CAN I GET FLEAS FROM MY DOG?


Can I get fleas from my Cat or Dog? Yes you can. We are just as warm blooded as our pet dog or cat and the fleas can jump from your pet to you to suck your blood. However, the particular flea species Ctenocephalides felis also known as The Cat or Dog Flea cannot sustain themselves easily on human skin for two major reasons:
* The body of Dog fleas known as Ctenocephalides felis is designed for living in very furry skin
* Dog fleas need the hairy protection from cold that only dogs, cats or other furry mammals can offer

Cat and dog fleas are built for hiding in fur. Their bodies are laterally flattened and help them to navigate between pieces of fur or hair and Backward-facing spines on their bodies help them cling to your pets fur when their on the move.

Because our relatively hairless bodies make it colder for them and it’s much harder for them to hang onto our bare skin they often move on, back to our pets or into your furniture.

Picture courtesy of WikipediaOpens in a new tab.

These fleas know this, and will generally ignore you, especially when they can seek better solace in the fur of your pup. They will however happily find a warm place within your cosy house, so it is extremely important that you take the preventive measure of ‘flea-proofing’ your house if you do suspect an infection.

Does My Dog Have Fleas?

If you observe that your dog keeps using his tongue and particularly their teeth on their body a lot more than normal, it could be fleas. Dogs biting, chewing or licking themselves is not normal.

Dogs will bite flea infected areas

The little devils called fleas know exactly where to stay, places that your dog may find difficult to reach on their own. Places like the back of the dog, inside the calf of the dog’s hind legs, the belly, root of the tail and the groin area, and the neck area.

A Flea Infestation

Fleas leave what appears to be specks of dust behind. These specks are their excreta, and can be used to test for flea infestation. Remove the specks with a comb and place them on a white background like a piece of paper. Pour warm water on it. If the dust turns a bit reddish this is because they are not dirt or dust, but dried blood within the flea faeces. You have your confirmation that your dog has fleas.

A neat trick to find out if you have fleas in the house is the water bowl trap – see the video below on how to do this.

You can catch Fleas in a warm water bowl – see the video below

What do Flea Bites Look Like?

It’s hard to confuse the tiny and conspicuous bite of a flea with another insect, say, the mosquito. The tiny bits of fleas never really get any bigger, unlike mosquito bites which swell, but if you need clearer signs, cross your observations with the following. You have fleas if you have:

  • Red rings around each teeny bite
  • Lines of bites, like a family of four bites in a straight line
  • Small bumpy bites
  • Bites targeted around the lower parts of your legs
Flea bites on a Human Ankle

Flea bites are much easier to see on a human due to the lack of hair, often the easiest sign to see is flea pooh.

Flea Pooh is easier to see
Close examination can show flea bites in an area with little hair

Do Flea Bites cause health risks?

Unlike mosquitoes, fleas don’t leave deposits of pathogens that will affect your health negatively. All you need is to rub the bitten area with anti-itch cream (anti-histermene). If you can, washing the area should be enough to treat the bite.

However, it must be said that fleas are known causes of serious illnesses like mycoplasma haemofelis and murine typhus in humans. Against the off-chance of this happening, antiseptic soap must be used after you notice the bite.

The story is different for dogs though, as fleas not only irritate and frustrate them, it could potentially leave your dog anemic if the case is severe. Young, elderly or incapacitated dogs would particularly find it challenging for living comfortably. In very rare cases, fleas can bring disease vectors in very dirty and unhygienic areas as diverse as the bubonic plague, but this is extremely rare.

In general, the worst conditions for your dog could be Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), or other similar allergy conditions caused by fleas on dogs. The end result? Unbearable itches and a vulnerability to other skin infections.

What do I do if I find Fleas?

If you have found fleas then you obviously need to treat the family pets as well as possibly treating the house, particularly the areas where the dogs spend most of their time.

Flea treatments come in a variety of guises from tablets and drops to sprays and powders and even collars.
The thing to note with with many of these treatments is that you need the weight of your dog as it is related to the amount of treatment you give them, this generally applies to drops and tablets.

