Dog fleas are becoming a very common thing in dogs. Dogs that are not properly groomed and not well taken care of may end up having fleas. Fleas are small insects that can bite like mosquitoes. When they do bite, they will leave red spots on the dog’s hideabout 3 millimeters in size.
The biggest problem that pet owners have with dog fleas is the fact that they are likely to thrive all year round. Unlike mosquitoes which can virtually be non-existent during the colder months, fleas can survive all climates. However, they can also endure during the snowy months or when it’s extremely dry. They also can’t live long in high altitude areas.
While dog flea bites are rarely a major health concern, they can be when they become carriers of epidemics like the bubonic plague. If you can remember, this is the disease associated with the Black Death.
As such, the biggest mistake pet owners can make when it comes to dog fleas is not to take them seriously. Aside from bubonic plague, fleas can also be the carriers of other diseases such as typhus and the Brazilian spotted fever. In pets, fleas can cause Rickettsia felis and tapeworms.
In not-so-bad cases, dog fleas may simply irritate your dog’s skin. Many dogs are allergic to the saliva of fleas. If they are, dermatitis occurs. This is the reason why fleas are associated with scratching and flaking of the skin, not to mention redness and inflammation. If your dog suffers from fleas, skin allergy becomes the least of your concerns.
Contrary to popular belief, fleas don’t fly. This is the main reason why they stick close to your pet. However, these creatures jump well. They can transfer from one pet to the other by jumping high enough. If your dog gets close enough to an infected pet, the risks are great that you’ll take your dog home with fleas on its fur.
A flea can jump up to 8 inches high and 15 inches wide. Just a pair of fleas is enough to infect your dog. Fleas can multiply by reproducing on your dog’s skin. Over time, they can increase in number, causing great discomfort to your pet.
Fleas are less than a quarter of an inch long. As such, it is impossible to see them the moment they bury themselves under the fur. They can either be black or brown, depending on the flea variety they belong to. If the hair of your dog matches their color, you won’t be able to spot them at all.
The life span of fleas is normally 115 days. However, if it can’t find a host, it can die in as fast as two days. They mate after feeding, usually about a day or two after. Female fleas can lay as many as 2,000 eggs in a single outing. This is why dog fleas can be very hard to control. If you don’t eliminate them before laying eggs, your dog will fall prey to them mercilessly.