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The most numerous parasites found on a dog's coat is the flea. These bloodsuckers need a host to survive. The downside is they can not only cause diseases, but they can also gravely affect the quality of life of your beloved pooch.
One way of telling if your dog has fleas is to get the dog to lie down on its back and check for fleas yourself. Since the underside of the dog has less fur, it’s much easier to spot them.
Moreover, if your dog scratches often, then there’s a likelihood they have fleas in their fur.
You can also check for flea specks or flea feces. These will appear like regular dust particles but if you brush them against a white paper towel and pour warm water on them, you’ll notice they’ll turn a rusty red color. This is the byproduct of the blood sucked by the fleas and passed through as waste matter.
It goes without saying that prevention is the best way to handle fleas. But how do you prevent these parasites from getting inside your dog’s coat in the first place? Let’s find out.
Check The Environment
This pertains to places where your dog likes to hang out the most. If indoors, you’ll need to vacuum floors, furniture, carpets, and pet mats. This is because dogs will likely scratch themselves, leaving behind flea eggs and larva that’s still developing.
You’ll also need to clean the outdoors and take measures to take care of your dog when outside. Start by identifying places where your dog likes to rest, such as under a tree, in its kennel, or other places that can provide them with shade. Don’t forget to wash and change your dogs bedding regularly to help reduce the risk of fleas from laying eggs. Keep in mind that fleas like pretty much the same places and environments that dogs do, which is why it’s so easy for a dog to catch fleas.
Use A Flea Comb
A flea comb is specially designed so fleas can’t get through it. However, you can also use any regular comb with thin bristles. When using the comb, the idea is to lift the fleas off your dog’s coat so it’s important you get the comb in contact with the dog’s skin.
After lifting the fleas off the fur, drop the comb into warm water that has soap. The soap will help kill the fleas. It’s important that when combing the fleas off your dog’s coat you do so gently. This will stop the fleas from panicking and jumping. If they do this then plenty of fleas can still jump out of the way of the comb and land back in the dog's coat.
A quick and simple home solution for getting rid of fleas is to wash your dog with warm water and mild soap. This is an effective treatment against a small or moderate number of fleas, but may not be as effective when dealing with an infestation. Alternatively, Pet Fashion Week recommends a medicated flea shampoo that can treat even the most sensitive dog skin.
Wash your dog for three days straight to get rid of the fleas that got away the first time. Soap is important as it traps the fleas. It also dissolves their outer waxy protective membrane. This makes it hard for fleas to retain water and soon die of dehydration.
Use Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a natural and effective insecticide, especially against fleas. There are two ways you can go about using lemon juice:
First, cut a lemon into four quarters and put them in hot water. Let the mixture sit for 8 hours and then put it in a spray bottle. You can then spray the mixture onto your dog’s coat, making sure you reach the skin where the fleas will likely be.
Second, you can also mix equal parts water and lemon, put the mixture in a spray bottle, and spray the dog's coat, making sure to reach the skin.
Repeat any of these two methods for three days to make sure you get all the fleas out of your dog’s coat. Also, don’t forget to thoroughly spray the tail as fleas like to move to this area when they can’t utilize the full body area.
While it’s a good idea to work closely with your vet to find the best products for preventing and treating fleas, the above-mentioned tips are simple, can be applied by any pet owner at home, and are highly effective. Preventing fleas isn’t easy, but it can be done if you stay consistent and work at it. Do you have a problem with fleas?