“How to get fleas off my dog?” had been a long mystery to most dog owners. Fleas infesting dogs are one of the most difficult things that pets, as well as pet owners, must deal with. Removing the infesting fleas will have to mean that the owner will spend much money for fur conditioners. In some extreme cases, consultation with the veterinarian is the only solution.
If you’re wondering how you can get fleas off your dogs, you have to be well-informed about the parasite and your dog’s health conditions. Eliminating fleas in your dog’s fur will be easier if you know a few things about the parasite itself.
In making your dog flea-protected, there are also some things you can consider to wipe them out effectively. This includes the physical qualities of your dog, the intensity of the infestation, the budget allotted for treatment and the people living with the dog.
Answering the question: “How to get fleas off my dog?” should begin with knowing your enemies– fleas. Fleas infest dog fur, given that they thrive in warm and humid environments. Aside from having the thriving environment, fleas live on dog fur for the readily available food that they provide.
This follows the idea that they feed on the blood of their host. Fleas live a lifespan of 16 days up to 21 months, varying on the environmental conditions. That means, if the dog is healthy, then the lifetime of the fleas also extend.
Most of the time, fleas shelter themselves in a dog’s abdomen, tail, and back of the head. However, heavy infestation would make you find them almost everywhere in the dog’s body.
Another thing to know about fleas is that they can live even without blood to feed on. Though the health condition of the host contributes to their longevity, they can still survive hungrily. They have this survival ability which allows them to exhaust all their nutrients without immediately dying.
With this factor in consideration, you are required to pluck them off and kill them. This will ensure that you have indeed killed them and will never pester your dog. They do not require a regular meal to get such amount of nutrients and energy.
Life Span and Survival Rates
Aside from their ability to survive, these parasites also reproduce in large numbers. A pair of fleas can produce up to 20, 000 fleas in just a span of three months. With this 20,000 getting enough nutrition from the blood and having perfect thriving conditions, they can drastically grow in numbers.
In their lifespan of 21 months, most fleas manage to live in three different animal hosts as parasites. And within the given lifetime, these fleas undergo four stages of growth. The length of each stage varies depending on the volume of nutrients that the parasite gets. For these stages, the fleas and ticks depend solely on the dog and his coat to survive extreme weather conditions. The food and nutrition that they need will come from the blood of the host, as stated earlier.
With these facts and conditions stated, your question: “How do I get rid of fleas on my dog?” will be quite difficult since the enemy abounds in numbers and survival capability. However, accurately doing processes on how to get rid of fleas on a dog will be very important no matter how difficult.
Signs and Symptoms
To help you figure out if your dog is flea-infested, you could check his or her coat for any sign of “flea dirt” on it. Aside from the flea dirt, another thing that can help you confirm the flea infestation on your dog is the flea eggs. Most of the time, these flea eggs are more easily seen in most dogs.
Any excessive scratching made by your dog is also one good way to determine infestation of fleas. Since the sensation of fleas sucking the blood out of your pet gives him or her a feeling that irritates his skin, the excessive scratching will indeed confirm the infestation. Your flea-infested dog has tendencies to lick and bite himself to get rid of the irritation he or she feels.
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Other physical manifestations of fleas also include evident hair loss, scabs and hot spots, and even pale gums. This effect happens given that the fleas suck the blood out of your dog. Since these parasites suck blood which comes with nutrients, your dog deals with too many contenders for nutrients. The scabs will also be evident considering that fleas have to bite the hosts to suck the blood out of it.
Worse Case Scenario
In some extreme cases, you will also notice that your dog will lose energy. Consider this: Fleas can consume blood up to 5 times their own weight, making your dog prone to losing more blood. Imagine having thousands of ticks and fleas sucking up too much blood from your pet. The volume of blood inside your pet dog could massively drop.
As made evident, this condition will lead to anemia when neglected, an alarming state which could lead to more alarming consequences. Take immediate action regarding this flea infestation effect once you see evident signs on your dog. Signs include pacing of the gums and sudden lack of energy among others. Health conditions like these require faster and more intense action to remove the infesting fleas.
Treatment and Medication
In treating your pet or giving them medications, you will have many factors to consider. These factors were given earlier for your consideration. Aside from those given, the convenience of the method you plan to use will also matter. You need to know the advantages and disadvantages of each method and decide yourself which is suitable for you.
The answer to your question “How to get fleas off my dog” can be settled through this. Once you see the signs and symptoms of flea infestation, it would be best to consult a veterinarian first. This process would be helpful not only in confirming your hypothesis but will also aid you in choosing the appropriate and healthy solution to get rid of the parasites harming your dog.
