Are you a pet owner? If the answer is yes, the presence of fleas on your dog could be one of your biggest concerns. Sometimes your dog can be infected by fleas after playing outside. In fact, dogs need time to play around, enjoying the freshness of spring air and move their muscles. But, sometimes fleas come and “joining the game”, and be one big trouble for you. There are many questions related with fleas and how to get rid of them. In this article, we will discuss the effective ways to get rid of fleas on your dog forever. But before that, we will talk further about the origin of fleas and the signs your four-legged friend have fleas on its body.
Know More About Fleas
Fleas are small insects that rely on blood of your pets like dogs and cats. Though it’s so small, fleas can jump 160 times higher than their height. They can’t fly and have no wings, and move by jumping from one pet to another. First and foremost, the moving of fleas will happen when there is contact between dogs. Fleas have strong back legs that make them able to jump high. Fleas are dark-brown colored, and prefer to live in warm temperature like 80 degrees, with high humidity levels. They live better in damp weather. That’s why these little insects usually emerge during summer season, and dog who lives in warm areas tend to have more troubles with fleas.
You can identify whether your furry friend is infected with fleas when he feels the itch. Sometimes it’s not a big deal. But it will be a trouble if your dog has sensitive skin. There is also dog that allergic to fleas. If this happen, there will be infection and inflammations. Without counting how many fleas are living on your dog’s skin, the sensitive dog can feel the itch all over his body just from one flea.
The Life Cycle of Fleas
We do agree that it’s not an easy task to know the best ways to get rid of fleas on your dog forever. Fleas are laying eggs in fast cycle. If you notice one little dark brown flea, it only represents the minimum percentage of the total population. The rest are in the form of pupa and larva. But worry not, later we will give you the best ways to get rid of fleas on your dog, forever.
Let’s start from the beginning of fleas’ life cycle. Female fleas can lay their eggs only within 2 days. How many eggs can she produce? Don’t be surprised, because she can produce up to 2000 eggs during one cycle. It’s only between 4 months. Later, the eggs will hatch and become larva within 10 days. The larva have high survival power in any condition, up to 20 days. Actually before becoming larva, eggs can fall easily from your dog’s body. They can stay in small space like furniture, bed, carpet, or little cracks on your house.
When they are ready to hatch in friendly environment, humid weather and low temperature, they will be adult fleas. In this moment, they have to find food from host’s body. It can be dogs, cats, or other pets. The fact is, they will die if they don’t get food within these 2 weeks. One adult flea will suck the blood of the host for 8 hours a day. During this moment, they will ingest 15 microliters of blood. When they live in your dog’s skin, these little insects can live up to one month. That’s adult fleas mate that you can notice with your eyes.
Identify the Root of Trouble
To start the effective way to get rid of fleas on your dog forever, you have to identify the source of infestation. Keep in mind that fleas have the ability to jump in great height. It means that your dog has the possibility to be infected from any areas, such as:
- Yard or Public Garden
This is mostly the location of infestation of fleas. Moreover if you live in humid and hot areas. Meanwhile, interaction with another dog can also be the root of trouble. But there is no way you can keep your dog at home without going around, right? That’s why in the next section we will provide you the best ways to get rid of fleas on your dog, forever.
The eggs of fleas tend to live in small spaces, like bedding and space between carpets or your favorite couch at home. Moreover if these areas are seldom cleaned and often be the nap place by your dog.
- Secondhand Pieces
No matter how beautiful or antique the stuff is, you have no idea where did that secondhand stuff come from. Please do check the condition because it could be the home for fleas from their previous home.
- Pet Salon
This is also one of the sources of fleas’ infestation. Interaction with other pets most likely happen here. So please make sure the pet salon or pet hotel that you choose understand about this. Choose the one with clean environment.
How to Identify?
Before entering the part to know the best ways to get rid of fleas on your dog forever, actually it’s not difficult to identify when your furry friend is infected by fleas. He will act differently, mostly seems uncomfortable. If you detect these gestures, do not wait any longer and do the treatments that we will discuss later to get rid of fleas on your dog forever. But first let’s take a look at the distinguished behaviors:
- Salt and Pepper
Notice the appearance of fleas like salt and pepper. The white powder that looks like salt is the salt eggs. While dark-colored powder that looks like pepper, is the fleas’ feces.
Check regularly if your dog has red patches on their body. It can be like that if your dog is sensitive with flea bites.
- Pale Gums
Yes, just like in human, pale means the amount of blood cells in inadequate. If this happens to your dog, it must be the sign of anemia due to so many fleas are sucking blood from your buddy.
- Scratch and Bite
See the frequency. If it’s too often, then most likely your dog is infected with fleas. See also the licking behavior.
- Hair Loss
This is the side effect of unusual scratching and biting behavior. It is called alopecia. It will bring to hair and fur loss.
