Fleas. The ones that you find on the skin on your pet dog makes up to 5 percent of the total flea population in your house. Moreover, they reproduce drastically. These annoying tiny creatures, with their small heads, can make your pet dog’s life a living hell for which it’s really important for you to get rid of them ASAP!
Before we proceed on to how you can get rid of them, you should first know about the symptoms of it. This is just to make sure that your dog is suffering from fleas and not any other health issues.
Symptoms of Fleas:
Canines suffering from fleas would be scratching themselves to the point where it would drive them nuts. Fleas usually pick on the rear end of dogs for which you’ll notice your canine chewing their tail and flanks. The tiny black specks stuck in their fur is what reveals to be “flea dirt.” With their mouthpart, it allows them to piece your doggo’s skin and drink blood. A single bite can cause over itching in dogs. If your poor furry friend has sensitive skin, they might have an allergic reaction to flea saliva.
Check for these following symptoms:
• Itching and scratching: As a dog parent, that’s probably the first and foremost symptom you would notice when your dog gets caught with fleas. It could be severe, non-stop scratching or even mild itching. Flea bite dermatitis is an awful skin reaction, whereby, your canine would become hypersensitive due to the irritation it causes them.
• Red Bumps: These usually appear on a dog’s belly, genitals and hindquarters. These bumps appear due to excessive scratching and further irritation. This needs immediate treatment otherwise can develop into crusty lesions resulting in secondary infections.
• Pus leaking from sores: Again, excessive scratching, biting, licking and itching can lead to bacterial infections and thus resulting for the skin to become sore. These infections, when not treated properly could be life-threatening.
• Hair loss causing patchy areas: More often than not, alopecia is diagnosed in dogs, whereby, they repeatedly scratch themselves. This scratching derives from skin dryness, and thus your canine begins to lose hair in some areas of their body.
How To Get Rid Of Them?
Now that you’ve known that your canine is suffering from fleas, but aren’t sure about how you can feasibly get rid of them, here are a handful of techniques that we’ve listed, which we believe would be of some use.
1. Make Use of a Flea Comb:
Yes, there is such a thing called flea comb. This probably the most effective and easiest way to get rid of these tiny little bugs. Get a good quality comb that sifts through the fleas of all sizes, including their eggs and larvae. Eggs and larvae don’t really reside on dogs, but just in case if they do, you’re not leaving any stone unturned. The flea combs are usually of narrow teeth. Before you go on using it on your pet dog, make sure that their fur is untangled and that you’re not hurting them while combing.
2. Supplement Your Dog Shampoo:
Although there are quite a number of flea shampoos available at pet stores, you can also turn your ordinary dog shampoo into a flea specified shampoo right at the ease of your home with some of the handy elements. Add a half cup of freshly compressed lemon juice to half a cup of your dog shampoo and add two cups of water to it. Process this mixture in a container and bathe your dog using this mixture at least once a week.
For large dogs, increase the quantity of the mixtures in proportion. Ensure that your pet doesn’t roam around freely through muddy lawns or grassy trails, where usually the fleas reside. Instead, comb your canine’s fur thoroughly and pick up all the fleas.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar to Repel Fleas:
Add a teaspoon of fermented apple cider vinegar in about a quarter liter of water. Leave that water on your dog’s water bowl for them to drink it throughout the day. The apple cider vinegar helps to keep your dog’s skin slightly acidic that staves off fleas and other parasites that matter.
Remember that it’s a good idea to keep your dog’s skin slightly acidic with the water that they would drink, but do not consider applying apple cider vinegar directly onto their skin. For further information, contact your vet as to how much cider you should allow your pet dog to ingest based on their body weight and other factors.
4. Occasionally vacuum the floor or use steam cleaners:
While you’re wondering whether vacuuming the floor to get rid of fleas is sufficient or not, studies have shown that vacuum sure does help! Have you noticed how powerful the brushes, air currents and fans of a vacuum cleaner are? That’s what is responsible for causing the death of these bugs. In accord, adding a spoonful of flea powder into the vacuum bag will kill any remaining fleas and prevent them from multiplying inside the vacuum bag.
Moreover, vacuum brushes away the cuticle, the waxy outer layer of fleas and other insects. Fleas are likely to accommodate themselves in places where it’s warm and moist. There isn’t a single corner in your house where your pet doesn’t go on to rest. Hence, vacuuming now and then will prevent these tiny little itchy creatures from multiplying and infesting near you and your pet.
Another tip is using steam cleaners
Yes, they do wonders! Steam cleaners make it easier and effective to wipe out fleas from every corner that are difficult to reach. In fact, a steam cleaner is much more effective in removing scraps than a vacuum cleaner. These efficient cleaners are likely to suck out the larvae and cocoons that dry vacuuming cleaners struggle to eradicate.
