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Categories

Fleas in Dogs

17th May 2023

What are fleas?

Fleas are small parasites which live in high grass, sand, sheds and debris. They like shade and humidity but not dry climates. As animals prefer to go into shade on a hot day, this is primarily how they can pick up fleas.

Life Cycle

Adult Fleas – Adult fleas like to survive on a live host such as a dog, cat, rodents and any other furry mammal. On average, adult fleas can live from several weeks to several months depending on the conditions.

Flea Eggs – Dozens of these are laid directly onto your pet’s fur every day. These then fall and spread wherever your pet brings them. This means flea eggs can end up in your bedding, carpet, furniture and even on top of your appliances (especially if you have a cat!)

Flea Larvae – they like dark, dusty and narrow spaces that offer protection while they are small. Flea pupae are found only on floors and in-between carpet fibre. Despite composing 10% of a flea population, they are main reason why flea treatments can fail.

Symptoms of Fleas on a Dog:

Some of the tell-tale signs of fleas on dogs are:

  • Excessive self-grooming Spots or scabs (from bites)
  • Persistent scratching which can lead to hair loss
  • Redness and/or irritation
  • Bites on humans around the ankle area

Are fleas harmful?

Fleas are parasites which means they suck blood from the host they’re living on. While large, middle aged dogs are less likely to be severely affected, younger and frail dogs are at high risk of illness. Fleas can cause serious diseases such as Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAT) or Anaemia. Fleas can also be infected themselves with tapeworm eggs. These can grow in the body of a flea. They can be ingested into the dog when they are grooming themselves.

How often should I treat my dog?

Dogs should be treated for fleas and ticks every 3 months with either a spot-on treatment or oral tablet.

Treatments

There are a wide range of treatments for fleas such as tablets and spot-on. Some treatments can be used once a month while others last for 3 months.

We have a range available on our website here.