Does Your Dog Have Fleas?

Itch, itch. Scratch, scratch, scratch. Does that sound familiar? Hopefully not, but if it does you might be one of the millions of people whose dog has fleas, mites or other miniscule cretins leeching upon him.

Fleas are tiny insects use their long, powerful legs to catapult onto your dog's body, where they burrow into his fur, live off his blood, and raise families of thousands. Many dogs develop a sensitivity to flea saliva, which the flea injects into your dog's skin as a way to prevent his blood from coagulating and thereby ensure a plentiful meal. If this is the case with your pup, you'll see him scratch, scratch, scratching away.

Whether or not your dog has an allergy to fleas, they're without a doubt an annoying pest that's tough to eradicate. Once your dog has contracted fleas, they will quickly spread to any area where he is a frequent visitor- his bedding, his doghouse, your carpet and furniture, and possibly your clothing and bedding as well.

Fleas and Disease

The most common complication of fleas on your dog is tapeworms in his stool. Yes, it is foul, but as it is with parasites, one often hosts the other, and many a flea has been host to a tapeworm who then made his way into your dog's intestinal tract. Just another great reason to keep those fleas off your dog. The other reason is anemia. Animals that thrive on your dog's blood literally suck the life out of him... so if fleas have been preying upon your pooch, he may show signs of anemia, such as extreme fatigue. Get him to the vet for a thorough examination and inquire about what vitamins and supplements you can give to restore your dog back to a healthy, energetic state.

How to Tell if Your Dog Has Fleas

The most obvious sign of fleas on your dog is constant scratching and irritation of the skin. You may notice pink welts on his belly that eventually crust over; these are flea bites. Another way to check him for fleas is to have him stand on a few pieces of white paper while you comb through his fur. If you see little black flecks on the paper that look a lot like ground pepper, you've got yourself a flea situation. The little flecks are "flea dirt," and when you moisten them with water they'll turn dark red because they contain blood... the blood of your poor dog that those nasty fleas have been feasting on!

Flea Prevention

Ask your vet what methods he recommends to repel fleas. In the old days, most everyone put a flea collar and/or used flea powder on their dog. Some had their dogs "dipped" in a flea repellant bath. Today there are more sophisticated options in addition to the traditional methods... some of which are all-natural and environmentally friendly, and others which are chemical-based and afford extended protection with minimal application.

IGRs (insect growth regulators) kill flea eggs and flea larvae, and are available in both collar and spray form as well as oral medication. Sentinel® is one product that does double duty as both a flea repellant and heartworm protection, and only requires one application per month.

Adulticides kill the actual flea and can be purchased as both spot-on and oral products. Frontline® is one brand that is applied to your dog's shoulder blade area, where it is absorbed and distributed throughout his system. When fleas come in contact with his skin that's been treated with Frontline® or a similar insecticide, they die instantly.

Flea Control in Your Home

Hopefully, you'll take the proper precautions to keep fleas at bay, so you'll never know the unpleasantness of a flea-ridden home. But if you do happen to find fleas, you'll need to act quickly to avoid infestation. First and foremost, give your vet a call and ask him the best method of de-flea-ing your dog and your home. Treat your carpets, furniture, dog bed, and areas outside your home where your dog is frequently found, with an approved flea treatment. Thoroughly vacuum every inch of carpet, and your mattresses if you think there may be a problem there as well. And don't forget to apply flea repellant to the inside of your vacuum! Although it does a great job of sucking up those creepy little creatures, your warm and cozy vaccuum serves as the perfect flea-breeding incubator, which can mean reinfestation later.

No one wants to spray or bomb their home with harmful pesticides, but if you don't take preventive measures against fleas on your dog, that's pretty much your only option to be rid of them. So do yourself a favor and get a flea repellent for that pup of yours!

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

Dina Giolitto is a copywriting consultant and ghostwriter with 10 years of experience writing corporate print materials and web content. Trust her with your next e-book, article series or web project, and make a lasting impression on your audience of information-hungry prospects. Visit http://www.wordfeeder.com for more information.

In The News:

Seeing Pets as Human  Psychology Today
Pets of the Week  Elko Daily Free Press
Just purr-fect! Putting pets in the spotlight  Clacton and Frinton Gazette
Cold Noses: Adoptable Pets of the Week  The Florida Times-Union
Is pet insurance worth it?  Financial Times
1/3 of pet owners pets gained pandemic weight | WWL  WWL News, Talk, Sports Radio Station
Argument over pets led to shooting | Alert  Seguin Gazette-Enterprise
MORE THAN A PET  Mumbai Mirror
Colonial Capital pets of the week  New Bern Sun Journal
A Paws for Pets  York News-Times
Craven-Pamlico pets of the week  New Bern Sun Journal
Pet of the Week | Chevy  WHP Harrisburg

Rabbit As Pet

Rabbits are one of the most popular pets, apart from... Read More

Taking Care of Your Sick Dog

Just like humans, dogs are subject to diseases and illnesses.... Read More

Beds for Smaller Dogs

All puppies are small dogs ? some, however, won't be... Read More

Puppy Love - Wonderful Companions

Everybody loves puppies. Who can resist those cute little faces... Read More

RecoveryPets.Com Helps Recover Lost Pets

Making our lives better includes protecting our families, and also... Read More

Herding and the German Shepherd Dog

Once other animals such as cattle, sheep and goats became... Read More

Breed Success in Your Puppy Search

The numbers will make any pet lover blanch with disgust,... Read More

Chinchillas As Pets

You may wish to consider a chinchilla as a possible... Read More

Horse Training Secrets For Busy Horse Owners Short On Time

Picture this. You're late for work one day. You look... Read More

Get Educated Before Buying Your Pomeranian From A Dog Breeder

Buying a purebred dog is not something that should be... Read More

Dog Clothes make Great Gifts

When it comes to the art of giving, a gift... Read More

Tips On Breeding Tropical Fish

If you are looking for tips on breeding tropical fish,... Read More

How to Build a Dog House for Your Puppy

So you'd like to know how to build a dog... Read More

The Optimum Cichlid Aquarium Set Up

The groups of fishes commonly referred to as Cichlids, comprise... Read More

Broken Trust

The large animal organizations and the public money.It is said... Read More

Horse Stable keeping

It is very important to decide whether to keep your... Read More

Different Dog Foods For Different Dog Ages

Dogs come in many assorted breeds, shapes, and sizes. They... Read More

How To Toilet Train Your Cat

Tired of cleaning the cat box? Here are some tips... Read More

Crate Training for Puppies and Dogs

Wondering how to begin crate training your puppy or dog,... Read More

House Rabbits are Fun and Cute Pets

House rabbits are a perfect pet for many people, regardless... Read More

Dog Beds for Larger Dogs

Large dogs and extra large dogs require more thought and... Read More

Cats And Litter Box Problems

If your cat has recently decided not to use the... Read More

Tips For Keeping Your Pug Happy And Healthy

Bringing home a Pug can change our life, but it... Read More

Dog Pile - Please Pick It Up

I really do not hope your are eating something, but... Read More

Is A Boxer Dog The Right Pet For You?

Having a boxer dog as a pet, although low-maintenance, require... Read More