What Do Flea Bites Look Like on Dogs

Knowing what flea bites look like and knowing how to treat fleas when you have spotted them is key to preventing them from infesting your home and all your other pets. Fleas are tiny parasites, but they are quite easy to spot, and you can learn the common signs and symptoms of these little invaders before they take over your home.

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Fleas on Dogs and How to Treat Them

Flea Bites on Dogs: What They Look Like—and What to Do About Them

Flea Bites on Dogs: What Do They Look Like? | Great Pet Care

Flea bites aren’t just unpleasant for your pooch—they also leave some distinctive physical symptoms behind. When searching for signs of fleas, here’s what to look for:

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In This Guide

If red dots aren’t clearly visible, there are additional signs that suggest flea activity. If you notice one or more of the following clues, your dog likely has a flea problem.

The first order of business when you have detected fleas is to wash your dog. You do not even have to use a flea shampoo since water alone will kill the existing fleas that are adults living in your dog’s coat. This process will not kill or remove all the larvae and eggs that have been laid by the adults. You will still have to take your dog to the vet and get flea medication if you want to completely eradicate the flea problem.

Flea Bites on Dogs: What They Look Like and What You Should Do

What Do Flea Bites Look Like On Dogs

In dogs, flea bites will appear like small, red, raised dots on the skin. They are very small compared to other insect bites, but they are quite recognizable since they are so tiny. Your dog will likely scratch and fuss at their coat due to the fleas. Fleas can sometimes even be visible on the skin when you pull back the hair to look for signs of flea infestation.

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What Do You Do About Fleas?

Your dog should be kept on a regular flea treatment and prevention protocol after you have killed the existing infestation. It can take up to a week to kill all the remaining eggs that might have been waiting to hatch, and you don’t want to start the cycle all over again in another few weeks when the flea treatment wears off. Keeping indoor/ outdoor dogs on a consistent annual flea prevention program is easy with help from your vet. Even dogs that live entirely indoors can get fleas when they are at the dog park or playing outside, so it is usually a good rule of thumb to treat all dogs for fleas.

Spotting fleas or flea bites on your dog isn’t always easy – fleas are small and fast, and some dogs can show signs of severe itchiness and irritation when only a few fleas are present. It’s also important to consider that the adult fleas you see on your dog are only part of the problem. You may be surprised to learn that adult fleas (the ones you see) make up only about 5% of the total population. The remaining 95% (eggs, larvae and pupae) are found in carpets and bedding – in fact anywhere in your house! Adult female fleas can start laying eggs within 24 hours of infesting your dog and can produce up to 50 eggs per day. Eggs can scatter, falling off your dog wherever it goes, spreading the flea infestation throughout your home. Flea larvae then hatch from the eggs, hiding in dark places, deep in carpet, bedding or in cracks in the flooring where they feed on flea dirt and develop into pupae. The flea life cycle is completed when adult fleas emerge from pupae, ready to jump onto a passing host.

What do fleas look like and how do I spot them

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Here are popular some flea prevention methods:

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How to Prevent Flea Bites on Dogs

Using your newly discovered detective skills, determine where the flea infestation might have originated. Has your dog been outside? Has your dog been around other dogs? Finding the point of origin is critical to help remove any flea threat.

Before purchasing any flea control product, talk to your veterinarian. Hockaday says some fleas can build up resistance to flea treatments, so it’s important to be sure the products you buy will kill the fleas in your area. Want more detailed information on flea control? Check out our full guide to getting rid of fleas on your dog for good.

What Do Flea Bites Look Like on Dogs

What Does A Flea Bite Look Like On A Dog

Looking for specific products? For more detailed recommendations from pet parents, check out our round-up of the best flea treatments for dogs.

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What Do Flea Bites on Dogs Look Like?

Once you have removed as many flea particles as possible with a comb, follow these steps:

Once you’ve determined your dog has a flea problem, you need to figure out how to eliminate these annoying insects. According to Hockaday, prescription medications are generally the best way to go, even though they can be more expensive upfront. Many pet parents try multiple over-the-counter solutions before consulting with their veterinarian, which can end up costing more in the long run.

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