Fleas in dogs can be a major nuisance. Fleas do not have wings, but rather strong hind legs that allow them to jump up to a meter. So they can easily spread and migrate from animal to animal or even from animal to person.
Fleas have claws on their legs and there and all over their body they have bristles and tooth combs that point backwards. This makes it difficult for dog owners to comb the fleas out of the dog’s fur. So you have to fleas differently – and very quickly. Because they reproduce quickly and can be dangerous to the dog.
Fleas lead to inflammation of the skin and anemia when led by dogs. The dog becomes nervous, the fur shaggy. There are also other health risks from fleas:
Fleas transmit the so-called cucumber tapeworm to the dog, whose intermediate host they are. The cucumber seed tapeworm is the most common tapeworm in dogs. The worm eggs are ingested by the flea larvae and continue to develop there. The dog picks up the infested fleas through grooming.
The further developed larvae of the tapeworm get into the dog’s intestine and within 20 days they become an adult tapeworm of 10 to 70 cm in length, which must be fought with anti-parasitic agents. If you consistently protect your dog from fleas, the risk of infection with the cucumber tapeworm is also reduced.
A flea infestation is very painful for dogs with flea saliva allergy. If a single flea in a dog with a flea saliva allergy takes even a tiny meal of blood, the person allergic to flea saliva sometimes itches for days. The dog scratches and bites almost continuously. Live fleas are rarely found on these dogs, however, because the dogs hunt their tormentors mercilessly. In dogs with flea saliva allergy, it is therefore important to consistently and consistently prevent flea infestations.
A dog with flea saliva allergy scratches and bites itself almost continuously when it is infected with fleas. © SasaStock-stock.adobe.com
There are numerous products on the market that can be used to control fleas in dogs and prevent flea infestations. The products differ in terms of:
There is no such thing as the best product for all dogs. Rather, one has to choose the product that best suits the dog’s lifestyle. Preparations for the prevention and control of fleas in dogs include:
Spot-on preparations that are applied topically act on the dog’s skin and attack fleas from the outside. When using spot-on preparations, make sure that the dog does not get wet before and after the spot-on treatment. Sprays or collars also work from the outside. These remedies are also effective against ticks in dogs.
Chewable tablets take a different approach. The tablets are administered to the dog like a treat. The fleas then ingest the active ingredients with their blood meal. This has advantages and disadvantages:
However, even the best anti-flea agent can only provide protection if it is used regularly in the correct dosage.
Please note: It is important to use the products consistently and without gaps when fighting fleas. With the antiparasitics on the animal, the offspring of the fleas in the vicinity can also be combated, because dead fleas do not lay eggs. Those who take breaks in treatment, on the other hand, give the young fleas, which can hide in their cocoons in the vicinity of the host for up to six months, the chance to reproduce again and again.
Dog owners who want to do without chemical preparations can, as with natural tick repellants, use plant-based preparations. Other options are home remedies such as black seed oil and coconut oil or esoteric alternative methods such as amber chains.
However, it has not been proven that these agents are effective against fleas in dogs. In addition, not all preparations are well tolerated. In particular, products from obscure sources on the Internet can be polluted. Therefore, inform yourself well about the ingredients, side effects and experience reports of such agents. But you should also do the same with chemical preparations.
In the event of a flea infestation, owners not only have to fight the annoying parasites on the dog, but also treat the environment at the same time. Thorough vacuuming and repeated washing of all textiles are a must. It can take some time to get rid of the unpleasant parasites. Because only about ten percent of the eggs and fleas are actually on the dog, the rest on sofas, carpets and pillows in the house or apartment. If the flea infestation is severe, the entire area must be treated with a suitable insecticide.