April 9, 2023

How Do I Know If My Puppy Has Fleas

Are you worried that your dog has fleas? Here's how to tell if your puppy has fleas and what you can do about it.

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Fleas are external parasites known to most pet owners. There is no way of avoiding the fact that your pet will most likely get fleas at some point in his life. It is enough to test the patience of every dog owner, considering that a single flea can reproduce thousands of offspring in a matter of weeks. Yes, they are that prolific. 

Fleas are very tiny and can easily latch onto your dog's fur. Dogs can be infested with fleas through contact with wild animals or in an environment such as dog parks. The presence of fleas can cause severe flea problems if neglected.

This article will cover knowing if your pet has fleas, treating your dog for fleas, and helping prevent him from getting them. 

Things Pet Owners Should Know About Fleas

What Are Fleas?

In the United States, there are more than 300 types of fleas. Around 2,500 species of fleas exist worldwide; the most common external parasite for American dogs is Ctenocephalides felis.

We see most of them with our naked eye or maybe even any adult fleas crawling around our furry friends because they exist in the form of flea eggs or larvae.

To take a closer look at the fleas, use a magnifying glass. Fleas are tiny, wingless insects with piercing, sucking mouthparts adapted to feeding on the blood of their hosts. These small pests mostly rely on host animals to carry them from one area to another. Small patches of greasy hair on the host may harbor hundreds of tiny, adult fleas.

Flea Life Cycle

A flea life cycle begins its life when the female flea lays eggs in an area with a flea host, usually an animal such as a cat or dog. After hatching, the egg falls off its host and develops into a tiny worm-like larva that later grows into an adult flea.

These reddish-brown pests can be dangerous for your pets as they can spread serious diseases and cause irritation on the skin if not given attention.

How to Check Your Pet for Fleas?

Dog's fleas are most likely cat fleas. A good idea to know if your pets have fleas is to make them stand on a white towel or paper towel while brushing your pet's underbelly with a fine-toothed flea comb available from pet stores.

Hartz Groomer's Best Flea Comb

This stainless steel flea comb for dogs is precisely what your pet needs to get rid of pesky fleas, eggs and debris. The stainless steel teeth are gentle on delicate skin and as an added bonus are helpful in detangling small mats of fur. 

It would be easier to spot any black droppings that fall off, like flea dirt or adult flea feces that look like black pepper. 

It could also be like tiny grains of sand that turn red when it gets wet. Don't forget to check your pet's comb regularly, for there could be adult fleas. 

If your dog seems uncomfortable and you don't find any fleas on your pet's fur. Don't hesitate to bring them to a vet's office. They could undergo skin tests to check for fleas allergies.

Signs of Fleas Infestations

Puppy care is very challenging and can vary from breed to breed. But whatever you do, please do not overlook the early signs of fleas, such as scratching, for it could mean that your puppy's health is in danger. Listed below are some signs of flea infestation in your dogs.

  • Dogs and cats who are allergic to the protein in flea saliva will itch or scratch as soon as a flea bites their skin.
  • One telltale sign could be red pimples or red bumps found at the base of their tail, or under their legs. It could also be visible on your pet's groin or belly.
  • Constant itching can cause excessive scratching, resulting in hair loss and dry skin.

What are Flea Bite Complications?

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

An allergic reaction caused by flea saliva is called flea allergy dermatitis. This type of allergy is prevalent in dogs, especially in sensitive dogs. A single flea bite can cause discomfort if not given immediate medical attention. 


Fleas drinking too much blood on dogs can cause flea anemia. This complication may lead to blood loss which results in the pale gums of your pet.


 Environments that have heavy flea infestation are familiar to tapeworms. Heavily infected dogs with tapeworms may experience weight loss.

How to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs?

Knowing how to get rid of fleas on dogs safely is very important. Some flea treatments for dogs can be harmful if you do not use them properly. This doesn't just pertain to puppies but older dogs as well. 

The best approach to get rid of fleas is to seek veterinary advice about a flea treatment plan. Your vet could prescribe you effective treatment options like fleas collars, topical liquids, and flea shampoo suitable for your pet. In severe cases of flea infestation, they can prescribe oral medication like antibiotics.

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor

The shampoo contains powerful ingredients that not only kill adult fleas, but also flea eggs and larvae.

Adams Flea & Tick Collar

Adams flea and tick collar kills adult fleas, ticks and repels mosquitoes for up to 6 months. This collar is water resistant and will not be affected by rainy weather.

Key takeaway 

As mentioned earlier, fleas can be problematic for your dog's health. Preventing them from infesting your dogs is vital to ensure good health for your pets and peace of mind for you as a pet parent. Below are preventive measures you can take:

Always Clean Your Home Environment

When your dog gets fleas, your whole house can get infested. It would be best to keep your environment clean to ensure a flea infestation doesn't happen.

Check Your Pet Bedding

Don't forget to check and clean your pet's bedding, for there could be any flea droppings left. Flea droppings look like black specks that can still infect your dog if not cleaned properly.

Limit Outdoor Activities

Dogs love to play outside; there is nothing to argue about that. But the best way to prevent them from getting fleas is to limit their time spent outdoors to avoid contact with infected animals.

Visit Your Vet

Visit your vet regularly to avoid severe diseases caused by fleas. Talk to them about the flea products that are right for your pet.