How To Tell If Your Dog Has Fleas

How To Tell If Your Dog Has Fleas

5 minutes read

Fleas are the bane of a dog’s existence. They are a cause of constant irritation and disconcert for your four-legged friend. So, how will you tell that your dog has fleas then? Well, there are certain ostensible signs to look for like if your dog starts scratching, shaking its head, biting itself, and then continuing to scratch itself for no apparent reason at all. This behavior is indicative of your dog suffering from fleas or other bugs of the sort. But, there might be other causes for this discomfort as well. That is why you need to inspect a bit closer to ascertain whether if your dog has fleas or not. That is why we are here to help you in this regard so read on and be informed more readily in this case.

Symptoms to Look for

There are certain symptoms that you need to look for if you want to know whether if your dog does have fleas or not. These symptoms can be listed as follows for your convenience: The first thing that you need to assess is whether if your dog is itching a lot more than usual. If it is, then it might be because of fleas. One thing that shows the presence of fleas in your dog is if it starts biting its skin often. If your dog develops some hair loss in certain areas then it might be because of a flea infestation in that area. However, if you want to be more certain then you should check the following symptoms in your dog:

Checking the skin

Look for fleas carefully on your dog’s skin. They will appear as dark, tiny insects that are smaller than ants. The areas of a dog’s body that can be affected majorly by fleas are under the armpit or groin. That is because these areas provide a favorable environment to the fleas (seeing as they are warm and protected). Use your fingers to part your dog’s fur and look for the following:

  • Check if your dog’s skin looks bumpy and red in the affected area
  • You might also visually see tiny fleas scuttling or jumping away from the affected area
  • There might also be unhatched or cocooned larvae in the affected area of the skin

Check for Flea Dirt

Another thing that you should look for on your pet’s skin is flea dirt. It appears like black pepper that has been finely ground. This is flea dirt or excrement and is one of the most prominent signs of a flea infestation. You can collect this dirt onto a piece of white paper and then sprinkle a bit of water on them. If these particles take on a dark brown-reddish after this then you are dealing with flea dirt, and by connection, fleas.

Using a Flea Comb

Use a flea comb and brush it through your dog’s fur in the affected area. Remain close to the skin and if your dog does have fleas, this comb will ensnare some of them into its teeth. Dispose of these fleas by putting them in a bowl of soapy water as it will kill them effectively.

Use a Light Trap

You can use this ingenious method of trapping fleas as well. Start by taking a small dish containing soapy water and place it on the floor at night. Place a nightlight near the bowl and you are all set. If there are fleas in your house, they will certainly jump in the direction of the water and fall to their demise in the bowl of soapy water.

Flea Eggs or Tapeworms

A major indicator of your dog’s profound problem lies in the presence of tapeworms or flea eggs in your home. Flea eggs appear like small white-colored ovals that can be found on carpets or beds in your home. A dog develops tapeworms if it swallows a flea accidentally. You can be sure that your dog has fleas if you notice segments that appear like small grains of rice where your dog sleeps. You should immediately contact your vet to get your dog treated for tapeworm infestation.

You feel the Fleas Biting your Skin

Fleas usually aren’t picky and will bite your skin as well if they get the chance. You might also feel fleas biting your skin as well and the area where they bite will appear swollen and red. There will be itching as well and this is a clear symptom of fleas in your home and your dog as well. You are most likely to find fleas under your armpits, on the waist, groin, etc.

Treating a Dog that has Fleas

There are certain things that you can do to treat a dog that has fleas. These can be listed as follows:

You should use a good anti-flea shampoo for your dog as it provides rapid relief to the poor animal. Once you have applied this shampoo, let it stay in your dog’s coat for about 5 minutes. Then wash it out with clean water for best results. Not only will it kill all the fleas but it will also prevent the eggs from hatching for about a month as well.

A major source of fleas in your home stems from your yard and area around the home. You should use a good flea-killing spray to prevent fleas from wreaking havoc on your dog’s life. Use this spray in the shrubs, bushes, lawn, and garden. As for indoors, remember to apply this spray on carpets, furniture, mattresses, etc. as well to prevent fleas from hatching or infesting your dog.


So, there you have it, all the information and guidance that you might need when it comes to treating your dog for fleas. It is important that you not take this matter lightly as fleas can have long-term detrimental effects on your dog. You will certainly take all the necessary steps to prevent fleas and protect your dog from them if you value your canine friend’s wellbeing.