STEP 1: How to determine if your dog has fleas:
Check behind ears, base of their tail, or other hiding spots that are warm like armpits or their groin
#2- Flea Dirt
If there’s flea dirt on your dog's skin then they definitely have fleas. Flea dirt looks like specks of dirt, or black pepper, and it's actually just flea poop. Flea dirt turns reddish brown when it gets wet, so they best way to test it is with a wet paper towel.
#3- Flea Comb
Brush them with a flea comb to determine if they have fleas. The fine bristles of this special comb allows for easy removal of fleas. Make sure you have soapy water close by to make sure they die.
STEP 2: Pick flea medication that is right for YOUR dog
- your dog's regular medications can alter results
- sensitive stomachs do better with the topical flea option
- sensitive skin does better with the oral flea option
The different types of flea medications:
- some flea medications target adult fleas, some target larvae and some stop fleas from being able to lay eggs
- If your dog is suffering from flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), then a fast-acting flea adulticide is exactly what you need (see end of post for over the counter options for allergic reactions like FAD)
Courtney's recommended flea brands:
- Nexgard - fleas and ticks
- Comfortis - (not good for epileptic dogs like my Snoopy)
- Revolution - ticks and heartworm
STEP 3: Prescription needed for some flea options
- but there are some over the counter options. See video for more.
STEP 4: Stay informed! Some fleas have developed resistance to flea medications
so if you feel like your dog's flea medication isn't working this can be the reason. Talk to your veterinarian about what medications are good for a resistant flea population and make sure to contact the company of the faulty flea medication.
& for my dog parent tip of the day: set not only one monthly reminder, but TWO! That way you definitely wont miss out on preventing your dog from catching the crabs (well.. fleas but same) and potentially getting sick from the wrong bite!
- take advantage of over the counter benadryl for allergic reactions, like Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD). Please ask your veterinarian first if your dog is on any other medications or if they've had any reactions to OTC medications in the past. If your in the clear and your dog is having an allergic reaction, give benadryl twice a day with a MEAL (1mg per 1lb - ex: 25 mgs for a 25 pound dog). This will help soothe inflammation and reduce scratching to allow for proper healing.