Realizing your dog has fleas is one of every pet owner’s worst nightmares. Not only do these tiny insects cause excessive itching, scratching, and irritation to dogs, but they can also lead to tapeworm infections in our pets. If your dog is kept indoors, fleas can affect humans as well, nesting into carpet and furniture upholstery and choosing people as their new hosts. Everything a pet owner needs to know, including how to get rid of fleas on dogs and how to get rid of fleas naturally is described below.
How do Dogs Get Fleas?
There are two main ways that dogs can become infested with fleas: either by coming into contact with another dog infested with fleas or by coming into contact with a flea’s natural environment outdoors.
Fleas live in wooded areas, such as forests, in brush, or even in wood piles. They can withstand cold temperatures, and are typically a threat year-round.
They seek out new hosts to continue their life cycle, where they suck a mammal’s blood in order to reproduce. Any dog that spends time outdoors or comes into contact with other animals is at-risk for a flea infestation.
How Do I Know if My Dog Has Fleas?
If your dog is excessively biting at itself, scratching, or shaking its head, it is a good idea to check your dog for fleas.
To do so, simply pull back your dog’s fur (especially in areas where there is high-blood flow, such as the base of the nails and neck) and check for the tiny insects. When full-grown, fleas look like grains of brown rice, and flea bites on dogs will appear as raised, irritated bumps.
For bad flea infestations, you may even notice what looks like coffee grounds in your dog’s fur, called “flea dirt,” which is actually flea excrement.
What Do Fleas Do to Dogs?
The reason that fleas cause extreme discomfort for dogs is mostly due to the fact that canines are extremely allergic to flea saliva, which causes the extreme itchiness and irritation.
Dog flea bites are so uncomfortable for pets that they are often unable to leave the affected area alone, which leads to pyotraumatic dermatitis, also known as “hot spots”.
Hot spots are flea bites (or any open sore on a dog) that becomes exposed to bacteria and subsequently infected. These infections become large, open, oozing sores that continually grow if not properly treated.
Many dogs cannot resist the urge to bite and scratch at these open sores, so owners often must resort to fitting their pets with an Elizabethan collar just to promote wound healing.
In addition, fleas contain the tapeworm parasite. When a dog accidentally ingests a flea by biting at a flea infestation, the flea gets into the dog’s digestive system and the tapeworm lodges in the digestive tract.
Tapeworm symptoms include lethargy, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia.
My Dog has Fleas: Getting Rid of Fleas on Dogs
If you notice your dog has fleas, it is important to remove the infestation as quickly as possible, both for your dog’s comfort and to reduce the risk of your house and family becoming infected.
The most popular method for getting rid of fleas on dogs is to use commercial flea treatments to remove the insects from your pet.
The first step to flea removal is to give your dog a bath in a flea shampoo that contains a flea-killing insecticide. The next step is to treat the entire house, including all carpets and upholsteries, to ensure that the flea cycle does not continue.
Traditionally, a “flea bomb” is used, however the safety and efficacy of this type of treatment has been questioned. Instead, pet owners can purchase flea-killing sprays at their local pet store that are specially formulated to kill fleas on contact in carpets and furniture.
Before using any flea-killing insecticide, be sure to read the Humane Society’s stance on the dangers of pesticide use.
Natural Flea Remedy
Due to the dangers of using chemicals on your dog and in the home, a number of pet owners are turning towards a natural cure for fleas.
To get rid of fleas naturally, you can use a number of essential oils to create a DIY flea dip, such as tea tree oil, lemon oil, rosemary oil, lavender oil, or eucalyptus oil. It is important that you dilute any essential oils by 80-90% for use on dogs, as many can be too concentrated for safe use on pets.
Another option you may want to consider if you’re looking for a home remedy for fleas is diatomaceous earth. This naturally occurring substance is a safe and not-toxic deterrent that can be sprinkled on carpets, around the garden, and even on your dog to kill fleas.
Diatomaceous earth is microscopically jagged, causing damage to the flea’s exoskeleton, effectively killing them if they walk across or try to ingest the material.
The downside to using this option in the home is that it can be a bit messy.
Of course, the best home remedy for fleas on dogs is to prevent them before they can even cause a problem.
But, that’s a lot easier said than done – especially during the summer months when dogs are spending more time outside.
There are a number of commercial flea control products, such as flea collars, skin treatments, and even oral tablets that circulate insecticide throughout your dog’s skin and blood.
But, do you really want insecticide circulating through the bloodstream of your pet?
The harmful side effects of using commercial flea control products are well documented.
Just take a look at this short list:
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive whining, barking, crying
- Aggressive behavior
- Body twitches/tremors
- Stiffened limbs
- Unsteady gait
- Lack of co-ordination
- Labored breathing
- Thyroid cancer
- Liver enlargement/toxicity
- Liver and lung tumors
- Enlarged kidney
How would you feel if you used one of the commercial flea control options and your pet experienced one or more of these side effects?
You’d feel horrible, right?
And to make matters worse it seems that the only options are:
Don’t use these harmful products and risk having fleas in your home and on your pet.
Get rid of the fleas and risk your pets health in the process.
These two options for controlling fleas aren’t very promising.
A Better, Safer Flea Control Option
What if you had the option of killing fleas (and preventing future populations) with an all-natural non-toxic product that works every time?
Well, there’s great news!
Such a product exists and smart pet owners concerned about the health of their pet are using this natural flea remedy with great results!
This amazing natural flea control is a scientific blend of all-natural plant extracts. It’s made in the USA with local Certified Organic or Ethically Wild Harvested ingredients, and is manufactured to human grade standards.
With this remarkable product you can now safely and easily eliminate harmful fleas on your pet and in your home without endangering your loved ones.
No more harmful insecticides in your pets bloodstream and no more risk of life-threatening side effects!
This revolutionary product is called TripleSure®.
TripleSure® was formulated by a Board Certified Master Herbalist who specializes in natural home remedies for dogs and cats.
TripleSure® works effectively in 3 ways:
- It Kill Fleas & Ticks On Contact
- It Repels Fleas, Ticks, Mosquitoes, Flies and Bees
- It Retards New Insect Infestations
TripleSure® is 100% totally natural . . .
NO ARTIFICIAL ANYTHING!
If you’re as concerned about the health of your pet as we are then you’ll want to give TripleSure® a try.
Want to know more about this natural flea remedy? Click here for the full story.