Getting rid of fleas is an important thing and every dog owner must know. Fleas are very common, and they are present almost everywhere you go. So, knowing how to get rid of fleas on dogs and prevent their return is an essential aspect of dog care.
There are over 2,500 species of fleas. Fleas on dogs are very small but they are incredibly fast to spread. These bloodsucking parasites are very small – measuring from 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch. Because of their small size and speed, fleas are difficult to notice when your Labrador has these wingless creatures – unless the flea population in the fur is big enough to notice.
Flea bites can be itchy and trigger allergies. Apart from skin issues, flea infestation also poses another risk – tapeworms. Fleas can carry tapeworm eggs and if your Labrador ingests a flea that carries tapeworm eggs, he might experience tapeworm infestation within a few weeks or months. Tapeworm eggs inside your Labrador’s digestive tract feed on the nutrients your Labrador eats hindering their absorption.
Signs of Fleas on Dogs
One flea can be hard to notice or find but if you see one on your Labrador, that could mean he has more of them hiding in his fur. If your Labrador has the flea infestation, these signs may be present.
- Black dirt on his skin or underneath the fur
- Red or pinkish spots on the skin and/or belly
Getting Rid of Fleas
There are different products – both natural and chemical—that can help in getting rid of fleas in dogs. But before putting your Labrador out and giving any of these medications, clean up his coat and free your house some these bloodsucking parasites.
Natural Ways of Getting Rid of Fleas
· Clean Your House and Labrador’s Bedding
Fleas can live in carpets and most furniture up to 100 days without a blood meal. This means putting your Labrador under flea medication without cleaning may be unproductive. Make sure to vacuum carpets, clean up furniture, and the whole house to get rid of fleas in your home. When washing beddings, it is ideal to use hot water to kill these parasites. Also, you will need to wash your Labrador too. You may use a flea shampoo to kill off some of the fleas. Then, you may proceed with your choice of natural or chemical treatments.
· Natural Flea Repellant Spray
Fleas hate acidic environments so a lemon-water spray should help in getting rid of fleas and keeping them off. To make a lemon flea-repellant spray, boil half a liter of water for 10 minutes. Turn off the stove and add 5 slices of lemon into it. Let it steep overnight. Put it in a spray bottle and use it on your Labrador’s fur.
You can also soak a flea comb into the lemon-water mixture and use it to comb your Lab’s fur.
· Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV
Mixing ACV in your Labrador’s bath water helps repel fleas. Apple Cider Vinegar can also be mixed in your Lab’s drinking water to change his body’s pH level and make his taste repulsive for fleas.
· Brewer’s Yeast
One of Brewer’s yeast’s benefits in dogs is its effectiveness in repelling fleas. Mixing it with your Labrador’s food can make his blood taste unpleasant to fleas. However, it is important to know the correct dosage of Brewer’s yeast for your Labrador. Do consult a veterinarian before giving this to your Lab.
Medications Used in Getting Rid of Fleas
Advocate is a spot-on treatment that is given to dogs monthly. Advocate or Advantage Multi can kill intestinal parasites, heartworms, mites, and fleas.
Advantage is also a spot-on treatment specifically made to kill adult fleas and larvae. This product is effective for 4 weeks and is given to dogs monthly.
Bravecto is another chewable product that is given to dogs monthly. It can kill both ticks and fleas within 12 hours. It is also effective in repelling the said external parasites for 12 weeks.
Frontline is also a monthly spot-on treatment that helps get rid of fleas and ticks.
Another spot-on treatment, Vetguard can get rid of ticks and fleas. It also helps in repelling these parasites – and even mosquitoes. Vetguard can stop flea eggs from activating into adult fleas.
Nexgard is a chewable medication that is given monthly. This product can kill both fleas and ticks.