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How to Know Whether Your Dog Has Fleas

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A flea infestation in your home can be a nightmare if you have a pet. In fact, most people blame themselves for not keeping the house clean enough thus attracting fleas. However, a flea infestation does not always reflect on your housekeeping tips. These insects can strike at any time, and when they do, your dog may be the first victim. If you suspect that your little pup may be having fleas, it is worth following these tips so that you can get rid of these pesky insects immediately.

Look for fleas' fecal matter

When they feed on your dog, fleas will leave their droppings behind. Since your pet is hairy, the fecal matter will remain on the dog's fur; therefore, this should be the first place where you look. Check the dog's tail or back first. You can run a brush through its hair to catch the droppings. When you catch some dirt on the dog, place it on a piece of paper and examine it. A flea's fecal matter is usually mixed with the host's blood, and this gives it a reddish-brown color. If you find that the droppings on the dog are of this color, the chances are that the pet has fleas.

Check the dog for bites

There is a chance that you may not be able to catch flea droppings on your dog. In this case, you can look for bite marks that were left by the fleas after feeding. However, with the hair and thick fur, identifying bite marks and red spots can be difficult. Start by observing the dog to see if it frequently scratches or licks the skin and examine the area it focuses on. Also, look for areas where the dog may have lost hair due to excessive scratching. Check for tiny red or pink bumps which are an indication that fleas have bitten the dog.

Check with the household members

Fleas don't only bite dogs and animals – they can also seek blood from humans. Therefore, before concluding that you have a flea infestation, ask the rest of the household members if they have suffered unexplainable bite marks. This will help you rule out other insects like ticks. However, it could also mean that you have a bedbug infestation, especially if blood marks are found on beddings and pillowcases.  Both bedbugs and fleas can bite humans and pets while leaving similar itchy bite marks.

It may be hard to pinpoint the actual insect that's responsible for the bites on your dog. You should contact a pest control company so that they can pinpoint the insects in your home and get rid of it.