bathed infrequently.
Flea collars are also very effective means against fleas. Among their advantages are their constant action, the possibility to bathe the dog at any time and simplicity of use.
However, collars have certain disadvantages:
- they are toxic and can cause severe poisoning;
- they are not used for puppies under 6 months and dogs over 10 years old, sick and convalescent animals, pregnant and lactating dogs. In some cases collars can cause dermatitis which is more dangerous than the fleas themselves.
- pine sawdust;
Collars do not kill fleas; they just repel the insects. You can use collars to remove fleas in a dog and to protect it from new infestation. If you want to try a collar for your dog, it is important to consult a veterinarian about the choice of a particular product.
Shampoos For Fleas
Shampoos against fleas are the least effective means. Their action lasts for maximum 5-7 days. Besides, not every dog likes bathing.
Usually flea shampoos are recommended for puppies, because it is easy to bathe them once a week. However, it is wise to use a little amount of a shampoo for the first time. In this way you can see the reaction of a puppy to the remedy. Carry out the procedure very carefully, because your puppy may experience side effects, such as fever and vomiting.
Adult dogs actively lick themselves when they are wet, that is why using shampoos for them can be sometimes even dangerous. Before you buy a certain product, ask for the reviews from people who already used it.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to kill fleas just with a shampoo, so you will have to use it together with some other remedy.
Sprays For Dogs
The best way to kill fleas on dogs instantly is to use sprays for fleas. They work like drops, remaining on animal’s fur and repelling or killing the insects. However, they are more effective because they cover the whole body of your animal.
Sprays are complicated in usage, as you must apply them only in the fresh air and wearing gloves, you should not touch dog’s fur after treatment and you should keep it from licking itself for several hours. Though the majority of sprays are low toxic, dog’s licking them reduces their effectiveness and sometimes provokes side effects such as fever, vomiting and breath problems. In rare cases dogs can develop allergies or dermatitis.
The optimal situation for getting rid of fleas on dogs using a spray is a long walk. In this case, the dog will not be able to lick the spray off and several hours will be enough for the spray to start acting against fleas.
Pills Against Fleas
Using pills is a dubious treatment, and experienced breeders rarely use it, because pills often cause various disorders in dogs. Most often pills do not allow you to get rid of the animal parasites completely. Never exceed the specified dosage as it can lead to serious poisoning.
Home Remedies For Fleas On Dogs
Natural remedies for fleas are less effective than medicine, but they are safe for pets and their hosts. Decoction of wormwood, tansy or daisy will not do any harm to a dog, but it can kill or at least repel fleas. If you use home remedies for fleas on dogs regularly you can protect your dog from flea infestation.
Most effective herbs against fleas are:
You can use these herbs to prepare home remedies for getting rid of fleas on dogs from them. Use them to bathe your dog or treat its fur. In addition to safety, such herbs are easy to get almost everywhere.
While using any remedy for fleas, it is important to follow the instructions and repeat the procedure after some time. In any case, before using any means it is better to consult a veterinarian.