How did dog get fleas? To start with, as a dog owner, your first reaction to finding fleas on your dog shouldn’t be one of apprehension.
You need to calmly analyze the situation and make sure you find a solution as soon as possible as a delay could put your dog in harm’s way.
What are Fleas?
Fleas are tiny, jumping insects that live and thrive on blood.
They are really annoying as they can get hitched on a lot of things ranging from clothing to skin. It is annoying to know that a flea can jump to a height ten times its size (even without wings).
These stubborn creatures also multiply at an alarming rate. A female flea can lay up to 40 eggs per day.
That said, while fleas are known to known to thrive and survive all year round in Southern USA, their presence is generally associated with winter.
How Do Dogs Get Fleas?
It is not surprising that you are asking “how did my dog get fleas?” as flea infestation is a pretty common issue for dogs.
That said, the outdoors is a pretty obvious avenue for flea infestation. Given that dogs love to be adventurous, you really can’t stop them from moving about. They could pick up the fleas as close as out in the porch or as far as in the park.
Another possible medium is from interaction with other dogs or animals that have fleas. Remember we mentioned earlier that fleas can hitch-hike from one place to the other with ease. As a result of this they find it easy to move from one host to another.
Another surprising place where the dogs can get fleas is from your home. As far as one flea gets into your home (either through clothing or some other means), there is a risk of this happening. Also, small animals such as mice and rats can also bring it into the home.
Dogs could also get fleas from their containment systems. Say for instance, their kennel. Once a flea finds its way into its kennel, there could be an epidemic.
Watch this video to find out how to check for fleas.
What Health Challenge(s) Do Fleas Pose To My Dog?
Given that we now know where the fleas could be picked up from, it will make sense that we have a look at the health challenges posed by these stubborn little creatures.
First off, a flea infested dog could have flea-bite anaemia. This could develop as a result of the depletion of its red blood cell (as fleas are primarily after the dog’s blood).
An infested dog is also at risk of getting tapeworm. This happens when the fleas lay eggs in the small intestine of the dog.
What To Do When My Dog Has Fleas?
Once you have confirmed that your dog has fleas, there are different treatment options available to you.
One way of combating fleas on your dog is to administer flea and tick pills to the dog. This should be done on the advice of your veterinary doctor. We are strongly against self-medication.
Medicated shampoo is another way to go. It is an inexpensive way of ensuring that your dog is flea free. The shampoo kills the fleas and ticks on the dog. After this, you could use a tick comb to remove the dead fleas and ticks from the body of the dog.
Furthermore, there are a number of other topical treatment methods you could opt for including powders, creams and on-the spot treatment. Then there are also flea and tick removal collars.
Your vet should be able to help you decide which method will be more effective for your dog.
What To Do To Avoid A Recurrence
As regards a flea infestation, the saying “prevention is better than cure” is of utmost relevance. It is very wise to ensure that fleas don’t attack your dog in the first place rather than look for control measures.
Nevertheless, all is not lost as there are some steps that can be taken to make sure that your chances of asking the “how did my dog get fleas?” question are reduced.
One of the measures to take in order to forestall a recurrence is to ensure that you use flea treatment regularly. This treatment could be done on a monthly basis to ensure that your dog is safe from fleas.
Also, you could make sure that your home is free from rodents and wild mice that are easy carriers of this parasite. One way to achieve this is ensuring that solid waste (especially food items) are well disposed.
You also want to pay attention to the kennel or boarding facility you take your dog to. Ask questions and be sure that the authorities that be have taken measures to prevent a flea infestation epidemic.