Normally your four-legged friend is almost motionless in his basket, but now you see to your great surprise that he suddenly jumps out of his basket. This unknown behavior can be caused by the presence of fleas in the house. And how nice it is that your dog is active fleas do not belong at home on your dog or in your house! In this blog we explain what you can do when you suspect that your dog has fleas.
How do I recognize a flea ?
Some 2,200 (!) Species of fleas feel at home on our planet. The most common flea in the Netherlands is the so-called cat flea. Other than the name suggests, chances are that this cat flea will also visit your dog. The flea is indeed fond of dogs. In addition, the cat flea feels at ease with guinea pigs, rabbits and humans are loved too.
Does not the dog flea exist? Certainly, but this flea hardly occurs in the Netherlands. So you see a red-brown colored creature crawling about two to three millimeters? Then chances are you see a cat flea.
Difference cat flea and dog flea
The differences between cat fleas and dog fleas can not be distinguished with the naked eye, but they are there. The cat flea is in fact a bit smaller than the dog flea and the cat flea has fewer barbs.
A cat flea is therefore hardly distinguishable from a dog flea. Fortunately, recognizing a flea is not the most important thing. The treatment is in fact the same in both cases.
From egg to adult flea
Before a flea becomes an adult, a whole process precedes it. Females fleas lay about 50 eggs per day and so before you know it you have to deal with a real flea infestation. The eggs of fleas are white-yellow in color and in most cases they are oval. With the naked eye the eggs are almost impossible to discover.
After two to four days the eggs are released and become so-called larvae. The larvae are as thin as a string and so the recognition of fleas remains difficult at this stage. The larvae are about two to three weeks in the world before the pupation stage starts. A pupated larva can then remain alive for more than two years (!).
The fleas are brought to life in the course of time through vibrations in the house. They then emerge and after this metamorphosis the adult fleas go in search of food (read: blood).
How do I prevent fleas ?
If the cycle repeats a number of times, your four-legged friend will increasingly suffer from fleas. Of course you do not want your dog to suffer from fleas at all, so it is important to prevent fleas in the house.
At the regular pet store you can go for an anti-flea or anti-flea collar. Unfortunately, many fleas have become resistant to many of these anti-flea drugs, which means that the drugs will no longer work in the long term. Are you unable to rid your dog of all fleas with the help of anti-flea drugs? Then call on the biggest animal lover in the neighborhood: your veterinarian. He or she can advise you about anti-flea drugs, which may work.
How do I know if my dog ? has fleas ?
Prevention is better than cure, but sometimes you are just too late to intervene. Do you see your dog scratching, biting and jumping around in the room? Then you might have to deal with fleas in the house.
With the help of a flea comb you can determine the presence of the Fl family. You have to deal with fleas when you encounter black spots in the coat of your dog during combing. These black spots are the droppings of a flea. Do you find these spots in the coat then you almost certainly suffer from fleas in the house.
Consequences of a flea bite
The bite of a flea causes itching by your four-legged friend, causing him to scratch and bite. This itching is caused by the saliva that the adult flea leaves behind. A flea leaves saliva to prevent clotting of the blood. The pestle wants to keep the blood fluid, so that he can continue to drink.
The saliva of a flea can in severe cases cause a flea allergy in dogs. Is your dog scratching open to blood, or does he break his skin? Then there can be a flea allergy. This allergy can lead to serious skin problems in the long run.