Even though the weather’s cooling down, that doesn’t mean fleas are a non-issue. Fleas are teeny, tiny bugs that can be a big pain for your pet so, as their owner, it’s important to be able to recognize and remove these pests. If you don’t have the first idea about fleas, not to worry, here’s our quick how-to guide for identification and removal.
- It Might Be Fleas If… You notice your pet excessively scratching, licking, and biting at their skin. If they’re suddenly itching, licking, or nibbling more than usual it’s time to inspect.
- Look For… Small red dots, flea dirt, and/or flea eggs. Look closely at your dog’s skin to see if they have any small red bites. Plus fleas typically leave behind “flea dirt,” which looks like dark grains of sand; there may also be small eggs that resemble tiny grains of white rice.
- Pro-Tip: For dogs with dark fur, run a flea comb through their coat then tap the comb on a white paper towel to see if any flea dirt or eggs fall off.
- Immediate Treatment… Once you’ve confirmed they’re fleas, check with your veterinarian to discuss treatment options. Depending on the severity (like if your pet has adult fleas that are visible and jumping off the skin), you may need a prescription. Typically, though, a flea shampoo and fine-toothed comb will rid your pet’s skin of the infestation (for now.)
- Long Term… Your pet will need a long-term prevention plan like an oral supplement or topical treatment to thwart another infestation.
- At Home… Clean all of your pet’s bedding, toys, and bowls with pet-safe detergent and vacuum the heck out of your carpet and upholstery. If your pet has had repeated or severe infestations, you may need flea traps or a flea bomb for a quick pest evacuation. Lastly, there are also natural preventative remedies available online.
Fleas are more of an annoyance than a major health risk, so don’t panic – just be proactive. Do you have a fool-proof flea removal trick? Do tell!