How to fight fleas and de-flea a dog
"These are dog fleas, they wouldn't attack humans," you must have heard this sentence by Grandpa Komárek from the Czech famous movie. And you may have found out, that it's not entirely true. The unwanted flea visitors that your dog has brought home completely unnoticed can make life unpleasant not only for him, but also for the whole family and other pets.
Fighting fleas is often a lengthy battle. You can do everything you can to avoid them, but these parasites are so resilient that they won't let themselves be chased out of the dog's coats. They lurk in the grass, in the fur of other animals and even among the spines of hedgehogs, who often occupy gardens and eat from the pets' bowls. Moreover, they should not be underestimated. Apart from the unpleasant itching, they can also transmit various diseases to the dog or cause an allergic reaction. In short, the sooner you declare war on fleas, the better, and remember to be well armed.
How to recognize early that your dog has fleas?
It is quite easy to recognise a flea invasion before you see the flea itself with your own eyes. The dog is constantly scratching, biting its fur, not sitting still and rubbing itself at every opportunity. Most fleas stick to the back around the spine, where the fur is thickest. This is where you are most likely to find flea dirt, which resemble small black dots. In light-coloured dogs you can spot them easily, in black dogs the whole flea situation is a bit more challenging.
Not sure if this is really flea dirt? The following test will help you detect it.
Flea dirt is actually the digested blood of animals. Put it on a napkin and sprinkle it with peroxide. If it starts to foam and turn brown, then your worst fears are confirmed and it's time to start de-fleaing.
How to get rid of fleas?
If it is not that bad yet, the dog does not have any health complications or allergic reaction, it should not be necessary to go to the vet right away. However, we leave it up to your discretion.
1. First you need to "dust off" your dog‘s fur. Metaphorically speaking. There are many de flea products on the market in the form of shampoos, sprays, pipettes. For example, Arava's tick and flea shampoo works great. This herbal shampoo is gentle on the dog's coat, but at the same time it is so effective that even fleas get scared.
2. After that, you should brush the dog thoroughly. Use a flea comb, which is a fine comb that combs out adult fleas and their eggs.
Repeat these two steps according to the degree of flea infestation.
3. If you are sure that all uninvited guests have "left the deck", it's time to take precautions so that the fleas don't come back again quickly. For example, you can get an herbal repellent collar or pipettes for the dog that will protect him not only against fleas but also against other parasites.
4. Now it's time for the big laundry. Unfortunately, fleas do not stick only in the dog's coat, so it is necessary to uncompromisingly go through all places where the dog has access and wash, vacuum and clean everything. Starting with the bed, seat, blankets and don't forget the collars, dog clothes, toys, etc. After the whole process, thoroughly clean the vacuum cleaner cartridge and its filter, and replace the bag if necessary.
We hate to say it, but since fleas are able to go without food for several months and lay many eggs during that time, you will most likely have to go through the whole tedious process of flea removal several times. But if you are patient and consistent, you will win the war against fleas. Fingers crossed!