You know there’s a serious flea problem in your home when it’s causing your dog to lose hair. Each time a flea bites into a host, it draws blood while simultaneously injecting a small amount of protein-rich saliva. The proteins found in the flea’s saliva are known to trigger allergic reactions in dogs, cats and even humans, causing intense itching and inflammation. So, how you can stop your dog from scratching itself raw due to flea bites?
Not all dogs will experience itching from flea bites. The severity of symptoms varies depending on the dog’s reaction. Some may experience only a mild discomfort when the initial bite occurs, while others will experience intense itching, pain and inflammation for several days. If your dog falls under the latter category, you should take the necessary precaution to keep these blood-sucking parasites at bay; otherwise, your dog could be left vulnerable to infections and transmissible disease.
To stop your dog from scratching itself raw, you must first eliminate the source of the problem: the flea infestation. Granted, certain topical medicines, such as hydrocortisone cream may offer temporary relief of your dog’s scratching, it will only mask the problem. Far too many owners assume the best course of action is to apply an anti-itching medicine such as this on their dog, but in reality this only masks the problem for a short period of time. To stop your dog’s itching/scratching, you must eliminate any and all fleas from the environment.
If you haven’t done so already, perform an inspection of your home, observing areas of high flea activity. Fleas often reside in pet beds and linens, around baseboards, and in the carpet. So, start by washing your pet’s bed and bedding in hot water mixed with a cup of white vinegar. The vinegar will help neutralize the fleas while also freshening your dog’s lines. Next, thoroughly vacuum your carpet and floors, paying extra attention to the baseboards and other hard-to-reach areas.
Bathing your dog will also help to relieve some the itching and pain associated with flea bites. The next time you notice your dog scratching, which you believe is caused by flea bites, give them a bath using warm water and a special canine-formulated anti-flea shampoo (sold at most pet stores).
How do you stop your dog from scratching its flea bites? Let us know in the comments section below!