How to tell if your dog has fleas

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Dogs are man’s best friend but sometimes they can bog us down by carrying unwanted fleas. Here’s how to tell if your furry friend’s hair is experiencing a flea infestation.

Look for telltale flea symptoms

If your dog starts scratching itself excessively or begins to chew on its tail or feet, this could be a sign that it’s dealing with a skin infection, rash, or fleas. It might also be losing fur due to all of the scratching. If you notice any red splotches, be sure to get it checked out by a vet.

Identify any adult fleas

If you suspect that your dog has fleas, it’s best to do a check yourself before hauling it to the vet. Use your fingers to run through its fur so that you can see the skin. Fleas bite and their saliva causes a skin reaction that varies in severity depending on the dog. Be sure to check the base of the tail, behind the ears, and along the belly.

Adult fleas are very small and are usually a reddish-brown color. They can be difficult to catch because they will move away from your fingers as you run them through your dog’s fur. Even if you don’t spot any, your dog could still have fleas.

Check your dog’s surroundings

Fleas also jump so you will want to thoroughly check your dog’s surroundings. Look for adult fleas or flea droppings in its bed, toys, and any places around the house where it tends to hang out. If your dog sleeps with you, then your bed might have some fleas on it. You might even have flea bites on your ankles or arms.

Fleas are annoying but they’re not unmanageable. Different medications and shampoos are available for flea-ridden dogs and you can vacuum your home to get rid of any stragglers. There are even homemade sprays that you can use to prevent future infestations.

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