An extreme steam temperature of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher turn out to be lethal for fleas as they are not able to survive in that extreme temperature. Also, the non-toxic steam is a safer solution to be used around pets and kids.
5. Wash your beddings and covers every couple of days:
Another way to get rid of fleas from your pet dogs is to thoroughly clean their bedding because that’s where the blood-sucking tiny bugs reside. And if your canine has been in contact with your furniture and upholstery, consider cleaning them too. However always remember to provide your canine with their own bed rather than letting them sleep with you. This is to avoid the fleas from laying eggs and leaving their larvae that would later cause itchiness in you. And you’ll also need to take the trouble of cleaning your entire bedding to get rid of fleas.
To eliminate any fleas on your dog’s bedding, gather up all their covers and put it on for washing at the hottest setting possible. Also, use soap or detergent that is designed to kill fleas and insects, which will assist in destroying the flea eggs that harbored in their bedding. Again, don’t leave out the sofa, carpet and any other fabrics where your dog has spent time. Don’t forget the plush toys as they are great places for fleas to the harbor.
6. Plant flea repellant plants:
There’s nothing more rewarding you can do for the environment than planting trees. And on top of that, if it repels these tiny itchy bugs, then that’s awesome! If your canine spends most of their time outdoors on the lawn and has been diagnosed with fleas, chances are that there are fleas in your yard. Besides, they are carrying these bugs into your house. Here are a few natural ways you can get rid of fleas from your yard and thus from your pet dog too:
• Plant flea repelling shrubs: Peppermint, rosemary, sage, and lemongrass contains natural oils that are likely to keep fleas out of your yard. However, do make sure to keep them out of your pooch’s reach because these plants are not really pet-friendly.
• Mow your lawn more frequently: Cut and trim any excessive bushes or hedges that you see. That would mean having fewer places for fleas to settle down.
• Brush away dead leaves: Dead leaves and twigs are another places for fleas to accumulate themselves. In fact, any dark and damp places, that is not exposed to sunlight are just homes for fleas. Clear out your lawn as much as possible to keep these tiny bugs away.
• Use nematodes: These are tiny worms commonly known as roundworms and can be found in every environment. While some of these species are harmful, other play an essential role in nutrient cycling. For instance, Steinernema carpocapsae works wonderfully when dealing with fleas. What they do is eat and kill bugs that include fleas and lessen the number of fleas in gardens for up to 90%. Additionally, they are completely safe for dogs as well as the environment. They won’t destroy other crops in your garden.
Last but not least, fogging (also called flea bombing) is an effective way to get these insects out of your house, which in turn means relieving your canine from them. These are aerosol canisters that let off a spray into your room that contains the insecticide that kills fleas and their larvae. If you’re really considering using a flea bomb, it is highly important that you follow the instructions. Typically, you need to leave it for 8 – 10 hours for the chemicals to work properly.
Also, you and your pooch need to stay away from the room so that neither of you is inhaling the chemicals. Make sure that any food items and utensils are not exposed to the aerosols. Possibly, turn off the electricity of that room because aerosols can be flammable.
One additional tip:
8. Citrus Sprays:
A citrus spray is a great way to keep your house out of these flea-troubles. Plus, they are less toxic, containing linalool or limonene, the element that’s spicy enough to kill fleas. While they are a good remedy, bear it in mind that they evaporate quickly by leaving residual protection against fleas from entering again. They work as a useful repellant but not as a flea infestation on their own.
You can make one of these citrus sprays at home by yourself using lemons. Slice out some lemons and add a pint of water to it. Boil it until the water turns yellowish. Turn off the stove and let the solution sit overnight. You may add vinegar to the solution before bottling it, as it would work the best!
Fleas are so Hard to Get Rid of. But Why?
Once your canine gets caught up with fleas, it might be notoriously tough to get rid of them. That’s because they are never-ending, just like cockroaches. The moment you think that you got rid of them, more of it will start popping out of the blue. You really need a treatment to get rid of all of it from your pet as well as from the environment.
No matter how much attempts you have taken, all your remedies seemed to fail. You may have tried using flea shampoos and other medications on your dog but what you forgot is to treat your home. Fleas leave their eggs and larvae embedded in the corners of your furniture and rugs, after few days that would hatch and spread on your canine. Therefore, when treating fleas, make sure that you don’t just treat your canine, it’s also your house that’s left of with their existence.
So, the next time you find your canine having caught up with fleas, don’t lose hope. Remember that your efforts and persistence will pay off. Although it’s rare to repeatedly treat your canine a few times to completely get rid of fleas. It’s not only about your pet, but it’s also about your house, lawn and any other place your pet dog spends his or her time.
With the techniques mentioned above and remedies, we’re sure you can come about with a treatment plan of your own at home. Don’t forget or be reluctant about the problem and let that persist as fleas can cause to be hazardous for your pet.
Get a hold over this issue and say goodbye to them once and for all!