If your dog is scratching its back, neck or belly more than usual, then he/she might have fleas. Dogs scratch because these little parasites crawl around on the dog’s skin and tickle the dog or leave scabs or rashes where they suck the dog’s blood.
But where do dogs pick up fleas?
Dogs get fleas from other animals, grass, inside the house, or even from humans. Fleas lie in wait and jump on dogs as they walk by or stand close enough. If a dog comes within 20 inches (50 cm) of a young adult flea, there is a chance the flea will leap and land on the dog.
There are many, many places where a dog can get fleas – wherever there are young fleas or eggs, there is a chance a dog will get fleas if they haven’t been treated with a good flea treatment.
If your dog has fleas or keeps getting fleas, then you need to think carefully about all the places your dog visits to avoid the source of the fleas and take measures at home to break the flea lifecycle.
Some dogs have a very negative reaction to flea treatments, so please speak to your vet for advice on what to give your pet.
I prefer to give my dogs the Bravecto spot on treatment, not any tablets, and they have not had a bad reaction to it so far. Always follow the instructions carefully.
Here’s a list of possible places where a dog can get fleas…
From the grass in your garden
The grass in your garden is one of the most common places for a dog to get fleas. Other animals may visit your yard and drop fleas or flea eggs in your garden. These flea eggs hatch and thrive, especially in long grass where it’s shady, warm and humid. They then jump onto any dogs in the yard.
Animals that may bring fleas to your yard are:
There may also be fleas in your dog’s outdoor house, bedding, or under the porch.
From your cat
If your cat goes wandering and picks up fleas, there’s a good chance these fleas will jump onto your dog. Cat fleas don’t mind living on cats or dogs, but dog fleas prefer to live on dogs.
If you have a cat at home and your dog gets fleas, check your cat for fleas too.
Always use a flea treatment designed for cats on cats, and a treatment designed for dogs on dogs. Cat flea treatments are poisonous to dogs and dog treatments are poisonous to cats.
Facilities where there are other dogs
Fleas can jump from dog to dog or from the floor onto a dog. If a dog comes in with fleas or drops flea eggs in a facility, there’s a chance the fleas will spread to other dogs that visit that facility too.
Some pet facilities where fleas can be passed from dog to dog include:
Once a flea has entered your house, the house can become a source of flea infestation and reinfestation.
Fleas aren’t always brought into the house by a cat or a dog – sometimes humans or another animal, such as a wild mouse, can bring fleas into the house.
Female fleas can lay a lot of eggs – about 20 per day. These eggs lie around on the floor in the house and, within a few days, fleas hatch out of the eggs. These young fleas live in carpets, bedding, floors, plush toys and furniture, until a suitable host walks by to jump on, such as your dog.
From humans, even you
People, including you, can bring fleas into your home and infect the dog. Fleas may jump onto a person’s shoes, socks, or clothing, and get a free ride into the house.