If you look at the picture below you will see that both boxes of Flea treatment appear the same but closer inspection shows that each box is related to a specific weight or size of dog.

The same treatment for different weights of dog – be sure to get the correct size

 What are the best preventive measures I can take against fleas?

The treatment options for your dog or cat generally serve as a preventative by administering them a treatment plan on a monthly or quarterly basis but some treatments can simply be given on an as and when needed basis, the problem with this method is that you may need to treat the household furniture etc whereas the monthly/quarterly basis aims to avoid this.

You can find a variety of chewable tabs, drops and other options all available right hereOpens in a new tab..

You couldn’t be placed in a better equipped era for the care of your dog, as there is an abundance of medications to cure your dog regardless of the age of your dog and get rid of fleas in your home too. However, if you do have an infestation, you must take active steps to make sure that this doesn’t repeat itself by taking precautions against flea infestations within the living areas also.

Treating the House for Fleas

Attack is the best defence when it comes to fleas, you can call up professional exterminators to do the job for you. Or, the cheaper option is for you to apply some anti-flea treatments yourself, I found a host of differing treatments at really good prices right here. Opens in a new tab.

To help you get started I found this really simple trick you can do at home with a bowl of water, this idea also works with a coil of fly tape under the lamp, just remember to keep the pets out of reach of the lamp.

Check out the water bowl trick in this little video

A really cool trick to catch fleas

Your dogs vet or local pet store will have drops or medication you can treat your pet with or you can buy them online. As for the house or kennel you can buy flea foggers or powders and other such treatments online here at sensible pricesOpens in a new tab..

 Be sure to consult your dog’s vet if you are unsure about any recommendations.

When protecting your home against fleas with chemical products, take into consideration the fact that most insecticides do their work on grown insects and mostly spare the eggs and larvae.

Therefore, vacuum the house to pull the immature fleas from hiding and make the extra effort to procure products with ‘Insect Growth Regulators’. Products with Insect Growth Regulators will finish the job on those immature fleas. 

One popular mistake is for a multiple pet owner to treat just the dog they observed the fleas on, this negligence can prove costly as other pets that have encountered the infected dog can provide sufficient shelter for the fleas to weather the proverbial storm, so be sure to treat any other dogs cats etc.

The life cycle of the Dog Flea Courtesy of http://www.dpd.cdc.gov.dpdx

The Dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis). The development is similar to a human flea. A dog flea lays eggs several times in a three-month period. Female individuals can deliver about 4000 eggs on its host’s fur, some fall on the floor where men and animals walk. Dogs, wolves and foxes are primary hosts of this parasite, as well as cats, field mice, hedgehogs and rats. It can attack men in huge agglomerations.

I’ve applied the anti-flea products; can I rest now?

No, if you don’t keep up with the charm offensive for enough time to ensure that the premature fleas have all been obliterated, you will most likely be back at square one. The reason is because these bloodsucking insects are extremely patient, they can stay in their cocoons and bide their time until they are fully developed for more than eight months. While they are in their cocoons, they can sometimes be protected from the insecticides you spray.

To avoid this, keep up the treatment for that long – nine months – to make sure that any flea emerging from its cocoon gets what it deserves.

Where did my dog get fleas?

Fleas are very picky about where they stay. They prefer taller grasses, piles of wood, sheds and shades around decks, but once in the house they find many places to hide.

So, with the knowledge of where fleas might likely nest, focus your insecticide application on these areas and use a defined timetable to make sure you kill the premature fleas. For your timetable, you can use a time gap of 18 to 21 days between every application of the insecticides. Remember to make sure that the product has Insect Growth Regulators.

Conclusion

All in all, while it is true that you can get fleas from your dog, your dog is probably going through a worse time than you are. So, if you love your dog, you don’t have to be given a motivational speech to help your dog with the misery that fleas bring with them. Get the necessary help and take those fleas down!

For the right products check out this direct link here, good luck.

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