Do you have hard water? If you do, then your dog could catch fleas from the tap water supply in your house. However, not all dogs with fleas need to be treated for fleas. When you discover that your dog has fleas, then it’s time to take action! Here we review how to get rid of getting rid of fleas using home remedies and professional treatment. For many dog owners, bringing a furry friend into their homes is like welcoming home a new family member. After all, dogs are often considered part of the family. But some dogs have a nasty habit of biting way more than just tummies. For instance, fleas in dogs are one of the most annoying external parasites that exist on our planet. Flea bites are most often associated with cats and dogs. Fleas attach themselves to their hosts, but they can also live on other animals or inanimate objects, including carpet. Because fleas feed on blood, they are difficult to eradicate completely. Fleas are a particular problem in the summer months because pet owners spend more time outside and fleas generally thrive in warm and humid environments. Keeping your house dog-friendly is a must. But many pet owners fail to realize that it also means pet-proofing the entire house. The point here is to make sure you know what’s going on in your home with regards to fleas. Fleas can be a serious issue for dogs. Not only are they pesky and easy to find, but some dogs can become allergic to them. That’s why it’s important to find out whether your canine companions could give you fleas – or if you could give your dog fleas. Contrary to popular beliefs, dogs are the source of fleas in your household. While it is a belief that cats can be the source of fleas, this is not true. There is a huge misconception that cats are the main source of fleas in your home. Dogs carry their own parasites as well and they get them from a variety of sources such as dog parks and strolling around outside. It comes as no surprise that people who have several pets in the household have reported having more problems with fleas than those who do not have any pets at all.
Can Dogs Give You Fleas
A person can’t get fleas directly from a dog.
Fleas don’t have a preference for either dogs or humans. They are just looking for the perfect host, and it’s not your body that makes fleas tick. Fleas actually “like” animal bodies better than human bodies—their jaws are adapted to bite into the fur of an animal, not human skin. Additionally, fleas do not live on people—they simply find their way onto human clothing and move around our homes until they meet a dog or cat to settle down on.
(The exceptions here are the two species of flea that can jump onto humans: the cat flea and the dog flea.)
Fleas can jump to humans.
Fleas are insects that can jump up to a hundred times their own body length. That means the flea on your dog can easily jump onto you or your clothes if it so chooses. It does so to feed on the blood of its host, increasing reproduction and spreading disease.
If you have a dog or cat that has fleas, resist the temptation to snuggle with them right after they’ve come in from outside. Give yourself time to check for fleas and wash your clothes before spending quality time with them. You may even want to wash yourself, too!
Your dog flea problem could be due to your cat.
It’s possible for dogs to be allergic to cat fleas and suffer from constant itching, skin irritation, hair loss and other problems. This is known as “flea-bite hypersensitivity.”
In addition, if your dog is in regular contact with cats (or lives with them), it’s possible that he’ll become infested with cat fleas. Although they can survive on dogs, they won’t do so easily or happily. Since they aren’t adapted to live on dogs and are more accustomed to being on cats, the environment of a dog makes it hard for them to feed and breed successfully. But, this doesn’t mean that they won’t try their hardest! Cat fleas will bite dogs, lay eggs on them and receive nutrition from their blood, but these attempts are not as effective as they would be if they were biting a cat.
Fleas can transmit disease to humans.
Fleas can transmit disease to humans through bites. Flea bites cause allergic reactions in many people, some of which can be life-threatening. The bites are also capable of transmitting the bacterial disease murine typhus and the parasitic disease tapeworm.
You might not see fleas on your dog or in your home.
Unfortunately, even if you check your furry friend closely, you might not see any fleas. That’s because adult fleas are tiny — just 1/8 to 3/16 inches long — so they can be hard to spot, especially in dogs with long hair. There are other signs of fleas that you can look for:
- Flea dirt (also called flea droppings or “flea poop”). Adult fleas feed on their host by taking blood from the animal, but they do not digest the red blood cells. Instead, the waste material is passed out in a dark powdery substance that resembles ground pepper. This is called “flea dirt,” and it is actually flea feces composed of this undigested blood.
If you suspect that your dog has been bitten by a flea and want to confirm it, there is a simple test based on using water to tell whether or not you have found what looks like “flea dirt”: Pick up some of the suspected material with a pair of tweezers and drop it onto a piece of wet cotton wool or damp tissue; if the mark leaves an obvious reddish stain then it is likely to be genuine ‘flea dirt’ rather than some other substance such as sand or dust.
Pet flea medicine is different than human flea medicine.
Just as there are different products for dogs and cats, so are there different products for pets and humans. If you’re worried about fleas after spending time with your dog or cat, you may want to take a shower and wash your bedding.
If your pet has fleas, the best course of action is to use one of these formulas:
- A flea shampoo or bath
- Flea collars or pet sprays
- Some oral medications can also be used to prevent fleas from multiplying on your pet’s body
You can get help for a flea problem with professional pest control.
When you’re dealing with a flea problem, enlisting the help of professional pest control services can get rid of fleas and prevent them from returning. Professionals use insecticides to kill existing adult fleas and their eggs, which helps stop flea reproduction and break the normal life cycle. Specialists may also apply nematodes, parasites that feed on and kill fleas in their larvae stage. These experts are also trained to identify potential sources for a pest infestation and deal with them accordingly. An exterminator will examine your property for signs of infestation such as eggs and droppings, then use fumigation or pesticide application to eliminate pests from your home.
Be aware that there’s no such thing as a dog and human flea, so talk to your veterinarian about the best treatment for your pet if you think it has a flea infestation.
It’s important to remember that pets and their fleas are two separate things—it has been scientifically proven that there is no such thing as a dog and human flea. If you think you have a flea infestation, the best course of action is to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor can help diagnose whether the itching you’re experiencing is caused by fleas and will also be able to recommend treatments for you if it turns out that your home is infested.
If you think your dog or cat has a flea infestation, contact your veterinarian. They can help diagnose whether or not your pet has been infected and will be able to recommend the best treatment option for them if they do indeed have fleas.
- Waterproof flea and tick treatment for dogs: Frontline Plus for Dogs provides waterproof, fast-acting, long-lasting flea and tick treatment and control for your dog. This product is approved for use on dogs 5-22 lbs.
- Break the flea life cycle with frontline: Frontline flea and tick treatment for dogs kills adult fleas plus flea eggs and larvae to stop existing infestations and prevent establishment of new infestations.
- Kills fleas and ticks: Frontline flea and tick treatment for dogs kills fleas, flea eggs, lice, and ticks. This flea and tick treatment kills ticks, including those that may transmit Lyme disease.
- Trusted flea and tick protection for dogs: Frontline has been trusted by veterinarians for nearly 20 years. Made with 2 tough killing ingredients, fipronil and (S)-methoprene – one to kill adult fleas and ticks and the second to kill flea eggs and larvae – this fast-acting, long-lasting protection provides flea and tick control for dogs and puppies 8 weeks and older
- Lasting flea and tick protection: Frontline’s long-lasting formula isstored in the oil glands of the pet’s skin to give non-stop flea and tick protection for a full 30 days. Frontline flea and tick treatment for dogs works non-stop for a full 30 days. A 3-dose supply lasts for 3 months.
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