Fleas Are A Big Problem For Dogs

Fleas are problematic for dogs and dog owners since the dawn of time.

Many dogs are allergic to fleas. Dogs could quickly lose their hair and have awful looking rashes if nothing is done. Often times dogs will feel exhausted from all the scratching that they've been doing and will feel weak and unmotivated to perform regular exercise .

picture of a flea in closeup

Fleas can also transmit diseases on to your canine, which can cause a number of other dog symptoms to arise on your poor pet.

Fleas are considered parasites as they live off the blood of mammals and birds. These wingless parasites are amazing at jumping on to their hosts. They are about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long and are able to jump up to 7 inches high and about 13 inches horizontally.

Their jumping capabilities are about 200 times their own body length, making them one of the best jumpers known to man. These parasites can appear in colors of black, brown, and a reddish brown.

Fleas experience FOUR life cycles:

  • First – The Egg
  • Second – Larva
  • Third – Pupa
  • Fourth – Adult Form

First it all begins when the female has finished eating and has laid some eggs. She must eat before she is even able to lay eggs.

Females can lay anywhere from 45 to 50 eggs a day and they have considered to reach their limit after they've produced 600 eggs in their entire life time. The female lays her eggs in batches of 20 or so.

These eggs are likely to drop off the host and onto the ground to further spread their species. In prefect conditions, eggs can hatch in two days, however sometimes the process is delayed and it might take them two weeks to fully hatch

Second the larva eat the blood off of dead skin, hair, feathers, and adult flea feces. larva are at a pretty weak stage at this point and can not suck the blood off its host just yet.

Third the pupa live in a cocoon that had been created by the larva. This cocoon can be made out of whatever resources are available at the time. This could mean carpet fiber, dust, grass, pet hair, and other materials. It takes 5 to 14 days for the pupa to become an adult. They hatch out in response to vibration, such as footfalls on the floor. This makes us all, dogs and humans, a target.

Fourth the adult fleas are the most troublesome by far and can live without eating for several months in ideal conditions.

You want to use flea repellents on your dog to be sure he is completely clean of these pests. Vacuuming the house on a regular basis and daily dog grooming can greatly reduce fleas from infecting the household. Washing sheets and other bedding also greatly helps.

A flea collar on your dog, flea shampoo, and even products like advantage or front-line that can be applied monthly are prefect ways to prevent fleas.

The best way to prepare for a flea attack in your dog first aid arsenal is to have antiseptic on hand along with an extra set of flea medicine or shampoo.

This should be a different brand than what you typically use because fleas can build up a resistance with your usual brand.

Did you know that there are a number of sources for natural flea medicine for dogs?

Look for 'flea dirt' if you're not sure your dog has fleas.  This is most obvious on the back just in front of the tail.  It resembles small black or dark brown flecks or beads. This is flea excrement.

Other places you might see active fleas is if the dog is lying on their back, exposing their tummy.  Visible  fleas there indicates a bad infestation.

Fleas are - Dog health issues