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Help! My Dog Has Fleas

April 10th, 2016

11425820_mYou might be able to handle the occasional spider trying to make its way into your house, but fleas are another story. They take ahold of your poor dog, make him miserable, and spread themselves into every nook and cranny of your home. Well, take heart pet parents, because these common pests can be permanently removed with the right steps.

Confirm the Presence of Fleas

If your dog is scratching like he’s trying to win a scratch contest, you may assume it is fleas, but other things can instigate your dog’s itching like ear mites or allergies. Confirm the presence of fleas by searching for what appears to be tiny pieces of dirt in your pet’s skin. That dirt is actually flea waste, and it can indicate fleas even when you can’t see the fleas themselves.

Fleas are small, about half the size of an apple seed. They can’t fly, which is commonly misunderstood. Instead, they hop from host to host, making themselves comfortable and causing chronic itching.

First, Treat Your Pet

If your dog definitely has fleas, then it’s time to take action immediately. There are a number of flea medications, soaps, and other products meant to kill the fleas and their larvae. There are also natural methods, like apple cider vinegar or certain essential oils. Choose a method that you feel comfortable with, and be mindful of chemicals for the safety of your pet, yourself, and your children. You also want to invest in a flea comb and drown any fleas you comb out in warm, soapy water.

Next, Treat Your Home

When your dog becomes infested with fleas, so does your home. It’s a thought worth squirming over, so don’t hesitate to treat your home accordingly with a very deep cleaning. Vacuum all surfaces thoroughly, even hard surfaces. But remember that you must then get rid of everything in your vacuum tank, so either seal your vacuum bag and throw it away, or take your vacuum tank outside of your home to empty into layered bags and toss. It’s helpful to sprinkle borax on carpets overnight before vacuuming as a non-toxic method to suffocate fleas and make them easier to suck up.

Next, move on to the linens. Wash all coth surfaces like sheets, pillowcases, and blankets, and don’t forget to wash or throw away your pet’s bed. Always use hot water and the hottest dryer setting possible.

Fleas are very tricky to eliminate completely, so don’t hesitate to call your favorite pest control company for support.