How To Detect And Remove Fleas On A Dog

dog-fleas_cartoonIf your dog has fleas then chances are you want to remove them as quickly as possible. Fleas can cause unwanted scratching, sores and rashes. Other health effects include the obvious because fleas are actually eating your dog! Plus, you can actually catch fleas from your dog, which is not something anyone wants. Once you know your dog has fleas, you can use a flea remover treatment to get rid of the fleas.

Detecting Fleas on a Dog

The first signs of fleas on a dog might not be extremely obvious at first, but they are recognisable if you look. Most dogs will display similar signs for dry rash or skin rash, but there are a few major differences. The top signs your dog will display when itching include:

  • Your dog is scratching more frequently, for longer periods of time, or more vigorously than usual. Target areas include behind and on the ears so watch out for ear scratching.
  • Your dog is biting or gnawing himself with his teeth. This is usually an attempt to assuage an itch or biting flea! Gnawing can cause rashes, sores, and blood.
  • Your dog suddenly rolls more than laying still. Rolling can be a sign of itchiness as the dog is probably attempting to scratch an itch.

Each of these signs most likely mean fleas, but without the following signs, could be a rash or fungus causing the dogs skin to itch. You should also pay attention to the dog’s skin and hair. Look for small black dots on the fur. These can include excrement and flea eggs which mostly look the same. The more black dots, the more fleas your dog has. If you see an actual flea, there is a large chance that your dog already has a large flea infestation.

Treating Fleas on a Dog

Once you have recognised that your dog has fleas, you can treat them using a dog flea medicine. Spot on flea treatments are very popular, effective, are easy to use and are actually recommended by many veterinarians. You can pick these up in pet stores and online, although online stores are usually much cheaper.

Giving your dog a bath before giving him the flea medicine will help to remove eggs and loose fleas so that you can treat more effectively and then giving him a second bath shortly after the recommended use of the flea medicine will help to remove dead fleas and any remaining eggs. A follow up treatment is also important for helping the fleas to go.

Treating Your House

If your dog has fleas then your house has fleas. Vacuum the entire area including furniture, dog beds, small areas and anywhere your dog might have been to remove flea eggs and fleas. Consider purchasing a bug bomb to kill any fleas in the home. Finally, remember to wash your pet’s bed once per week until the flea infestation is gone. Flea eggs and fleas hiding in the bed can re-infect your pet months after the infestation is gone if the bed is not washed!

Dogs can get fleas as easily as going outside for a walk, a brief interaction with another dog, or even from your yard. Using a good quality flea treatment can help to keep your dog happy and healthy. Consider treatments two to three times per year and then as necessary if your dog gets fleas. Keeping your home, the dog’s bed and your dog can also help for treatment and prevention of fleas.



Sally Dimmock is a writer who recommends using Frontline Spot on dog flea medicine to de-flea your dogs as soon as you catch any sign that they might have a problems such as scratching or itching.

Feeding Your Older Cat

catOur cats get older but to us they still look young and vibrant. Despite their appearance, their needs have changed.  As responsible pet owners you need to make sure that you are taking care of them accordingly.  You should ask yourself, is it time for your cats diet to change?

By the time your cat is 12 years old, they are the equivalent to 64 years old. This makes them a senior.

Older Cat Diet

A lot of senior cat food is lower in protein and higher in fat. This is because older cats are lower energy and don’t require as much protein. However, this may not actually be the case. Kathryn Michel, DVM, associate professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, says that there is no research to prove that the nutritional needs of a healthy senior cat is different from his younger counterpart.

What is comes down to is evaluating the individual needs of your senior cat. Ask yourself:

  • Are they overweight?
  • Are they underweight?
  • Do they have arthritis?
  • Do they have stiff joints?
  • Do they have a medical condition?
  • Do they have skin issues?

Look at the overall health of your senior cat and tailor their diet to meet those needs.

Fat Old Cat

Young cats tend to be very active, even indoor cats. They will stalk and capture prey, whether their prey is a bug, a mouse or a ball of tinfoil. Cats are natural hunters, but as they get older their hunting activity will slow down. Most people leave cat food out all day for their hunter. This can lead to very easy overeating or generally lazy hunting habits, because they know they are not hunting for food but hunting for fun.

The dry food that is left out all day tend to be high in calories, and even 10 extra calories a day can add up to a pound of fat.

To keep your cats weight under control

  • Work with your veterinarian to get the food with the best nutritional value for your cats needs.
  • Read the label of your pet food so you know what you are feeding them. If you are not sure the nutritional balance that is best for your cat, talk to your vet.
  • Feed your cat the right amount. Don’t just leave food out. Give your cat the food that is right for their weight and size.

Kitty Vitamins

Most cats do not need nutritional supplements  However, if your cat has a health condition that could potentially interfere with his ability to absorb all the nutrients he needs from his food.

Most supplements have not been studied in animals. Some have been shown to be fine in dogs or humans, but not cats, due to differences in metabolisms. Some supplements can also interfere with medication.  Make sure to check with your vet on whether your cat needs supplements and which ones are ok to give her. Your vet may recommend a special food that already has the supplement added to it, as opposed to adding a supplement to the food you are already giving.

My Cat Won’t Eat

Sometimes older cats stop eating. This is usually indicative of something being wrong. If your cat stops eating, call your vet and make an appointment.  Older cats may stop eating for a lot of different reasons.

Sometimes you can use things like tuna juice, warming the food, or giving your cat wet food. These things can help encourage your cat to eat. Your vet may also give you a calorie dense supplement paste you can feed your cat to help him gain weight, or he may prescribe an appetite-stimulating drug.

Though if your cat is not eating, you need to treat the underlying cause. There is very little you can do to get them to eat without proper treatment.


If you have an older cat, pay attention to their weight and overall health. If your cat starts losing weight, consider increasing their calorie intake through higher calorie foods. If your cat has creaky joints and is stiff, consider a food that promotes joint health.  As your cat ages, just make sure to pay attention to their overall health and talk to your vet about managing their golden years.