If you are a dog owner, the very idea of your pet getting fleas is a worrying thought. These tiny parasites feed off the blood of dogs and could quickly become a problem for you in your home. Once your dog is affected, the next target is your furniture and then your family.

 

What to do if a dog has fleas?

Even though fleas are very small they can still be seen with the naked eye. They are almost 2.5 millimeters long and have legs so strong that they can jump up to 13 inches in distance. The life cycle of a flea is 18 to 21 days.

Fleas have four stages in their life cycle, which are:

    • Egg
    • Larva
    • Pupa
    • Adult

Adult fleas live on your dog and lay eggs there. These eggs can be scattered everywhere when your dog scratches or lies down. If your dog has fleas follow the steps below to get rid of them …

 

How do I get rid of fleas on my dog?

Below are the best remedies to remove fleas …

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Mix 5 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with half a pint of warm water. Add in one tablespoon of Sea Salt and put into a sprayable container. Spray the solution directly on the dog’s skin, avoiding the eyes. This will kill any fleas on your dog.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be a very useful treatment in the fight against fleas. The following oils are all-natural flea repellants and can help naturally treat your dog…

      • Eucalyptus
      • Citronella
      • Tea Tree Oil
      • Peppermint
      • Rosemary 

You can use any of these essential oils. Mix a few drops of the oil in water (300-400ml) to dilute. Dilution is necessary as some essential oils such as Tea Tree Oil can be toxic to dogs if it is not properly diluted. Spray directly onto your dog’s skin. Try to avoid contact with the eyes and mouth. 

Flea Shampoo

If your dog suffers from fleas, give him a warm bath and use flea removal shampoo. Visit your local Pet store for guidance on which product to use. 

Flea Collar

You can use a store-bought or homemade flea collar to repel fleas from your dog. This will provide your dog with constant protection against fleas. You can easily make a homemade flea collar by adding a few drops of essential oil to their collar.

Flea Comb 

Flea combs are designed in such a way that they trap fleas. They also help remove dirt or flea feces from your dog’s fur. While combing your pet, be sure to comb the tail and neck carefully because these are the main places where fleas tend to feed.

If you find any fleas on the comb, soak it in hot soapy water to kill the fleas. Fleas can jump out quickly, so don’t try to squash them.

 

How do fleas affect your dog?

Fleas can seriously affect your dog’s health and, if left untreated, they will make your dog seriously ill. This is why it is important to check your dog regularly for fleas. Fleas can cause certain conditions in dogs, such as:

Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)

Common symptoms that appear in flea allergy dermatitis are excessive licking, scratching, and biting at the groin, tail, or backside. On occasion, bumps or scabs may appear on the back of the neck.

If the condition is not treated, it will develop into a painful sore, hot spots, or a bacterial skin infection.

Flea-Bite Anemia

Like humans, red blood cells are also important for dogs to keep their bodies energetic and healthy. A dog that suffers from a flea bite can develop flea bite anemia. This condition can develop in all dogs, but puppies are more susceptible to it.

Tapeworms

Fleas can infect your dog with tapeworm. Dogs become infected when they ingest any flea that contains tapeworm eggs. Tapeworm eggs mature within your dog’s digestive tract into adult worms and grow to several feet in length.

These tapeworms can stick to your dog’s small intestine and absorb all the nutrients. Tapeworms can cause nutritional deficiency, debilitation, and weight loss. Other symptoms that appear are constipation and diarrhea.

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