5 Ways to Sniff Out If Your Pet Has Fleas

5 Ways to Sniff Out If Your Pet Has Fleas

One thing pet-owners and their pets can agree on is that there is no worse feeling than having an itch you can’t scratch! It’s the worst! And when your pet is being attacked by fleas, they are haunted all day and all night with an itch they can’t seem to scratch away.

These tiny, sesame seed-sized parasites can be tormenting your pet, sight-unseen without you even knowing. Find out if your pet is scratching at fleas by checking these 5 clues:

  1. It’s time to get up close and personal. If your pet is scratching a lot, use your fingers or a flea comb to part the fur on your pet’s back all the way towards the base of their tail. And don’t forget to check their underbelly! Fleas like to hide on the underside of the belly, towards the hind legs, too.

  2. See any redness? This could be a helpful hint to determine if your pet has fleas. Flea bites can cause dermatitis, which can cause that nagging, itchy, painful sensation even when the fleas have moved to a new spot.

  3. Dig out flea dirt. Any black, sand-like droppings are the product of fleas biting your pet and excreting blood. Grab a towel or sheet to place under your pet and start combing away. Flea dirt will fall off onto the towel, making it easy to spot. Splash a drop of water to determine if these specks are flea dirt or just regular dirt. Red marks the spot – literally. Flea dirt will turn red from the blood cells ingested by these pests.
  1. Time to flea comb it out. The fine-toothed comb will capture fleas, letting you know whether your pet has pests or not. Keep a bowl of soapy water handy to dip the comb and kill any fleas you may have caught in the comb.

  2. Any suspicions or questions: vet check. Take your pet to your vet for help determining if your pet has fleas or flea allergy.
If all signs point to fleas, you have an infestation and need to act fast. Your plan should include a flea oral or topical treatment that kills adult fleas, followed by a flea and tick preventive that also kills flea eggs and pupae. Topicals and collars provide a range of options to kill adult fleas and ticks and help prevent new infestations. Don’t forget that where your pet likes to chill, so do fleas. Vacuum, launder, and treat your pet’s favorite hangout areas in and out of your home to eliminate fleas both on your pet and in your home.

If you have questions about your pet's proper treatment or prevention plan, talk with your veterinarian about the best options based on age and weight.
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