Learning how to get rid of fleas on dogs is an important part of being a pet owner. Fleas are more than just a nuisance for your dog. If left unchecked, your home can quickly become infested with fleas. And if your dog is sick or has a weakened immune system, they will not be able to fight off these parasites and can be left with anemia, which could eventually lead to death.
For a healthy dog, a few fleas are easy for them to handle. But if they venture to a place that is loaded with fleas, they can soon be looking at a flea infestation, and a lot of flea bites, leading to non-stop dog itching. And unless you want your home to be infested as well, you need to learn how to get rid of fleas.
But first you need to make sure that all that scratching is due to fleas. You should be able to see fleas on your dog’s coat. But if you do not, you should at least see flea dirt. This will look like little pieces of dirt, and can be found on your dog and wherever your dog sleeps. Put a little water on this dirt – if turns a reddish color, then it is flea dirt. If it does not, then you may have a different problem on your hands.
Dog itching but no fleas is more common than you might think. Dog allergies are a very common reason for your dog to be itching constantly. Remember, after you get rid of the fleas on your dog, you must keep them off. Refer to How To Get Rid Of Fleas Naturally for tips on keeping your home and your dog flea-free.
Bathing To Kill The Fleas On Your Dog
An easy and effective way to kill fleas on your dog is to bathe him. But not just a quick bath. You need to really drown the fleas and get them off of your dog’s body.
If your dog has bad itchy skin from all the flea bites, you may want to try bathing them with a colloidal oatmeal shampoo for dogs. Not only will this kill the fleas, but the colloidal oatmeal is a proven effective ingredient to help calm and soothe irritated skin, helping to ease the your dog’s itchy skin.
Tips For Bathing Your Dog to Kill Fleas
- One of the best methods is to start on the neck at the base of the head.
- Wet this area and use some dog shampoo to create a good lather, working it into the hair and down to the skin.
- As you wash your dog, the fleas are going to try to go to dry ground, and you are effectively creating a barrier for the fleas this way.
- Work your way down your dog’s body, really massaging the shampoo down to the skin to get to the fleas.
- Leave the shampoo on your dog for around 10 minutes, if you can. This will just help to ensure you kill all the fleas.
- Now very slowly rinse your dog, again starting at the neck area and moving down.
- Get the water down to the skin to remove all the fleas and shampoo.
- Using a neem shampoo will help keep fleas from coming back onto your dog.
- If you leave shampoo residue on your dog, the skin can get irritated and they may start itching again (making you think they still have fleas).
Flea Comb To Remove The Fleas On Your Dog
If your dog is not infested, but only has several fleas, you can use a flea comb to slowly go through your dogs fur and remove all the fleas (if they are infested, this could be a very long job). Depending upon your dog’s coat, this can be an easy task, or a painstakingly difficult one. If your dog has long hair, always make sure to brush the coat first to get rid of any tangles. Otherwise, the flea comb will catch too much and hurt your dog’s skin. This flea treatment for dogs will get rid of immediate fleas, but does nothing to keep them from coming back.
Spot-On Flea Treatment For Dogs
Another option is to apply a spot-on flea treatment for dogs to their coat. These are the little tubes of pesticide that you put usually between your dog’s shoulder blades and the pesticide eventually covers their body and kills the fleas. These pesticides repel fleas, and some kill the flea eggs as well. Flea eggs hatch every 7 to 21 days, so unless you get rid of the source, this problem will persist and so will your dog’s itchy skin.
The problem with this option is that you are putting a toxic pesticide on your dog. And while the manufacturers say it is safe, they tell you to wash your hands after applying it to your dog? How safe can that really be? And your dog is constantly grooming themselves, ingesting the pesticide. And their skin absorbs it. And they rub on your carpet and furniture with it on their body.
Maybe it won’t kill your dog, but there have been numerous complaints from pet owners after using spot-on flea treatments. You need to do some research before just putting a toxic chemical on your dog.
Diatomaceous Earth – Nature’s Flea Killer
Nature has provided a great natural way to kill fleas. Diatomaceous earth is a fine dust-like powder, made from fossilized algae, that essentially cuts the fleas exoskeleton when they come in contact with it. This causes the flea to dehydrate and die.
Diatomaceous earth is so safe that it can be eaten without any adverse effects. There are a few areas of caution when applying diatomaceous earth – protect airways (nose and mouth) and the eyes (both you and your dog). While it will not cause permanent harm, it can be an irritant to those vulnerable areas.
You can apply the diatomaceous earth to your dog’s fur and work it in to the skin. Steer clear of the face area and they should be fine.
When using diatomaceous earth as a flea killer, make sure you get human or garden grade. *** DO NOT USE POOL GRADE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH for flea control *** Pool grade is used as a filtering agent and is heated first. This changes the structure of diatomaceous earth and inhaling this can cause serious problems.
Human and garden grade diatomaceous earth can be found in health stores and gardening stores, as well as online.