For your dog, a flea infestation is not only annoying, but also painful. Fleas biting your dog and drawing blood can lead to skin conditions, allergies, and even illness, not to mention the fact that the fleas will lay eggs right in your dog's coat. You must treat the flea problem as soon as it is noticed, and continually treat your dog and her surroundings to keep the fleas from coming back. This work is necessary for the health and happiness of your dog. Here's how to keep fleas off dogs:
- Give your dog a bath. Bathe your dog regularly, at least once per week, to drown any fleas living on him. You'll also need to bathe any other pets in the home, even if they haven't yet shown signs of fleas. Your dog should be soaking wet for at least ten minutes to kill all of the fleas. Consider using a flea shampoo.
- Use a flea comb. This is a viable option for small, short-haired dogs. A flea comb has tines spaced very close together to catch live fleas and flea eggs from your dog's coat. Though time intensive, it is a very thorough method for keeping fleas off dogs. Use a flea comb with a bowl of soapy water for a rinse, which will drown the fleas caught in the comb.
- Use topical flea treatment products. Products like Frontline or Advantage are very popular methods for keeping fleas off dogs. This liquid medication is placed behind the dog's neck, where they cannot reach to groom it away. This product soaks into the dog's fur and into his blood, and it will kill any flea that bites him.
- Clean your home. Fleas can hide in your carpet, in your pet's bedding, and anywhere else your dog may have laid. By jumping onto your feet or pants when you are unaware, they can travel throughout your whole house. To treat a flea infestation, thoroughly vacuum the carpets, and wash bedding in hot, soapy water. Then use a pet-safe flea spray or powder to kill any remaining fleas. This process must be repeated at least every few weeks. You cannot assume that there are no fleas on your furniture or bedding simply because you cannot see them; flea eggs may still be hiding there.
- Treat the outdoors. If none of your methods seem to be working to keep fleas off dogs, consider treating the outdoor environment, particularly right outside your home. Even if your pet is an inside dog, people can track fleas inside without realizing it. There are lawn and garden formulas made specifically for killing fleas. Always make sure these are pet-friendly before using them.
If you are still having problems keeping fleas off your dogs, speak to your dogs' veterinarian for further advice. It can be difficult to rid your dog and your home of these pests while still using products that are safe for your dog.