How to check if your dog has fleas | Signs that your dog has fleas

  • by DR Roxanne Jones
How to check if your dog has fleas | Signs that your dog has fleas

Is your dog constantly scratching herself, gnawing at her skin and driving everyone - mostly herself! - up the wall with her itching? She may well have fleas. Most dogs get fleas and in fact, they should be regularly de-flead. Signs that your dog has fleas include scratching herself to pieces, shaking her head or biting herself.

If you think your dog is showing signs of having fleas, there are a few easy ways to check. I’ve made a short video featuring the adorable Benji to show you how to check. You can also read the easy steps below. 

Signs of fleas: 3 simple ways to check if your dog has fleas

The most common area for a flea infestation is around your pet’s bum, at the base of his tail, the back of her legs and around her tail. If she’s biting and chewing herself there, it can become so bad that the hair there actually gets really thin.

Here are some really easy ways to find out if your dog has fleas in one, two, flea:

  1. The first thing you can do is use your hand and simply brush the hair up. As you do this, look for tiny, tiny little black creatures. Bear in mind that they run really fast through the hair when you do this. If you see one of them, it's a flea.
  2. If this doesn’t work, try looking for flea dirt. If your pet has a high flea burden, she’ll have flea dirt, which comprises tiny little specks of flea poo (digested blood) that is found on your pet’s skin. Part your pet’s hair and look carefully. Do you see lots and lots of really tiny little brown flecks? If so, that’s flea dirt, and your pet has fleas.
  3. Lastly if you still can’t see definite signs that your dog has fleas, you can use a flea comb to check for flea dirt. You can also use a normal comb with very fine teeth, and what you want to do is brush your animal with the comb. Concentrate around the bum area. Once you’ve brushed your pet with the comb, tap the comb onto a piece of wet roller towel or toilet paper, so that some of the dirt falls off the comb onto the paper. It will leave little brown spots on the paper that sort of dissolve and become reddish-brown blotches. This is flea dirt (flea poo) dissolving into the water. If you see this, then your dog has fleas.

Effective flea treatment for dogs

If your dog has fleas, there are a number of effective treatments you can use. We recommend Frontline and Nexgard, which should be used on a monthly basis.  Bravecto is great, and only needs to be used once every three months.

We hope you’ve found these steps helpful and easy to follow. You can also watch the video for the step-by-step guide. 


Disclaimer: Always consult your vet for professional advice. The blog is provided as an educational tool and should not be used to diagnose illness or treat an animal.




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