How To Get Rid of Pet Fleas On Your Dog

A white-furred dog scratching its coat because of fleas
(Photo: Dogs/stock.adobe.com)

Fleas are dreadful and can become a nuisance when they infest your home. Worst of all, they will irritate not only you but your dog as well. Fleas can cause various issues for your dog, including excessive scratching, sores, and hair loss. They are also responsible for the spread of germs that can cause illness.

I can tell you from personal experience that getting rid of fleas in your own home is no easy task. To make matters worse, there are relatively few sources on the internet that offer solutions to this problem that are genuinely helpful. With this article, I will attempt to address that issue.

This article will discuss how to get rid of pet fleas on your dog if your dog already has them, as well as how to prevent future infestations.

Understand the Four Stages of a Flea’s Life Cycle

Fleas have four life cycle stages. You may be thinking, “so what?” but this is crucial since it influences how effective various treatments will be in killing the fleas. Strategies that kill flea eggs, for example, may not work as well on adult fleas and vice versa.

Stage 1: Eggs
The female flea begins by laying her eggs in a warm, shaded, and moist environment, either indoors or outdoors. For this reason, they frequently target your dog’s coat. Then, as they play, your dog scatters the eggs across the home.

Stage 2: Larva
The egg hatches into larvae, which grow and can now feed.

Stage 3: Pupa
The fleas will build cocoons during this stage. They will then remain there for months until they detect vibrations and a warm-bodied host. Most of the time, this is your dog.

Stage 4: Adult
They then begin hatching, at which point they mature and jump onto their host. Adult fleas will either stay on their host for an extended period or migrate to another host.

How to Get Rid of Fleas On Your Dog?

Dog owner removing fleas from puppy chihuahua's  coat using small silver pliers
(Photo: Ownza/stock.adobe.com)

Fine-Tooth Flea Comb

If you’re looking for an inexpensive and practical way to get rid of fleas, a flea comb is a must-have. Flea combs are made with small gaps between their teeth. The small openings trap the fleas while enabling your dog’s fur to pass through. Flea combs can also assist in removing flea poop or flea dirt from your dog’s coat which are those tiny specks that look like pepper.

Make a bowl of soapy water available to dunk the comb in after each pass through your dog’s coat. While doing this, pay careful attention to the neck area and the base of your dog’s tail, as this is where fleas usually feed.

Bathe Your Dog

Bathing your dog in warm water will help remove any fleas from their coat or skin. Flea shampoos and insecticides are available; however, you should always consult your veterinarian before using any such products. Because fleas cause your dog to scratch excessively, it’s natural for them to have wounds and raw spots on their skin, so utilizing these chemicals may cause irritation in those areas.

Schedule Regular Checkups

Even if you are positive that your dog’s fleas have disappeared, it is still essential that you perform weekly comb checks on their fur. You don’t want to be trapped in a false sense of security, believing that the fleas have disappeared when they are only hiding.

Regular Veterinary Consultations

Speak with your veterinarian if you’re ever unsure how to get rid of a flea infestation. Your veterinarian will be able to inform you of the most current flea treatments and preventatives. They will also assist you in selecting the best and safest treatment choices for your dog’s flea problem.

Self-Grooming

When dogs have fleas, they tend to groom themselves more, so consider allowing your dog to do so. Self-grooming is totally fine, just as long as your dog does not start scratching and biting itself.

Stop your dog from self-grooming as soon as you see hair loss or red, inflamed skin. Contact your veterinarian as early as possible because your dog might have a skin infection.

How to Get Rid of Fleas in the House

Man checking for carpet fleas trying to figure out how to get rid of pet fleas
(Photo: paolese/stock.adobe.com)

Washing

If you have fleas in your home, the first thing you want to do is gather all of your soft furnishings. Beds, blankets, pillows, towels, mats, and anything else that your dog spends a lot of time on fall into this category. Make absolutely sure these are washed in hot water. Hot water is especially effective at killing flea eggs and larvae. Washing your bedding and furnishings only once will not help; you must clean them regularly.

Finally, if the flea infestation is severe enough, washing your bedding may not be sufficient. In such circumstances, you may need to consider purchasing new bedding entirely.

Make Use of a Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum all of your carpets, couches, rugs, and floors. Make sure to clean any cracks or tight spots that fleas could use to hide.

Once you’ve vacuumed your home, the manner in which you dispose of the contents is critical. The last thing you want to do is bring fleas back into your home. If you use a water-based container, the fleas will drown as soon as the vacuum picks them up. However,  If you use a dry system, make sure to have some water on hand to spray the fleas; so they don’t escape. You can safely dispose of the contents by placing them in a trash can outside your home or flushing them down the toilet.

Steam Cleaning

When you have a large flea infestation, steam cleaning works very well with vacuuming to combat it. It kills flea larvae and adults, and in certain situations, it also kills the eggs. Sometimes the heat from the steam will induce the eggs to hatch, so it is crucial to vacuum quickly after steaming.

Baking Soda And Salt

If you sprinkle baking soda and salt around your home, it will work to dehydrate adult fleas and their eggs. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over your carpets, as well as under your tables and mattresses. Allow it to sit for a day or two before vacuuming thoroughly. Throw the contents in the garbage can outside your house.

Flea Control Chemicals

Flea sprays and fogs are a very effective way to get rid of fleas in your home. More often than not, you’ll need to buy multiple products since some chemicals are meant to kill flea eggs while others are designed to kill adult fleas.

Always ensure that the chemicals you purchase are not dangerous to your dog or the rest of your family. When using these products, make sure to wear chemical-resistant clothing. Once everyone has left the house, use the chemicals and only allow reentry when the substances are entirely dried.

Contact Your Local Exterminator

There are numerous products on the market that will assist you in dealing with your flea problem. However, I discovered that hiring professionals was the most effective method. Professionals will be especially useful if your flea infestation is severe. They will assist you in identifying the specific problem and provide the best way to deal with it. useful

Getting Rid of Fleas Outside And Around The House

(Photo: Sharon/stock.adobe.com)

Yard and Garden

Your garden, like many others, is most likely the source of your flea problem. The fleas are in your garden, where your dog plays, and when your dog gets weary, they bring the fleas inside with them. Unknowingly, of course.

To avoid this, maintain a bare garden or yard so that fleas don’t have a place to hide. This can be achieved by mowing your lawn regularly and trimming and removing any overgrown hedges, debris, or bulky objects. Fleas thrive in the dark, so expose any shady areas in your yard to as much light as possible.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a fine, white powder formed from the fossilised remnants of diatoms, which are tiny aquatic organisms. Fleas that come into contact with it will dry out and die. DE is classified into two types: food grade and filter grade. You want to get the food grade because it is non-lethal to you and your dog.

Sprinkle it in places where you suspect flea activity, and make sure to get any spots where your dog likes to sleep. Allow it to sit for 48 hours before vacuuming and disposing of the contents outside.

Nematodes

Nematodes are tiny worms that feed on parasite eggs and larvae. They dwell in the soil and will be really beneficial in your battle against fleas.

Rosemary

Grind some dry rosemary into a fine powder and sprinkle it around the house. Rosemary will not help with existing flea infestations, but it will be highly effective in avoiding future infections.

Cedar Chips

Cedar chips and sprays are particularly powerful natural pest repellents, especially for fleas and moths. Sprinkle them throughout your home, especially in areas where your dog regularly visits.

So what now?

Take immediate action to get rid of those pesky and annoying fleas.

Further Reading