How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog With Fleas?

Sometimes, regardless of how much care you take of your dog, fleas will always find a way to trouble your lovely pooch. All that playing around outside and socializing with other dogs mean the odds of your dog contracting fleas at one point or another is very high.In this article you will get all the info about how often should you bathe your dog with fleas shampoo with essential Bathing Tips.

Fleas – the nasty little jumping bugs have been around since ancient times. They don’t just cause uncontrollable itching in dogs but also harbor disease causing bacteria, viruses, and fungi. While the veterinarians and other animal experts explore new ways to get rid of these pesky little creatures, bathing the affected dog with a flea shampoo is the best way to bring immediate relief to your dog. If your dog has fleas, here are some options for bathing your dog and some other precautions you need to take to solve the flea problem.

Fleas are flightless insects with the ability to jump from one host to another – sometimes upto 50 times the length of their body, just by using their hind legs. They suck blood from the host’s body through a mouthpart that’s specifically designed to suck blood.

How to know if your dog has fleas?

Sometimes, the signs of fleas in dogs will simply be absent. Then, how do you know there are fleas in your dogs?

Here are some important signs to look for.

  • Unexplained red rashes on your dog’s skin

If you see unexplained red dots or patches on your dog’s skin, it’s a very big sign that your dog has fleas. Ant bites or any other insect bites are typically localized to a small area of the skin but red dots due to flea bites can occur everywhere on your dog’s body.

  • Hair Loss

Little bit shedding in dogs is normal but if your dog is losing hair in large amount, there’s a great chance that your dog has fleas.

  • Abnormal scratching, biting or licking

Fleas cause inflammatory reaction on their host’s body, which bring about intense itching. As a result, your dog will scratch, lick and bite itself. Sometimes, it results in bleeding and oozing wounds. That’s not all, once there is a cut on your dog’s skin, bacteria, fungi and viruses can also enter the wound, causing an infection.

  • Pale gums and conjunctiva

Fleas suck blood from their host’s body. A massive infestation of fleas can cause red blood cell count to become too low, resulting in canine anemia. Canine anemia can be identified by pale gums, conjunctiva and conducting blood test.

Bathing your dog with fleas

How to choose a flea shampoo?

Just a few years back, flea shampoos only consisted of ingredients that were poisonous or pesticides. But as we became more aware of the negative impacts of those poisons on humans and animals, we started looking for safer alternatives. Today, there are many new and safer flea products available.

If you are looking for a natural flea shampoo, the most important ingredient you should be looking for is - d-limonene. D-limonene works by attacking the insect’s nervous system. Organic shampoos containing, neem, cedar oil etc are generally more of a preventive or repellent but they do have skin benefits for pets.

Another important ingredient that you should look for in flea shampoos is – Pyrethrin. It works by suffocating the insects by blocking their ability to breathe through their exoskeleton.

Before choosing a flea shampoo, all the dog parents should do their own research and familiarize themselves with the different types of flea shampoos and ingredients they are made of.

Prepare the correct dosage for your dog’s size

Only apply the amount required for your pet's size. Usually the dosage and quantity is always written at the back of the shampoo bottles. Never double up on products as it may lead to toxicity and skin issues.

How to bathe your dog?

Step 1: Wet your dog's neck, apply the flea shampoo of your choice and lather around the neck. This will ensure that the fleas do not migrate up to your dog’s face.

Step 2: Put your dog in a tub and wet his entire body. Then apply flea shampoo and massage in down to the skin. While doing so, you should also manually remove fleas using a flea comb and drown the pests in a bowl of hot, soapy water.

Step 3: Leave the flea shampoo on for some time then drain and rinse your dog thoroughly to remove the entire flea shampoo residue. You have to be very careful in this step as let over shampoo can be toxic to your dog. So, make sure to rinse your dog properly.

Step 4: Thoroughly dry your dog using a towel or blow dryer on a low setting. While doing so, manually check for any leftover fleas.

Step 5: Bathing alone will not solve the flea problem in your home. If you truly want to get rid of fleas and make your home ‘flea-free’, you need to decontaminate it. Wash your dog’s bedding, vacuum your home thoroughly and make your dog wear a flea collar to prevent re-infestation. Also, bathe your dog regularly to get un-hatched fleas or new fleas that he/she may get re-contaminated with.

When to give flea bath to your dog?

When and how often should you bathe your dog with flea products?

The answer to this question depends on where you live.

During warm-weather months fleas are the most active, but they can be inside your home all year long. Summer and spring are usually the favorite time of ticks. But these pesky little jumping bugs can live all year-round in some parts of the world.

Precautions to take when treating a flea-infested dog

  • Check with your vet before you use any flea product.
  • No matter how safe or mild the flea shampoo is, you should still wear protective clothing, and gloves at all times while using a flea shampoo to bathe your dog.
  • If you manually pick up fleas during bathing, drown the pests in a bowl of hot, soapy water.

Conclusion

Fleas are a menace, not only to our dogs but to us as well but if we know how to deal with them in the right manner we can keep these pesky creatures at bay. These were some tips to help you deal with this ‘jumping menace’ called fleas. If you have more points to add to this list, do let us know in the comments below.

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Mike Stiven
 

I'm a pet owner, blogger, and writer from the Massachusetts. I've worked at the Alpha Dog Training Center, a dog boarding and training facility, and also shared the knowledge garnered over the years with a good number of pet sites. As a firm believer that great care has to be given to pets, beside sharing my whole experience in this blog I also work as volunteer at pet stores during the weekend.

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