How Do I Know If My Dog Has Fleas?

September 16th, 2015

Dogs itch and scratch themselves for any number of reasons, but fleas may be the most common reason for biting and scratching. So how can you tell if your dog has fleas?

  1. Run your hands through your dog’s fur all the way to the skin. When you divide the fur, fleas will run in the opposite direction and hide. You can identify them by their dark brown color. Favorite spots for fleas are behind the ears and their rump.
  2. If you can’t see fleas when examining their fur, give your dog a bath, but don’t drain the water when you’re done. If there are little black spots in the water, it is likely that your dog has fleas.
  3. Check for “flea dirt” — black flecks that will get under your fingernails if you scratch your dog’s coat. You’ll know it’s from a flea if you put the flecks on Kleenex, and a small red dot or ring appears.
  4. Try and squish any bugs you find on your dog. If it squishes easily, it’s likely not a flea.

If your dog has fleas, make sure to treat your dog with flea medicine or a flea bath and put all their bedding into the laundry. Then use a flea spray in your carpet and do a very thorough job of vacuuming. Please make sure your dog is flea-free before bringing them into day care so the fleas don’t spread!