Especially puppies that are still in the whelping box are the ideal victims of the annoying parasites because the warmth in the whelping box and the fact that several animals are lying close together here makes the environment an ideal breeding ground for the bloodsuckers. Young dogs often catch fleas in the puppy playgroup. If your dog then brings home a flea infestation, this is often only noticed when the fleas have already multiplied and spread throughout the home.
Your puppy’s flea infestation: how to recognize it
A flea infestation in your dog can initially have no symptoms at all, but your puppy will usually scratch the areas where it was bitten, but this will be frequent and noticeable. Because the areas are very itchy, bloody areas can also form as a result of scratching. Adult fleas can also be seen with the naked eye because the bouncy parasites are about three millimeters in size and brown to reddish-brown in color. Dog and cat fleas can also infect humans. Since they are very itchy and there are usually several bites in one place, they are quite easy to identify.
To identify a flea infestation with certainty, it is best to use a flea comb to brush your dog against the direction of fur growth. First, put a white, wet cloth next to you and, after combing, empty everything that got stuck in the comb onto the cloth. You can also catch live fleas with the flea comb, but flea droppings are usually found in the comb, leaving red spots on the cloth. Red spots are a sure sign that your furry friend has a flea infestation. Flea droppings can also be found on your dog’s lying surfaces, which you can also examine for it.
Fleas on puppies: means of treatment – please check with the veterinarian
In any case, a flea infestation must be treated as soon as possible, because the bloodsuckers can transmit diseases and tapeworms. In addition, the fleas multiply very quickly and, in the worst case, can become such a plague that only the exterminator can help.
Flea treatment for puppies less than eight weeks old who are still living with their mother is more complex than that for adult dogs because conventional chemical flea products cannot be used on very young animals. This is because the puppy’s body is not yet able to break down the chemical agents sufficiently, which can result in serious side effects or even organ damage as the toxin builds up in the body. Serious side effects from using the wrong flea treatment can include shortness of breath, vomiting, paralysis, and even neurological damage. It is therefore important to only use products that are also suitable for young dogs to combat flea infestation in your puppy.
Therefore, contact your veterinarian if you spot fleas on your puppy. Remember that pregnant and lactating bitches are only treated with products that cannot harm the little puppies to protect the puppies.
Fighting fleas only on the dog? Why isn’t enough
Once you have found and treated your dog with a suitable flea control product, the fleas are far from over. Because wherever the fleas are, they leave their droppings and especially their eggs. In addition, the small parasites like to hide in cracks, carpets, or other places. This means for you: a lot of work.
How to get rid of fleas:
- First, you should wash all blankets that the dog has lain on at least 60 degrees Celsius. Alternatively, you can place pillows, blankets, and toys in an empty compartment in your freezer, because at minus 15 degrees Celsius the flea eggs also die if the items are exposed to these temperatures for two days.
- Otherwise, you should wipe off toys and smooth surfaces with hot water vacuum the apartment thoroughly several times, and then immediately dispose of the vacuum cleaner bags, as fleas that have been vacuumed up there can also spread back into the apartment.
- If you also want to treat the area with flea products, be sure to find out beforehand which products are harmless to your puppy and carry out another cleaning of the apartment after the exposure time.
- Other animal roommates must also be escaped. In addition, you should deworm all pets at least a week after escaping to rule out the possibility of them catching a tapeworm.