Did you know that a single flea can bite its host several hundred times per day? Considering the fact that most infestations involve dozens if not hundreds of fleas, allowing the problem to persist can create an unpleasant environment for your dog. The hundreds of flea bites your dog receives each day will cause pain, inflammation, itching, and potentially even disease, which is why it’s important for owners to check their dog on a regular basis. Performing a simple inspection will reveal whether or nor your dog is harboring fleas. And if you happen to find any, you can kill them on the spot.
Long-Hair vs Short-Hair Dogs
Conventional wisdom should tell you that checking for fleas on a short-haired dog is easier than checking for fleas on a long-haired dog. Long, thick hair provides a source of natural concealment for these and other parasitic insects. Fleas will burrow down towards the dog’s skin, where they’ll remain hidden from plain view. So even if you don’t see any fleas jumping around on your dog’s fur, they could be burrowed deep below where they’re out of plain sight.
Steps To Checking a Dog For Fleas:
- Take your dog to a room or area of the house with good lighting.
- Make sure your dog is comfortable, relaxed, and willing to let you groom them. If your dog is overly excited or active, take them outside for 5-10 minutes to release their energy before bringing them back indoors.
- Run a flea comb through your dog’s fur, starting from the back of their neck and working your way down to their tail.
- After each pass with the flea comb, check the fins for fleas. Remember, fleas are roughly 1/16 to 1/8-inch long, making them difficult, although not impossible, to spot
- If you find any fleas (which you probably will), pick them from the comb and drop them in a cup of soapy water. It’s crucial that you use soapy water and not regular water, as fleas can escape a cup of water by jumping out. They cannot, however, escape a cup of soapy water.
- When you are finished combing your dog, give them a bath using warm water and flea-medicated shampoo. This will give you another opportunity to catch fleas hidden within your dog’s fur.
- Lastly, reward your dog with a treat for sitting through this process.