If you are asking about how many fleas on a dog is considered an infestation, you most probably want to know how many fleas are enough to cause damage on a dog.
Now, the answer to this one is not exactly straightforward. The thing is, when we talk about an infestation, we most likely are looking at many, which is right.
However, with fleas, one flea could pose a problem. This is not exactly about its resultant effects.
The thing is, fleas can breed in just 24 hours and those new eggs can mature in about 2 weeks. Add that to the fact that one female flea can lay about 20 eggs at once and you can begin to picture the problem.
So, if your dog has just one female flea, in about 2 months, you could be looking at thousands of adult fleas which certainly qualifies to be an infestation.
So, maybe the question is better as…
At What Point Should I Be Concerned About Seeing A Flea On My Dog?
Honestly, you need to be concerned about the first flea you see on your dog.
While we do not want to scare you or anything (a flea infestation isn’t exactly a death sentence) fleas are very tenacious and it is important to get them off as soon as possible.
If you can spot that one flea the moment it gets on your dog (which might not be possible), you’ll be saving you and your dog a whole world of trouble. Let’s talk about that.
First off, there are a number of products that can be used to get rid of fleas. Some of these products are drugs, some are topical products (can be applied to the skin like shampoos, creams and on-the-spot treatments) and some others are collars.
However, most of these methods only get rid of the adults. And we already know that even if you kill all the adult fleas, you’ll be right back to square one in about 2 weeks when the eggs mature.
There are a number of products that can now get rid of the eggs. However, getting rid of the pupa is still pretty tricky.
Furthermore, even after you’ve rid your dog of these interesting creatures, you’d still have to be really careful. This is because an infested dog usually means an infested environment.
So, if your dog has a host of fleas on him, there are probably fleas in their bed, on your bed, in your car, on your carpet and generally just around the place.
You’ll have to make sure that you’ve rid your environment of these creatures in order to prevent a resurgence.
So, realizing that even one flea is something to be concerned about is really important to keeping your dog and your home flea free.
How Do I Know My Dog Is Infested?
A flea infestation is usually accompanied by a lot of scratching to get rid of the things. The scratching could also lead to hair loss.
Furthermore, you might notice some really small black or brown specs on your dog’s bed or wherever they sleep. These specs could be flea poop that have fallen off from your dog.
What Then Can Be Done?
Well, if you find that one flea, picking it up and squashing it could be enough to forestall any breakout or infestation.
However, in reality, if you can pick out a flea from off your dog, it is probably because there is a full-blown infestation.
So, if you’ve noticed that your dog has a flea infestation, the first thing you want to do is to inform your vet. Your vet will recommend or prescribe a control method they think will best control the situation.
You could consider explaining to your vet that you want something that will take care of the fleas at all levels. Also, ask your vet to recommend a solution to the fleas that are definitely in your house or your surroundings.
If You Do Not Do Something About It
Well, if you leave things to continue as is, there could be really dire consequences. For one, fleas thrive on blood. And if there are a lot of fleas on your dog, they could suck enough to cause anaemia for your dog.
Tapeworm is also a significant concern. Fleas are carriers of tapeworm and your dog could ingest them as they self-groom leading to a tapeworm issue which is probably worse than the flea infestation.
So, we’ve tried to, in addition to answering how many fleas on a dog is considered an infestation, answer some other important questions on flea infestation.
Now, before you leave, watch this video for a visual representation of how to find out if your dog has a flea infestation.