skeeze (CC0), Pixabay
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Small but extremely irritating, this is how pet owners view fleas. Once these parasites start, it can be hard to get rid of them.

To make things worse, your heart simply breaks when you see your dog in that itchy condition. So how should you prepare?

Know Thy Enemy

Fleas are small, external parasites that are usually found on dogs. In order to live, they feed on their host’s blood.

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They are commonly shiny and reddish brown or brown in color. They do not have wings but they can jump as high as two feet.

These parasites can have a lifespan up to 12 months and can produce millions of eggs. The life cycle of a flea has four stages: (1) egg, (2) larvae, (3) pupa, and (4) imago or adult.

Dog versus Fleas

If your dog has fleas, these can cause itching, and red bumps from bites. There may be a tendency for it to be infected if your dog keeps on scratching. If the infestation is widespread, this may cause anemia or even death.

When you find your dog constantly scratching or chewing, he possibly has fleas on him. You can check by brushing your dog.

Place a white sheet under the section you are brushing and see if any dirt comes off. If black specks come off, you can check if these are flea feces by moving it to a damp piece of paper. If the specks turn into red or rust-colored, this is confirmation that fleas have been or still is on your dog.

You get this result because fleas suck blood and in turn excrete it as waste. If the black bits does not turn red, it means it is just the dirt he got from his usual excursion.

Flea Positive

Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation of antiseptic soap that you can use to wash the flea bites on your dog. The use of antiseptic soap reduces the risk of the bite developing into an infection.

Exterminate!

You can exterminate the fleas yourself by using both insect growth regulator and adulticide.

An insect growth regulator will help eradicate fleas by hindering its growth into an adult while an adulticide will eliminate fleas that are already in the adult stage. You can consult with your veterinarian for the specific product you can use or if the need to hire pest control experts eventually arise.

Prevention is Better than Cure

Learn how to prevent flea infestation with these tips:

· Make a habit of brushing down your dog. You can spot fleas while brushing, and this helps your dog distribute the natural oils of his coat and even diminish shedding.

· Regular cleaning is the most basic prevention, this includes both indoor and outdoor cleaning. For indoors, vacuuming areas where your dog constantly goes to and washing your dog’s bedding or any washable material your dog frequents should be routinely accomplished.

As for outdoors, check the spot where your dog can always hang out. These are areas where you can commonly find fleas.

· Learn about the areas in your neighborhood and see if they provide flea control programs.

· Veterinarians offer products that can provide your dog protection from fleas. Inquire for the best product and this will aid you in avoiding trouble with fleas.

Overall, do not panic at the sight of a flea on your dog. Keep calm and follow our guide for an effective flea-free life of your happy dog.

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