Fortunately, there are various ways to get rid of fleas on your dog forever. You can choose the natural way or with medication. We have summarized it for you below, starting from the natural choices that you can do it by yourself at home.
Natural Treatments to Get Rid of Fleas on Your Dog
1. Flea Comb
The option to use flea comb is universal. It can be used for any circumstances, not only for combating flea in your dog, but also for other disturbing small insects in many areas. The proper product can comb all the fleas, including the eggs. Do it regularly. But first, make sure that your dog’s fur are straight to avoid pain. The bonus part is, your dog will feel happy being combed!
2. Apple Vinegar
There are many correlation between apple cider vinegar and cleansing. In this case, your dog will treat it as their new drinking taste. Yup, add one teaspoon of fermented apple cider vinegar into half liter of water. Let your dog drink it. The acidic content from apple cider vinegar will naturally repel fleas. But don’t apply the apple cider vinegar directly to your dog’s skin because it will irritate them.
3. Lemongrass Essential Oil
You can make your own formula to get rid of fleas on your dog. Prepare lemongrass and cedar wood essential oil. Mix it with purified water. Pour it into spray bottle. To use it, brush your dog’s fur against the grain. Spray the formula all over his body, avoid eyes and ears. Spray it 2 times a week. You can also use this formula in larger quantity and put it on your water hose. Later, when you are watering your backyard, the lemongrass and cedar wood oil will spread and control the population of fleas. They don’t like the smell of lemongrass, lavender, tea tree, and cedar wood.
4. Consider Wearing Flea Collar
Collar or kerchief, you name it. Just add two drops of tea tree or lavender oil and spread it on the collar. You can also consider to dilute it. Tie it on your dog’s neck. This will be the barrier for the fleas.
5. Vacuum Process
Do regular vacuuming process to all areas that can be the home for fleas. Your bedding, your dog’s favorite couch, carpets, thick clothes, etc. Clean it thoroughly. Make sure to throw the waste carefully. Do it outside the house and put in sealed trash bag. This will help you to control the amount of fleas living in your house.
6. Heat It
Fleas, eggs, and vulva can’t stand intense heating process like what our washing machine can do. Wash the clothes with strong detergent to kill the fleas. Don’t forget to dry it with intense heat to kill the fleas.
7. Homemade Flea Trap
Like what we previously discussed about the effectiveness of strong detergent, you can also use it for homemade flea trip. Mix water with detergent, and put it on a bowl. Choose narrow bowl that flea can hop on to. Place night lamp above the trap. The night lamp will attract the fleas. This method is effective to kill the adult fleas, not the eggs one.
8. Coconut Oil
Yes, most likely coconut oil always appear in the list of effective oil to heal anything. In the case of get rid of fleas on dog, the lauric acid within coconut oil will work as natural flea repellent. Take coconut oil on your hands. Massage this oil all over your dog’s body. And then, grab the flea comb and the fleas will stick to the oil. Do this once a week outside your house to make sure that the fleas won’t stay on your furniture. The other method is put it into a spray bottle.
9. Soap and Shampoo
As a part of cleanliness, washing your buddy with specific soap and shampoo is another effective and easy method. Make sure that you wash your dog’s body thoroughly with a proper soap and shampoo. The fleas will fall off when you bath your dog. Repeat it few times. You can also use the flea comb when the fur is still in wet condition, making it easier to catch the fleas.
10. Boric Acid Powder
There must be areas in your house that isn’t exposed to sunlight. The condition will be humid there, the favorite place of fleas. Use boric acid powder to that area. This will neutralize the eggs and larva. Don’t forget to clean it afterwards to prevent your dog from licking the powder.
Medical Treatments to Get Rid of Fleas on Your Dogs
Aside from natural treatments, you can also consider medical one. But remember, you should consult with your veterinarian to know the right choice and prevent side effect.
- Flea Spray
Choose spray that contains insect growth regulator. Follow the instructions on the label. Avoid to spray in eyes and ears.
- Regular Tablet Intake
This usually comes in form of pill. Feed it to your four-legged friend once a month during meal. The female flea will ingest the chemical content from the pill (lufenuron). It will prevent her to produce eggs. Know the proper dosage from your veterinarian. See the reaction on your dog.
- Oral and Topical Medication
There are many brands of medication on the rack. Oral medication is the one that is chewable and will be a tasty snack for your dog. Whilst topical medication usually comes in tube. Squeeze it into your dog once a month.
Better Be Safe than Sorry
See, there are many options for you to choose while trying to get rid of fleas on your dog forever. Prevention is the key to avoid simultaneously flea infestation. Keep clean your environment. Bring your buddy to veterinarian so that they can do the “spot-on” method to detect the fleas earlier. Knowing the natural ways to get rid of fleas on your dog forever, now you can bring them outdoor without worrying of those fleas to hop on. We hope this article will work for your problem.