It happens to the best of them… no matter how you try to protect your dog, fleas are very active insects that thrive in warm weather. (Big sigh of relief that it’s November in Chicago). Fleas are very active in warmer months, though, and stay well hidden on your dog, as they burrow into the dog’s fur to the skin. The fleas then ingest your dog’s blood and can cause severe itching and inflammation.
Here are some tips from Dogaholics on how to check your dog for fleas before the infestation becomes severe.
If your dog is restless, or you notice him itching, biting, or licking certain areas of the body more than usual, it’s probably time to check for fleas. A flea infestation is also a possible cause if your dog is shaking his head or scratching his years often.
Skin and Coat
To inspect your dog fully, turn him on his back. This will allow you to check the areas—such as the armpits and groin—where fleas can easily hide. Next, check his ears for signs of excessive scratching, redness or blood. Then check for redness or bumps on your dog’s belly or groin or hair loss coupled with scabbing, which could indicate that your dog is scratching excessively.
Finally, take a flea comb and run it through your dog’s back and leg hair. The comb will catch fleas from under the haircoat, so make sure to get as close to the skin as possible to catch the hidden fleas. As you comb, throw any live fleas into a bowl of soapy water to clean the comb and drown the fleas.
Check for fleas in areas of your home where your dog spends a lot of time. His bed and feeding area may show signs of flea dirt (little black specks) or actual fleas themselves.
Lastly, always remember to consult your veterinarian if you think your pup may have fleas. They’ll know what’s best for your dog’s specific infestation. And of course, when your pup finally feels better, treat him to a day of pampering and dog grooming at Dogaholics!