Does your dog have fleas? (and how to get rid of them) 

Dog scratching

When you notice your dog is not behaving as himself and catch him constantly scratching himself, it could be that your dog is suffering from fleas. These tiny insects are common to ambush both cats and dogs who carry them around in their fur. With their incredible jumping ability, fleas can easily jump from the ground on your pet or from pet to pet. As a pet owner, you must check your dog for fleas regularly as they can make your pet not only miserable but also seriously ill if left untreated. Depending on the age and wellbeing of your furry friend, fleas can pose a serious health threat.

In addition to the itching they cause, fleas can also transmit severe infections and can cause flea allergy dermatitis and anemia. It is therefore extremely important as a dog owner to recognize a flea infestation and how to properly treat the ambush. Fleas are annoying tiny creatures and when your dog is ambushed, they can jump through your house and even jump to humans or other pets. Do you suspect your dog is suffering from fleas, but are you not entirely sure? Continue reading and learn about the key symptoms to determine whether your dog is suffering from fleas or not. You will also learn how to treat the infestation properly, so your dog can be his happy self again.  


What are fleas? 

Fleas are very tiny insects that mostly live in the fur of your cat or dog. Though they are tiny, the discomfort they cause to your dog can be huge. When it is time for fleas to reproduce, they rely on a blood meal and start looking for pets to ambush. Your pet and its fur make the perfect place for a flea to reproduce. The blood from your pet serves as fuel for the fleas to lay eggs, and your pet’s fur makes a safe environment for the eggs to come out.

An adult flea can produce as much as 50 eggs a day and to be able to do this, they need to consume big amounts of fuel.  A flea is more than capable of doing so, as it can eat as much as 15 times its own body weight, which is a huge amount for such a tiny insect. Fleas have a rapid reproduction rate and can multiply themselves in a matter of seconds. The average amount of fleas a dog can carry in its fur when being infested is between 200 and 300 fleas.  


Health implications  

Many dog owners are aware fleas cause itching and discomfort to their dog, but many often don’t realize the serious health implications a flea infestation can cause. For many dog owners, a flea infection seems innocent, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. When left untreated, a flea ambush can make your dog not only miserable but, in some instances, even seriously ill. Fleas have a rapid reproduction rate and need loads of blood to survive.

This can lead to your dog suffering from a low level of red blood cells or even Anemia, which is a serious health condition that needs treatment immediately. If left untreated this can lead to extreme fatigue, hyperventilation or even death. Of course, you don’t want that to happen to your furry friend! 


Tapeworm infection 

Dogs try to ease the itching by scratching or biting themselves. If a dog accidentally swallows a flea, this could lead to tapeworm infection if the swallowed flea is infected. Once the flea reaches your dog’s stomach, the tapeworm will attract itself by sucking itself to the intestinal lining. You can recognize a tapeworm infection by spotting white rice-like eggs around your dog’s backside. It is important to treat the infection quickly to prevent serious discomfort from happening. 


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