Dog Fleas

Dog fleas, also known as Ctenocephalides canis, are small wingless parasites which infest dogs but that can actually infest any other of your pets. They settle inside their fur because it has the perfect environment since it is hot and humid. Dog fleas are not the only type of fleas that can attack dogs. You should know that your dogs can also be attacked by cat fleas, but this it is not very common.

Fleas reach their adult stage usually during summers when the hot weather and the moisture helps the eggs to hatch. Infestation can happen even during winters, since the inside of your house is going to be warm despite the outside cold. This means, once you have an infestation, fleas are going to bother your pets for a very long time if you don’t find a way to kill them.

 

dog fleas

Flea bites on dogs

When fleas reach the adult stage they need to find a host to survive. Dog fleas likes to settle inside pet’s fur especially on their back which is the perfect habitat for them. Then, they will bite your dogs and ingest their blood to live and reproduce. Your dogs are not going to like this since the toxins inside fleas’ saliva will cause them a lot of itch. Some dogs can also be allergic to these toxins and the itch in this case can can be very painful. When infested with fleas, your dogs will spend a lot of time scratching even to the point when their skin is going to bleed and they start losing their hair.

How to know if your dog has fleas

Fleas do not have wings but they can make very high and long jumps. This allows them to attack your dog and move from a host to another very easily. To know if your dog has fleas, the first thing to do is to check inside its fur. To spot them it is not too difficult. Dog fleas have a dark red-brown color and usually settle in the back where there are more hair. In most of the cases, it is possible to notice them while they are literally moving around.

If you believe your dog has been infested with fleas but you can’t find them, you can look for their feces. If you find on your dog small black dots inside the fur or on the skin, it is possible you have found some flea feces. To make sure of this, put some of them on a tissue. Since fleas live off your animal’s blood, their feces will have plenty of that. Just pour some drops of water on the tissue and check if a red stain appears. If it does, you are now sure that those are flea feces and your dog has been infested.

How to get rid of dog fleas

Usually, vets suggest the use of flea repellent that you can easily find in pharmacies or in pet shops. There are different types of products which you can choose from:

Spoton – They are sold in individual dose of liquid that have to be applied in between dog’s shoulder blades. Since the product is very toxic for dogs it is very important that they don’t lick it. That is why it is applied in the only area they can not reach with their mouth.

Spray – Flea sprays are used on your dog’s hair. The product is toxic if inhaled so it is recommended to apply it in open areas. It is very important to make sure the dog does not breathe the product or it could get intoxicated.

Shampoo – Among all the products shampoos are the less dangerous but also the less effective. Like all the other flea repellent they contain chemical substances which can kill fleas but they are going to be toxic for your dog.

Collar – It looks like a normal collar, but a flea collar for dogs contains a substance that keep fleas away. The idea behind it would not be too bad if it wasn’t for the fact that it contains chemicals that can harm your dogs and cause it severe itch.

Vets, pharmaceutical companies and commercial will always suggest you to use flea repellent in the case your dog is infested with fleas. What they DO NOT tell you is that these products not only can cause allergies and dermatitis to your dog but they can also be very dangerous. If you read the products information sheet you will find out that all of them contain chemicals that are actually very harmful for your dogs. Also, you can read that it is strongly suggested to manage the products with care since they can harm your health too. So, how can be a product harmful to you and not dangerous for your dogs?

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Flea Repellent

Flea repellent are products that allow to kill fleas. They can help to solve your problem not only if your pets have been attacked but also if fleas have infested your house. It doesn’t matter what is your current problem with fleas, if you have one, soon or later you are going to buy one of these products.

Choosing the right flea repellent can be sometimes complicated. There are many products of different types on the market and most of them are dangerous for your pets, you and the environment you are living in. So, it is important to be very careful when you decide to choose a flea repellent.

flea repellent

Things to do before using a flea repellent

Before using any flea repellent, you should find out if your pets or your home has been infested. Since they are very small, find fleas could be difficult sometimes. In the case, they have attacked your pets, you will have to be very patient and check carefully through their hair.

In the case of fleas on humans, find them it’s much easier. This is because, when fleas bite you, usually on the legs, they leave a very visible mark and you will feel a burning sensation and itch. Immediately after the bite you will also notice that the skin is going to be very red.

In the case you have fleas in house, it is very important that you look for them in carpets, pillowcases, curtains, moquette, couches and beds. Fleas like to hide in dusty areas and generally in dark, hot and humid places.

How to chose a flea repellent

As I mentioned before, flea repellents are not easy products to choose, but they become necessary to keep away fleas from the environment you are living in.

When you buy a flea repellent you need to remember that you are going to use the product on your house, your pets and sometime even on yourself. This means that it is very important to not buy cheap products that can harm you or your animals. When buying products that are going to be in direct contact with you or your animals money is the last thing you should worry about.

What you should look for in a flea repellent is:

  • what is inside the product
  • how toxic it is
  • if it is aggressive
  • how effective it is

Usually, people trust doctors and vets to know which is the best flea repellent they can buy. If you spend some time looking at what is actually inside these products you will know that they are full of chemicals and also quite dangerous. Just reading at the information sheet of any flea repellent, you will notice that they suggest not to get in direct contact with the product and to avoid smelling it. Think about what you have just read. Since these products are toxic and dangerous for you, how can they be good for your pets? Flea repellent can cause allergies, dermatitis and poisoning if ingested or licked. There are products that might be less aggressive, but this does not mean they will be less dangerous.

Types of flea repellents

There are few options of flea repellent you can choose from. Depending on what it is your problem with fleas you may opt for one of these solutions:

Spray – anti-flea sprays are used on the hair of animals. They are toxic if breathed and it is suggested to used them in aired areas.

Spoton – spot on treatments are sold in a single dose solution and have to be applied between the shoulder blades of your pet (so they won’t lick it). It is very important to make sure they do not ingest the product since they are toxic.

Shampoo – it is used as any common shampoo. It is less dangerous than other products but also less effective. Because of this you have to use it many times.

Collar – it looks like a normal collar, but it slowly releases a substance that should keep fleas away. It could be a good option if it wasn’t for the fact that it can cause itch and your pets may not like it.

What I strongly suggest is to use a natural flea repellent. On the market there are many companies that sell repellent without any toxic chemical inside. However, before you get any of them, you should be very careful. It is very common to find misleading products and sometimes even dangerous ones. Not everybody knows that many substances inside flea repellents  are dangerous to your pets and you and they should be completely avoided and in my opinion banned.

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