Fleas and ticks are insects that can attack your pets and infest your home. Besides causing severe itching and skin irritation, fleas or flea bites can sometimes produce an allergic reaction in dogs. Some dogs can be allergic to flea saliva, which can cause flea allergy dermatitis or flea bite dermatitis in them.
Getting Rid of Dog Fleas
The flea that more commonly affects dogs is known as Ctenocephalides canis, which is quite similar to the cat flea. You can find a number of products in the market like flea collars, topical flea control products, and flea shampoos for treating dog fleas. But some of these products can contain strong chemicals.
Along with the flea control products mentioned, you can also try some simple home remedies to manage this condition, which are discussed here:
- Vacuum your house and all the cracks, crevices, and the nook and corners thoroughly. Be sure to seal the vacuum bag, and dispose it as soon as possible.
- Spray some salt on the carpets and the areas that are likely to harbor fleas, and leave it for a while. If possible, leave the salt on the carpet overnight, and then vacuum it the next day.
- Use a fine-toothed flea comb for grooming your dog. Keep a bowl filled with soapy water by your side, and dip the comb in it each time after using it for combing the fur of the animal. Fleas and their eggs would get trapped in the narrow gaps between the teeth of the comb, and would die if the comb is dipped in the soapy water.
- Pet bedding can harbor fleas and ticks. So, be sure to wash them at regular intervals in hot soapy water.
- A dog infested with fleas should be given regular baths to alleviate the itching and irritation. You can use a regular dog shampoo for giving your dog a bath, or talk to a veterinarian about using a flea shampoo.
- You can also use homemade flea sprays. Such a spray can be made by adding 1 to 2 drops of lavender and cedarwood essential oil to 500 ml water. This mixture can be poured into a spray bottle, and then sprayed all over the body avoiding the sensitive areas like the eyes.
- A citrus repellent is also effective for this purpose. To make this flea repellent, cut a lemon into small pieces and boil them in water. Keep the pieces soaked in water overnight. Next day, pour the water into a spray bottle, and use it as a flea repellent. In place of lemons, you can use orange peels as well.
- Vinegar can also be used for flea control. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water, and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray this mixture all over the body, excepting the eyes.
- Cedarwood can repel fleas. You can find cedar-filled pillows in the market. Otherwise, you can place some cedar chips around the bed, or fill an old pillow with cedar shavings.
To prevent a reinfestation, consider to mow the lawn, keep the grasses short, and remove leaf piles and debris from the yard. This would help increase the amount of sunlight received by the yard. This can help destroy fleas present in the yard, as these insects cannot survive in hot and dry conditions.
Diatomaceous earth and borax can also be sprayed on the lawn for destroying fleas, but these can be harmful for your pets. If you fail to control fleas with all these measures, and if the infestation is quite severe, then consider to take the help of a veterinarian, and discuss the various treatment options like medicated dips and oral medications.
Disclaimer: The information given should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of a veterinarian.