Remember that chemicals and chemical combinations applied on dogs could be harmful if not evaluated or examined by a professional. Considering these, do not forget or skip the consultation process before taking any action for the welfare of your pet dog. This consultation with your trusted veterinarian will also help you plan flea prevention measures in the future.
Once your vet gives you a medication plan for your pet and substances that the dog will in the process, you should comply with instructions and give proper attention to it.
With consultation, you are ensured with professional advice before proceeding to measures to remove the fleas. Instead of immediately jumping into applying, rubbing or spraying anything, you will figure out which one is more effective. Given that you must also know the current health condition of your pet before medications, professional consultations will be helpful.
Sometimes, what you have seen in your pet is exactly what it is. There are situations in which the symptoms you find are the only confirmation you need. Situations as such will lead you to only spending your money on hearing and knowing the same things twice.
In thinking of ways on how you can remove fleas from your dog, these might have crossed your mind. In some cases, there are products which you can easily avail in the market—even without a vet’s recommendation. These products are guaranteed safe for your dog’s coat and efficient in eliminating fleas. You can choose to buy and use topical insecticides.
Some of these topical insecticides are designed to kill fleas as well as ticks, while some only eliminate the fleas. This will vary according to the kind and concentration of the substances used in the topical insecticide. These are often applied to the back area or coat of your dog, where many fleas hide and feed themselves.
Sprays and Dips
Other substances that will help you to remove fleas from your dog are sprays and dips. Sprays, commonly available in the market, are flea and tick control substance in the form of aerosols or spray bottles. The key for using sprays and removing fleas is not to overdo it by soaking your pet with the substance.
Sprays will be effective when each part of the dog gets an appropriate amount of the aerosol is sprayed on them. Make sure you do not spray these substances directly into your dog’s eyes. For the more delicate parts like ears and eyes, use a cotton swab to apply the substance.
Dips, work like soaps that need to be applied to your dog’s entire body and rinsed later on. This one is pretty similar to the ways sprays work. The only difference is the way to which they are applied. However, be cautious after using a dip and drying your dog.
You must ensure proper ventilation for the dog’s coat to dry up quickly and correctly. Also, be careful so as not to let any amount of this substance reach the eye of your pet dog. Failure to do this may cause severe irritation that will need professional care.
The volume of spray you will have to put around your pet will vary according to his size. The more your dog weighs, the more volume his body and coat have, the more sprays will be required for the optimum effect.
It is very convenient to use since spreading the substance all over your pet is made easy through spraying. It repels the fleas and ticks right on the spot, like an insecticide and kills or immobilize fleas on-the-spot. Aside from that, it does not just repels but makes the hosts’ boat no longer suitable for living for the parasite. Despite this capability of the sprays, the texture and quality of your pet’s coat are not compromised.
Since it spreads everywhere, you may have a hard time applying it near sensitive areas like the eyes and ears. You might have to consider other ways to avoid spraying on these areas. Using sprays will also require you to go somewhere well-ventilated to ensure proper distribution. Aside from that, a properly-ventilated area will secure that you and your pet will not inhale any of the dangerous sprays. As much as this product is effective, it is harmful to humans and animals when inhaled.
There are also ways on how to get rid of fleas on a dog by just wearing a medicated accessory. There are also collars available which help eliminate fleas and ticks. It works once attached properly to the pet, with the appropriate length and fit around your dog’s neck. In using these collars, be sure to check if your dog and its coat show any sign of irritation. The irritation might be caused by one of the substances present in the collar. Once this happens, you should choose a different brand or collar or discontinue using collars in the process.
The advantage of using collars lies in the simplicity of its mechanism. You just have to put it snugly around your pet’s neck and it will do its work. Aside from simplicity in the mechanism, you can also easily avail collars in a supermarket and even in some drugstores. Not only is it readily available, but also very cost-effective.
Also, you can still re-use collars for further use. However, there is a certain intensity of infestation that will allow another usage. This means that the option of re-using the collar will depend on how long the collar had been in use and how effective it remains to be. It can repel fleas once stored in an air-tight bag. You can even place this in certain areas of the house where your dog stays to repel fleas.
Collars won’t always work on dogs. There are cases where a certain amount of medication from the collar does not work. There are also reported scenarios wherein the requirement of more medication from the collar results to skin irritation. And as stated earlier, irritation is possible for the dog and might not completely kill all infesting fleas.
