Did you know that fleas can jump up to 8 feet high? They can infect a wide variety of animals including rodents, raccoons, and even your dog.
Another concerning fact is that a female flea can lay up to 2,000 eggs during its lifetime, so a flea infestation can spread rapidly in just a few days. If you have a dog, you should be concerned about fleas because they can definitely affect the health of your beloved pet.
But how to tell if your dog has fleas? It’s not like your canine friend will complain, right? Luckily, there are many signs and symptoms of dog fleas and you should be aware of them.
Keep reading to find out a few important signs that your dog has fleas and how you can get rid of them.
Top Signs Of Dog Fleas In 2019
Just like ticks, fleas are creatures which feast on blood. They can also spread a wide variety of diseases, so it’s important to protect the health of your dog. Here are the most common signs of a flea infestation in dogs.
1.Red Patches of Skin
A plethora of dog breeds is sensitive to the saliva resulting from flea bites. This substance might cause an allergic reaction which can manifest as red patches of skin all over your dog. Make sure that you periodically inspect the fur and skin of your dog and look for unusual red patches.
Keep in mind that the redness doesn’t have to be where the fleas are biting. An allergic reaction can spread all over the skin surface and you shouldn’t ignore this important sign of fleas.
2.Constant Scratching and Itching
Just like humans, dogs also scratch their skin often when there’s a parasite infection detected on the body. Fleas feast on blood and they develop their colonies in hardly accessible places such as the neck and ear areas. Fleas can also be present on legs or in the groin region of your dog.
When the infection gets terrible, your dog will eventually scratch itself constantly. That’s because parasites like fleas and ticks cause serious itching. Sometimes, the dog might even lick or bite certain areas regularly. Pay attention to your dog’s behavior and see if this is the case.
If your dog has fleas, take it to the vet immediately. The dog will not stop scratching itself and trying to stop it yourself will not help. Your dog needs special treatment to get rid of fleas and the injuries caused by them.
Inspecting your dog’s gums is also a good idea if you’re looking for signs of a flea infestation. The gums of your dog should be bright red. If they have a pale color, this can signify anemia. This health condition is characterized by an insufficient amount of red blood cells. Your dog might also be quite fatigued and not in the mood for anything.
A flea infestation can trigger anemia in dogs. If you think about it logically, fleas suck a lot of blood and the number of red blood cells in the body will decrease. This triggers anemia and the pale-looking gums in your dog.
4.Severe Hair Loss
Another common sign of a flea infestation in dogs comprises a severe hair loss. An allergic reaction can cause this because of many flea bites. The skin becomes inflamed; it doesn’t receive sufficient nutrients (because a lot of blood is sucked by the parasites) and hair follicles will start to fall.
Dogs can also experience severe hair loss because of constant biting and scratching itchy places. They might remove small patches of skin unintentionally. If you see this behavior, make sure you take action right away.
5.You See Flea Feces on Your Dog’s Fur
Flea feces are usually composed of digested blood and they have a black or dark/brown appearance. With a serious flea infestation, you’ll eventually be able to see flea “dirt” present on your dog’s fur. This is easier to spot if your dog has a white- or light-colored fur.
However, you can also see flea “dirt” around the house. For example, you can put on some white socks and walk around the areas where your dog usually sits. If your dog has fleas, you’ll eventually pick up some of these small, black or dark brown feces on your socks and you’ll know for sure that your dog needs help.
6.Do A Visual Inspection
Although fleas are tiny parasites, they’re not microscopic, so you can see them with your naked eye. Make sure you do a visual inspection on your dog’s regularly, preferably once every 2 weeks. If you see these small, brown creatures on his skin and fur then you need to do something about it immediately.
You don’t even have to see this as a “periodic maintenance task”. While playing with your dog, gently check out its fur and look for signs of a flea infestation.
Learn to Get Rid of Fleas Today!
Keep in mind that dog fleas are a real problem because these parasites literally such the “lifeblood” out of your favorite pet. As a responsible dog owner, you need to do everything you can to make the life of your canine friend as enjoyable as possible!
If you liked this article, share it with your friends and family. Check out our piece on how to keep your dog clean between grooming appointments. Your pet will thank you for that!