Flea bites are a common cause for dog itching. It is actually the saliva of the flea that gets under the skin when bitten that causes the itching and scratching.
- If your dog is allergic to fleas, he will get very itchy skin and will scratch constantly.
- If your dog is NOT allergic, you’ll see an occasional scratching, but this is usually just to get rid of the fleas. But just because your dog is not allergic, does not mean that the flea bites don’t bother him!
Does My Dog Have Fleas?
If there are fleas on your dog there will be actual bite(s). But, depending on your dog’s coat, they may be very difficult to see. When looking for fleas/bites, start at the base of the tail, as fleas like to go there because it is difficult for the dog to scratch in that area. Then move to warm spots like under the legs and the neck area. Also check the face area.
If you don’t see any fleas or flea bites, get a flea comb for dogs and go through your dog’s coat (you always want to use a grooming comb to resolve tangles prior to using a flea comb). The flea combs are very fine toothed so they are able to ‘trap’ the fleas between the teeth.
While you may not be able to see any fleas, you can more easily check for flea dirt. You should see reddish-brown specks, which is dried blood and flea feces, on your dog’s skin. You can also look at the dog’s bedding, where you will probably see ‘flea dirt’. If you aren’t sure if this is just regular dirt or flea residue, wet the ‘dirt’ with a few drops of water. It will turn red if it is from fleas.
Dog Flea Treatment
Your best bet to stop dog scratching from flea bites is flea control.
- There are topical dog flea products, labeled as flea and tick control for dogs, which repel fleas, some of which kill the flea eggs also.
- As well as treating your dog, you need to treat any other pets in the house.
- You also need to treat your house for fleas, especially concentrating on the bedding area and carpets.
- Vacuum your house, especially where your dogs spend most of their time, on a regular basis, maybe even daily depending on the dog flea infestation. The vibration from the vacuum encourages the pre-adults to emerge where they can be vacuumed up. Change vacuum bags regularly, or put flea powder in the vacuum bag to kill fleas which were vacuumed.
- If your dog has severe flea allergies, you should also look into treating your yard with natural flea control for dogs, such as beneficial nematodes or diatomaceous earth.
The main thing to remember about flea bite allergies is that your dog does not have to be infested with fleas. If your dog has a flea bite allergy, a few fleas could be the cause of your dog’s itchy skin. If your dog is has a severe allergy to flea bites, one bite can cause a major allergic reaction, in which case getting rid of fleas on dogs should be your top priority.
How To Stop Your Dog From Itching and Scratching Flea Bites
Try to control your dog’s scratching while getting the flea situation under control. Too much and too intense scratching can lead to inflamed and even damaged skin. When this happens, your dog could get secondary skin infections.
For immediate itch relief from flea bites, use spot-on topical itching remedies. These products that you apply directly to the flea bite(s) and surrounding area and will decrease the itchy feeling within minutes.
If it seems like your dog is itching all-over, then a colloidal oatmeal bath may be the best bet. Colloidal oatmeal baths are a natural way to reduce inflammation and soothe your dog’s skin.
Whatever You Do, Try To Go Natural
When considering your different options for flea control, the best flea treatment for dogs is natural. With your dog’s already irritated and itchy skin, the last thing you want to do is put chemicals on it that could stress his immune system even more. If the flea control label tells you to wash your hands after applying it to your pet, how safe is it really for your pet??? Remember, there are several natural options for dog flea treatment.
While some people may think that natural flea control is ineffective, the truth is it just takes more time and effort on our part. But natural flea control is a very viable method when used correctly.
Our lives have become more complicated and we seem to have less free time than we would like. And this is why synthetic pesticides have come in and really taken hold. You only need to apply a spot-on flea treatment once a month, and your dog is protected. But what you really need to ask yourself is, at what price?
Many pet owners are experiencing problems with their pets that are now being traced back to these synthetic pesticides. The EPA has even admitted that they don’t have the necessary data on these spot-on flea products to predict the toxicity. Basically, there have not been studies on the side effects and potential health problems when used long term. Many of the incidents reported regarding spot-on products were because too much was applied to the dog (usually small dogs).
But what does this really say? We are putting a toxic pesticide on our dogs. Their skin is absorbing some of the pesticide and when they groom, they are ingesting the pesticide. Too much is harming, and in some cases killing, our pets. So why wouldn’t prolonged use of a pesticide also hurt our pets?
Sometimes you have a flea infestation in your home that is so out of control that, yes, you may need to turn to synthetic methods, such as flea bombs and flea sprays for your home. But if you can devote some time and effort, many of these problems can be corrected naturally. Diatomaceous earth, borax for fleas, neem oil, citronella, and other natural products can kill and deter fleas in your home and on your dog. And it controls fleas without any adverse side effects to your dog, your family, or the environment.
It’s time to stop taking the easy route. It’s time to start standing up for the health and well being of our dogs. Start with natural flea treatment – it’s simply the best way to control fleas without harming your dog.