shiba puppy sniffing the ground

Finding fleas on your dog can be a stressful time for both you and them. Having them scratching all the time can not only be frustrating but also very damaging for their skin. This is why prevention and treatment for fleas is so important and something every dog owner should take seriously.

We’re going to run through some top tips on how to spot the problem, get rid of fleas on your dog, in your home and keep them from returning. While checking for fleas, if you come across any ticks, then check out how to deal with those here.

Spotting Fleas on your Dog

dog scratching his ear

Before treating your dog for fleas it’s important to know what signs to look out for. Keep your eyes peeled for:

  • Scratching
  • Hair Loss/Bald Patches
  • Scabs/Spots
  • Irritated/Red Skin
  • Small Dark Specks in Fur (this is flea excrement)
  • Small Insects in Fur

Spotting any of these on your dog could mean that they have fleas. To confirm this, the best thing to do would be to comb your dog. Use a fine-toothed comb on a white surface; this makes it easier for you to see them. When water is added to any dark specs, if they turn a red/brown colour the possibility your dog has fleas is very likely.

What to do now?

dog having a bath outside

Once you’ve determined that there are fleas on your dog, you need to go about treating them and your home.

Treating your Dog

The first thing to do is de-flea your dog. You can either choose an over the counter flea treatment or get one from your vets. Killing the eggs and flea larvae is so important in making your home and pet flea-free so make sure that whichever treatment you choose it can tackle both young and adult fleas. Should you not want a treatment there are non-chemical shampoos you could use instead.

You should refrain from washing your pet for the 5 days before and after applying the treatment. This is due to the way the treatments work, attaching to the fat layer on your pet. Washing them will remove the natural oils that the treatment attaches itself to.

Treating your Home

If there are fleas on your dog, chances are they are in your home as well. If you don’t treat your home as well as your pet, they will come back and you’ll have to start all over again. The best thing to start with is to hoover your entire house; this includes soft furnishings and hard surfaces. Any soft furnishings that they spend a lot of time with should also be heavily treated such as their bed, toys or furniture.

There are many different forms of flea-killing products, so you can find one that’s suitable for you and your household. If you’re struggling to find one for you, have a chat with your local vet and they’ll be able to suggest some options.


woman spraying disinfectant

Now there are no fleas on your dog and you’ve got them out of your home, you want to make sure those little pests never come back! Even though they’re gone, you should always:

  • Use a vet approved monthly spot on treatment
  • Use flea shampoos
  • Consider a flea collar for outdoor adventures

This will help to significantly reduce the risk of your dog getting fleas again in the future.

Have you got any top tips for keeping fleas out of your home and off your pooch? We’d love to hear them! Tweet us at @barkingheads or head to our Facebook page.


Is my dog overweight? Read our blog by Vet Dr Scott Miller and Barking Heads to find out more!


*The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified pet health provider with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s health*