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Fleas: What are they and how to get rid of them?

If your dog is scratching or biting himself an awefull lot, you might want to check for fleas. These tiny insects can be very annoying for your dog.

What are fleas?

Fleas are little insects that, though they have no wings, can travel great distances by jumping. In order to survive, they need to feed on the blood of animals.

How do you know if your dog has fleas?

If your dog is constantly itching and scratching or biting because of this, you might want to check for fleas. Since you know your dog better than anyone else, you'll be the first one to notice if he's itching more that normally. In some cases dogs might be more fatigued as they could be unable to sleep at night because of the itching.

Fleas and flea eggs aren't that easy to spot. Since the eggs are white and very small, you might not notice them. Fleas are also pretty fast, so while you are moving around the hair of your dog, they might run away before you see them.

The easiest way to know if your dog has flees will be by looking for flea feces. This is a mixture of dried blood and poo. If you're not sure wether the spots on your dog's skin are feces or just dirt, you can take a piece of wet paper and wipe some of the spots with it. If the paper turn reddish around the spots, it'll probably be flee feces.

It's also possible you get some bitten yourself which leads to itching and little red bumps on your skin.

Should I worry if my dog has fleas?

Flea infestations aren't pleasant for your dog. They get itchy and aren't able to get rid of them themselves. If the infestation is severe, your dog might also experience hair loss or sores because of the excessive scratching. So you should treat your dog right away.

With very young puppies, there is also the risk of anaemia because of the blood sucked out by the fleas. Signs of anaemia are pale gums, weakness and being constantly fatigued.

How can I protect my dog from fleas?

There are different kinds of flea protections. Most used are pills, spot-ons and collars. You can find some treatments in most vet shops, but the quality of these products isn't always optimal. So it's advisable to go and see your vet in order to get some quality product.

If you notice one of your animals has flees, treat every animal inside your home. Otherwise the fleas will survive on the non-treated animal.

Summer time is the moment when the most fleas are active, but infestations can happen year-round.

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