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Oral and Injectable Products
Oral and injectable products may also be used to eliminate the parasites infesting your dog. To utilize this, one must first consult a professional for a comprehensive and laid-out program for the dog. This program will determine how much of the product must include the dog intake, how often and for how long until desired results are excepted to manifest.
It works well as a way of how to get rid of dog fleas without much consideration for the environment. Most programs would recommend that dogs take tablets once a month and visit a veterinarian for an injection every half a year. The program will vary depending on the dog’s health and stamina, as well as the intensity of the flea infestation.
Despite this, the program will only kill younger fleas along with ticks. For this reason, there are also other products that you can buy in order to kill adult fleas, too. This fact is vital since adult fleas are capable of reproducing. Failure to remove them will not work as they can replace those who will die in the program. When asking “How can I remove fleas from my dog?”, your goal is also to prevent them from coming back.
While using these substances, keep in mind that the process of removing fleas does not happen instantly nor easily. You need to be consistent and accurate to successfully eliminate fleas from your dog. Carefully read and follow necessary processes for the optimal effects of the sprays, dips, and collars.
Unlike the sprays, dips and lotions or shampoo, pills are orally ingested and will not risk any animal or human inhaling any harmful substance. It’s also a lot easier to use since you are no longer required to spray or apply something. You just have to simply give it to your dog for him to take in.
This will be quite expensive as you will have to consult a vet first for smooth medications and optimum results. You will have to get prescriptions to guarantee the elimination of the fleas infesting your dog. Also, pills and injectables require the fleas and tick to suck blood before it takes effect to kill them. With this condition, it is not exactly recommended for those who want immediate deaths for the fleas.
A simpler yet very effective way (when utilized correctly) to remove dog fleas is by using flea combs. Though it is often underestimated as a material that can help in flea elimination, it is one of the most easily-accessible and very easy to use. Dogs love personal touches of their owners on them.
Considering that, using a flea comb on them will also be pleasing to them. At the same time, flea combs are helpful in your objective of removing fleas. Flea combs are also good follow-ups to medications previously given to your pet dog (unless otherwise recommended by professional advice). It is also more helpful than manually checking your dog’s coat for fleas then removing one if you see it.
It is beneficial for two reasons. First is that it prevents your dog’s coat from getting tangled. Second is that it captures fleas at the same time. There are no chemicals involved in the process, nothing to worry about inhaling any harmful things or such.
It is a very long process to do, especially if you have a large dog who is heavily-infested with fleas. It is also not advisable for those who already have poor eyesight since it will be hard to spot fleas. The task of removing fleas using flea combs are also difficult for those who have heavily-infested pets. You will have to catch and kill many fleas than you may be capable of.
Another way of how to get rid of fleas on dogs is through cleaning. This process is thorough cleaning and disinfecting the items he or she uses on a daily basis. Also, cleaning the environment in which he moves around and lives is important.
This step is also a crucial part of the process of achieving a flea-free coat for your dog. Vacuum cleaning would be helpful for this matter as in could remove any fleas that could’ve left the dogs fur. This will also prevent parasites from coming back to it when given a chance.
Dog owners should wash all bed sheets, sofa, and other cloth-made items which your dog frequently uses. Washing these will remove anything that will not help you wipe off fleas in your dog such. These include creatures like fleas themselves as well as their ticks. You may also consider fogging to clean up an area, especially the more large ones. You can also try spraying disinfectants on beddings and apply powders on heavy duty areas.
Knowing the answers regarding how to remove fleas off my dog does not simply end with removing. The process also requires that you observe measures to assure that the fleas will not come striking back.
One way of preventing fleas from infesting your dog again is by maintaining cleanliness in the environment of the dog. Be consistent in doing what is suggested in the previous paragraph. This will help in eliminating possible conditions for fleas to inhabit.
Also, you should consider cleaning outdoors as well. Clean your yard as many times as necessary. Cleaning will prevent giving the fleas a warm, moist and humid environment in which they can survive. Remove any organic mess that can serve as flea habitat present in your yards like dried leaves, straw, and grass.
Also, keep in mind that fleas and ticks can stick in your pet’s coat even in cold winter. With that factor considered, you are advised to assure flea protection for 7-12 months. This will completely seal those fleas away from your dog for good.
With all these steps and the appropriate use of the given substances and items, you are slowly inching closer to your goal of making your dog flea-free and flea protected. It will leave you no longer in the mystery of “how to remove fleas off my dog”.