Get 60% Off & Free Shipping While Stocks Last

A Guide on How to Find Fleas on Dogs

Wondering how to find fleas on dogs?

Welcome, pet parents, to our comprehensive guide on detecting those pesky little critters: fleas.

As much as we adore our furry companions, they're not immune to these tiny parasites.

Fear not, we’re here to help!

Armed with the right knowledge, you can become a flea-finding expert!

We can help you keep your canine companion itch-free and happy.

In this blog post, we’ll explore everything from why they're a nuisance to how to spot them on your dog.

Settle in and let's embark on this flea-fighting journey together!

Click the links below to go to that specific section:

dog fleas

Understanding Fleas

What are fleas?

Fleas, scientifically known as Ctenocephalides felis (cat fleas) or Ctenocephalides canis (dog fleas), are tiny insects that feed on the blood of their hosts, primarily dogs and cats.

These pesky parasites are reddish brown and are about the size of a sesame seed.

They have specialised mouthparts for piercing the skin and sucking blood.

Lifecycle of fleas

dog fleas

Fleas have four growth stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

Adult fleas lay eggs on the host animal, which then fall off onto the surrounding environment.

These flea eggs hatch into larvae, which feed on organic matter such as flea dirt or flea faeces and debris.

Larvae eventually spin cocoons and develop into pupae.

After a period of dormancy, adult fleas emerge from the pupal cocoon, ready to feed and reproduce.


Why dogs are susceptible to fleas

Our canine friends are highly susceptible to fleas due to several factors.

Their warm body temperature provides an ideal environment for flea development.

Their furry coat offers ample hiding spots.

Additionally, dogs frequently interact with other animals and environments where fleas thrive, increasing their risk of infestation.

Related: Are There Remedies for Dogs With Anxiety?

What are the Most Common Signs of Fleas on Dogs

Dogs without flea allergies may have no sign of fleas except for the fleas themselves and flea dirt in their fur.

Even if you don't see adult fleas or flea dirt on your dog, they could still have fleas. 

Fleas can also give dogs tapeworms when they eat infected fleas while grooming.

Heavy flea infestations can make small dogs and puppies anaemic.

This can be really dangerous because they lose blood when the fleas feed.

Visible signs

dog fleas
  1. Excessive scratching, biting, or licking:

Flea bites can cause intense itching, leading to constant scratching and grooming. 

  1. Red and irritated skin:

Flea saliva contains compounds that can trigger allergic reactions in some dogs.

If a dog is allergic to flea saliva, they can get flea allergy dermatitis from flea bites.

This condition causes symptoms like:

  • Lots of scratching or biting at the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Hot spots
  1. Presence of flea droppings on fur:

Flea dirt appears as small black specks on the dog's skin or fur, resembling black pepper.

When moistened, flea poop releases a reddish-brown colour, indicating the presence of blood.

Behavioural signs

  1. Restlessness or discomfort:

Dogs infested with fleas may exhibit restlessness or discomfort due to itching and irritation.

  1. Changes in appetite:

Flea infestations can cause dogs to lose their appetite or exhibit changes in eating habits.

  1. Agitation or irritability:

Dogs may become irritable or agitated when experiencing discomfort from flea bites.

Physical examination tips

  1. Checking fur and skin for fleas:

Inspect your dog's fur and skin.

Pay close attention to areas where fleas are commonly found like the base of the tail and behind the ears.

For a closer look, you may want to use a magnifying glass. 

  1. Using a flea comb:

Run a fine-tooth flea comb through your dog's fur.

Focus on areas where flea dirt is most likely to accumulate.

  1. Inspecting common hiding spots:

Examine areas where fleas tend to hide, such as between the toes, under the armpits, and along the belly.

  1. Look at other potential hiding spots

Check around the groin area.

Fleas may migrate to warm, moist regions of the body.

Don't forget the belly and underside.

Lift your dog's belly to check for fleas along the underside, where the fur is thinner.

More Tips for Flea Detection

Use surfaces like a white towel for flea dirt detection.

Also, watch your dog's behaviour and skin condition at all times.

Of course, consulting a veterinarian for professional advice and flea control products is always a good idea.

Related: How Can Indoor Cats Get Fleas?

Preventing and Treating Flea Infestations

dog fleas

Treating flea infestation in dogs involves a few key steps to ensure your furry friend gets relief from those pesky pests.

First off, it's crucial to use a flea treatment specifically designed for dogs.

You can try spot-on treatments or oral medications.

These products work to kill adult fleas on your dog's body.

Next, you'll want to clean and treat your home.

Start by washing your dog's bedding in hot water.

Your dog’s soft toysblanket, and clothes should also be washed.

If you use a pet furniture cover, don’t forget to wash that too.

Anything that your pup uses needs to be cleaned.

Vacuum floors and furniture, and use flea sprays or foggers to target flea eggs and larvae.

Clean your vacuum bag thoroughly.

Regular grooming with a flea comb can also help remove fleas and their eggs from your dog's fur.

If the infestation is severe or persists, don't hesitate to consult your veterinarian for more guidance.

Your vet may have treatment options tailored to your dog's needs.

With consistent care and treatment, you can help your furry friend bounce back to their happy, itch-free self in no time!

Preventing Flea Infestation

It’s still recommended to prevent fleas than treat them.

Prevention is always better than any cure.

Here are some easy tips to help keep those pesky pests away:

  • Regular grooming: Brush your dog's fur regularly to remove any fleas or flea dirt that might be hiding.
  • Bathing: Give your dog a bath with flea shampoo to kill any fleas on their body. Use a cleaning brush with a shampoo compartment.
  • Use flea prevention products: Talk to your vet about flea prevention products. Flea collars can help keep fleas away. Our flea and tick collar contains two active ingredients, Imidacloprid and Flumethrin. They offer dual protection for up to 7-8 months. Our collar gradually releases plant essential oils ensuring effective flea elimination. Plus, they're waterproof and suitable for dogs and cats aged 10 weeks and above.
  • Keep your home clean
  • Treat your yard: Keep your yard tidy by mowing the grass and removing any piles of leaves or debris where fleas might live.

By following these simple steps, you can help prevent flea infestations and keep your dog happy and healthy.

Related: How to Groom Your Dog at Home Like a Pro

Go back to the top

dog fleas


In conclusion, detecting fleas on your dog requires vigilance and proactive measures.

By understanding the signs of flea infestation, knowing where to look for fleas, and implementing preventive measures, you can safeguard your canine companion from these pesky parasites.

Remember, early detection and intervention are key to preventing flea-related health issues and ensuring your furry friend's well-being.

So, arm yourself with knowledge, stay diligent, and give your pet the flea-free life they deserve.

Looking for some products that could help you out? 

Check out our Online Shop!

Here are some useful products in relation to this blog post:

MrFluffyFriend - Anxiety Relieving Dog Bed

MrFluffyFriend - Anxiety Relieving Fluffy Pet Blanket

MrFluffyFriend - Fluffy Couch Cover for Dogs and Cats

MrFluffyFriend - 6 Pack of Dog Toys for Stronger Teeth

MrFluffyFriend - Flea and Tick Prevention Collar

MrFluffyFriend - 2-in-1 Grooming Brush

MrFluffyFriend - Comfortable Cleaning Brush

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published