Fleas might be tiny, but they can end up becoming a big problem for dogs especially if you are planning on boarding your dogs. These small pests bite dogs in order to feed on their blood, which can cause anemia and other health problems in severe cases. Some dogs also have allergies to fleas. How can you tell if your dog has fleas? Look for the following signs and symptoms.
Evidence of Fleas
Fleas are small, but you can see them jumping around on your dog or around your home. If you don’t see these parasites, another sign to watch for are flea eggs on your dog or near dog beds or blankets. You might also see tiny black specks of dirt, which are actually flea droppings that these pests leave behind. These specks will be on your dog’s coat. You can check for them by running a comb through your dog’s coat.
Another way to tell if your dog has fleas is by looking for signs and symptoms of flea allergies. This condition, called flea allergy dermatitis, produces symptoms that make dogs miserable when they’re exposed to flea saliva. These symptoms include severe itching that causes dogs to scratch excessively. They might also lick or bite at the affected areas of their skin. This can lead to hair loss, hot spots and scabs. When checking your dog for fleas, pay close attention to certain areas, such as the belly and base of the tail. Keep in mind that frequent scratching can also end up causing skin infections if bacteria or other germs enter open sores.
Dogs might also exhibit behavioral signs when they’re dealing with a flea infestation. In addition to biting, scratching or licking, some dogs might shake their head a lot. This can occur if fleas are biting in this area.
What to Do If Your Dog Has Signs of Fleas
If you see fleas, flea eggs or flea droppings, it would be best to make a dog grooming appointment that includes a flea treatment. If you see physical or behavioral signs of fleas, have your vet check your dog to rule out other causes. Some of these symptoms could also be signs of other skin conditions or health problems. Your vet can rule these out and let you know if your dog does have a flea infestation.