Small, almost invisibles, fleas are very prickly parasites that can infest dogs causing also dangerous illness, allergic dermatitis included. In our Mediterranean climate fleas are there all year long, not only during summer as we have always thought, so the only way to protect our four-legged friends is using antiparasitic products. It is very important to protect the dog, since fleas eggs can easily infect even our home.
Dog fleas, where do they live
Adult fleas live only on dogs and cats, but it’s the environment where the puppy lives that it shows its life cycle: from the egg, then larvae and pupae. Even without an animal to infest fleas can live in the environment up to a year.
That is why it is extremely easy that our dog can be infected by fleas, since it is enough for the puppy to be where an animal infected has been weeks before, where fleas have been waiting for an animal to infest. The fleas are particularly active in late spring and early fall, but actually they can survive al year long, preferably in a dark and damp environment. So, it is easy finding them in floor creeks, in beds, in doghouses or under a carpet.
A dog flea mainly eats dog’s blood, but also cats’: adult fleas are less than 5mm long, have a black-brown body, but it becomes red after the blood meal. Furthermore, it has a the genal comb, some kind of claws that makes it move faster and stick to the host fur where they lay their eggs.
Fleas, symptoms in dogs
Fleas are quite difficult to detect with our eyes, that is why it is better keeping under control some specific symptoms.
If the dog scratches visibly and seems to be constantly itching, especially around the head, neck, ears and gives little bites on its fur or constantly licks it. It may also show some alopecia areas and swelling until they become scratches or wounds on the skin. But how can we identify fleas? We should try identifying them on the fur that shows black dots: in this case you can remove them with a proper comb for fleas using it on the fur, until you reach the skin. It is always necessary to protect the dog from fleas all year long with a proper antiparasitic.