Before we head on to how to get rid of fleas on dogs fast, let’s learn some few things about your canine flea.
Dog Fleas Are Known As (Ectoparasites)
One of the best-known of dog fleas is called (Ctenocephalides canis) this infests the dog and is considered to be responsible for the most common cause of skin disease amongst all dog breeds.
Dog fleas are small flat sided wingless insect around 2-3 mm in length with a mouth designed by nature to pierce the skin and suck the blood of the unfortunate canine. These insects are thirst crazy and can drink 15 times their own weight of your dogs blood. They also have a very efficient system for gaining access to the blood.
They inject saliva into the dogs skin to stop the blood clotting, which allows them the opportunity to keep drinking more of their favorite food. This may trigger a reaction to the skin called flea allergy dermatitis.
Symptoms are intense itching, scabs and red irritated skin, which may lead to skin infections and some loss of hair (especially around the dogs tail).
As the dog fleas digests the blood it passes out later as small shiny black droppings. This flea dirt appears as small particles between the hairs of the dogs coat.
Its a fact that just stroking your pet can cause a flea to jump from your dog onto your skin. Fleas can jump up to 10,000 times in a row, that is some stamina. Having three pairs of legs allows them to jump up to two feet, (thats pretty awsome) and a laterally flattened body also makes for quickly finding their way through a dog’s fur.
Fleas in dogs are not only content to drink dogs blood, they will drink human blood as well. Unfortunately many people experience a severe reaction to their bites, which can cause itching leading to scratching and various skin infections.
These tiny dog fleas (insects) usually spent around four hours on the hosts (your dogs) soft warm fur, which is a natural environment to begin their breeding cycle. Having drunk their fill of blood they jump off onto carpets, clothing, bedding crevices, cracks etc to start the next stage of the process. The female of the species are very productive and like an efficient production line can lay an egg every hour, which can lead to a high flea infestation in your home in only a few days.
A similar infestation to that of the dog fleas can occur with the human flea (Pulex irritans) and sometimes with hedgehog fleas. Fleas breed rapidly in warm weather and they manage to complete their lifecycle away from the host, usually in carpets and bedding etc.
A dog with fleas can also be a carrier of the Endoparasites (Dipylidium caninum) or tapeworm. Flea larvae become infested with tapeworm eggs which develop in the adult flea and are swallowed by the dog when it cleans itself.
Fleas can live in grass and hedgerows outside the home.
Given the right conditions fleas can live for several months between feeds. The white eggs are not laid on the dog but in the environment and these hatch out into many new black maggot like Larvae.
In the winter when the temperature is low this can take months but in the warm environment of summer or central heated house this can be as short as a few days. The larvae feed on debris from the environments and in warm conditions, rapidly develop into adult fleas to complete the lifecycle. Dog Fleas are different from the Cat Flea but a large proportion of fleas found on the dog are Cat fleas.
Fleas need blood, Just like Vampires, to feed on before they can reproduce and require easy access to this nourishing supply. The thickness of your dogs skin can make a difference to their breeding habits. Thin-skinned puppies are a great target and puppy fleas prefer these to thicker skinned adult dogs.
The life cycle of fleas in dogs is from around 14 days to 21 months depending
whether the food source is available or scarce.
They are survivors and quickly adapt to changing situations.
So ask yourself:
- .Is your dog licking or scratching more than normal? It could be fleas.
- If your dog has pale gums and shows signs of lack luster then it could be fleas.
- As fleas consume massive amounts of your dogs blood it may cause sudden drop their red blood cell count and anemia may be the end result.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs Fast
Is your dog the only animal in your household? If not then you will have to treat them as well. Deciding which treatment is best for a dog with fleas needs added professional advice, because of safety considerations as to whether the flea medicine is safe for both cats and dogs.
Having taken care of your pets needs now its time to turn your attention to places in and around your home where these nasty insect predators lurk. Start with your dogs bedding which will need washing and any rugs or blankets they use. Next after cleaning carpets and floors including any cracks and crevices its time to use an indoor insecticide to kill of eggs and larvae.
Be careful with pet fish and birds which will need either removing or protecting before using the insecticide. Its a constant battle with dog fleas if your dog is out and about they are going to come in close contact with other animals that may carry fleas. Nothing is 100% flea free because they know how to survive.
You will also need a yard treatment for fleas and don’t forget the dog kennel. Its like searching for the elusive buried treasure, its never ending, but with perseverance you can keep the problem at bay.
There is nothing you can do but take all the preventative measures you can and just enjoy having a companion that gives you his love and loyalty. Keeping your dog and your home environment flea free will make a huge difference to the health of you and your dog. Dog Fleas reside in clean homes just as much as unclean homes.
Remember for every flea you see on your pet, it is estimated that there are 100 more waiting to spread chaos in your home.
Now that is a sobering thought!