/ /

Preparing for Flea and Tick Season: How to Handle Fleas on Dogs

Apr 22,2024 | Petbobi

Fleas are more than a nuisance. They are painful parasites that can lead to much worse conditions like allergy dermatitis, tapeworms, anemia, and Bartonellosis. The longer your dog has to suffer through a flea infestation, the greater the concern for additional health issues that can be passed on to you and your family.

In most parts of the United States, you’ll find fleas and ticks out and about in the warmer spring and summer months. Knowing how pets get fleas and the essential ways to prevent pet disease and care can make a massive difference in your dog's overall health. Let’s get into the details of what you need to handle fleas on your pup.



What are Fleas?

First, you must know that a flea is a parasite. It lives by feeding on your dog's blood (not to mention birds, cats, and often humans). Once these tiny and wingless bugs get onto your dog’s skin, they will likely lead to allergic reactions or skin infections.

As long as you understand what kind of environment fleas like, you can prevent them from spreading throughout your home. Even a perfectly maintained property can get fleas from time to time. The more you live in a warm, humid environment, the likelier you are to see fleas.



Top Ways Dogs Get Fleas

Unfortunately, your dog is like a grade-A sirloin steak to a flea, especially if it has longer fur for the fleas to set up a camp inside. Some of the more common ways your pet is likely to pick up fleas include:

  • Backyard Grass: Fleas love warm, moist environments. Your garden and long, tall grass are perfect for breeding flea communities.
  • Other Pets: Going to the dog park is great for activity, but keep a close eye on any pets scratching excessively or biting at their own skin.
  • Wildlife: That little squirrel teasing your dog is a great social media clip, but not for pet disease and care if fleas transfer over.
  • New Places: Many hotels, boarding facilities, kennels, and groomers can have an infestation and not know it. Always visit the area first to inspect for any signs of fleas.
  • Human Visitors: A spotless and healthy guest can bring fleas into the home if they’ve been out in the grass, petting a neighbor’s dog, or coming from a pet store. Fleas will travel in clothes and shoes.

If you’re asking how pets get fleas, it usually comes down to any area where multiple pets like to congregate. This can be easily avoided with a bit of foresight and recognizing an infestation before it gets worse.



8 Signs to Spot Fleas on Dogs

There is no universal sign your dog may have fleas. Plenty of pups engage in daily ritual scratching just because it feels great. However, whenever you see two or more of these signs simultaneously, you may want to take a closer look at your pet's overall health. Here are some clear signs of how pets can get fleas:

  • Frantic, often extreme scratching or biting of the dog’s skin.
  • Excessive hair loss after being groomed or self-cleaning.
  • They suddenly avoid their favorite parts of your home.
  • Agitation or restlessness when they usually are happy to nap or lie down.
  • Hot spots that are red, often with skin irritation.
  • General lethargy and signs of muscle loss or bad gums.
  • Pepper-like little specks on and around their fur (known as “flea dirt”).
  • Dark spots on bedding or rice-sized eggs are where they rest the most.

The easier you can see signs of fleas, the greater the infestation. As long as you get to know your pet, you’ll likely see these signs of pet disease and care faster than others. That will give you a heads-up that it’s time to purchase our Dog Bath Suit with Lick Mat so they are distracted as you give them a solid cleaning.



How to Get Rid of Fleas Fast

Anytime you’re dealing with fleas, you want to eliminate them from spreading as quickly as possible. Once they grow in numbers and turn into an infestation, you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.

One quick and easy way to reduce or eliminate fleas is to think about what kind of environment fleas like. Take care of that living or work environment, and you take care of the fleas. Here are some basics to get you started:

  • Flea Comb: Always start with a fine-tooth pet brush that combs out the fleas (known as a flea brush). Follow that up with a general brush that is like our 3-in-1 Pet Grooming Brush to make your dog feel amazing.
  • Dog Flea Shampoo and Sprays: Once your dog is brushed out, you’ll want to give them a bath using safe, natural ingredients shampoos formulated to kill and prevent fleas from spreading.
  • Medications: There are many oral, topical, and natural flea prevention medications you can use to handle an infestation as well as stop fleas from embedding into your dog’s skin.
  • Clean Your Environment: What kind of environment do fleas like the most? It is related to moisture, humidity, and general lack of maintenance. To avoid this, vacuum up your carpets and furniture, use a steamer on window treatments, and wash your and your dog’s bedding.
  • DIY Flea Traps: A great little trick for preventing pet disease and care is to fill a shallow bowl with a little dish soap and warm water. Shine a light on the water and place it where you know fleas are gathering. They’ll jump right in, and you can clean out the mess every day to see the decline in numbers.
  • Mow Your Grass: Keep the grass around your house and other areas your dog likes to play down to under 3 inches. That will reduce any colonies of fleas gathering in habitats.
  • Call an Exterminator: If the entire situation is out of hand or you are unsure what kind of environment do fleas like in your home, call in a professional. They can quickly give you an assessment and estimate for removal.



Can Humans Get Fleas From Dogs?

Fleas, in general, prefer animal hosts. Most pets do not have the flexibility or range of motion to scratch or remove fleas once they are out in numbers. However, they will jump to humans and cause all kinds of problems, from skin irritation to allergies to potential diseases.

The risk of fleas is hazardous if you have any young babies or children. Not only can it pose a health risk, but it also can be pretty embarrassing.

Addressing how pets get fleas around your home and mitigating these situations is the best course of action. Treat your dog, wash any fabrics, and ensure your family is safe so you can get back to playing, eating, and spending quality time cuddling together.



Wrapping Up

As the warmer weather begins to crack through winter’s chill, the risk of pet disease and care begins to become a real concern. More insects and animals begin to come out to play and fleas are no exception.

Follow our preventative tips and have a bottle of flea shampoo on hand, just in case. Using our Dog Bath Suit with Lick Mat also helps ensure when you do have fleas, you’ll be well prepared to eliminate the pests and get back to enjoying your dog's company.