My Dog Went And Got Fleas…And I Promptly Demolished Them

I will be the first to say, I enjoy chilling with my pudna (pronounced pood – na)! My dog Sasha is amazing balls. She’s amazing for a  myriad of reasons as I’m sure your animal is just as awesome for their respective reasons. To name a few:

  1. She’s quiet – when necessary.
  2. She’s obedient – mostly.
  3. And she’s got this odd sense of intelligence that I don’t believe every dog to have.
    1. Not to say she doesn’t have her stupid moments…but she’s generally bright.

Sasha is pretty cool, but this fall she has been acquiring some rather unhealthy habits…like bringing in fleas.

Take a moment to read about my debacle with a cockroach –> Here. It’s okay. I’ll wait.

 

— All done? Story Time over my pretties?! Cool. Back to our regular scheduled programming.

So you can understand the seriousness of my dog have fleas. There was no way she was going to live with us in our home, with tiny parasites that suck blood and cause allergic reactions – which then cause your dog to itch.

sign-1669810_640

IDENTIFICATION 

First, we had to determine she had them. Sasha is a short hair dog, but she has black fur which makes finding the things improbable, but her white underbelly proved prime real estate for her new friends.

We also noticed that she was scratching her skin off (literally, she was scratching so much she was causing herself to bleed). The inspection of her fur, periodically, throughout the day, proved our hypothesis. Sasha poo had fleas.

  • Notice your dog and their routine. If they’re scratching a heck of a lot more than usual check them out. At night is when we noticed a huge uptick in aggravation. She was waking us up in the night with her movement, or how hard she was scratching at her body.
  • Look for red and splotchy areas or bloody scratches around the armpits, butt, thighs, tail, and stomach.
  • You might even get to see these little critters racing across your dog’s body. They have very flat, brownish black bodies. If you see them from the side, they almost look paper thin.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

After identifying the flea problem, you must act promptly. This is not the time to diddle daddle, or hope that they’ll go away on their own. You must be proactive. Know this fact before you jump into eliminating the enemy from behind enemy lines.
toy-1551383_640

  • Resist the urge to poke at or pull the fleas off once you see them on your dog’s body.
    • They’re really hard to pull off, and don’t die easily with just a smush of the fingers.
    • You risk them jumping on you for a meal (and they do drink human blood, too), or jumping into your carpet, which is another issue we’re trying to avoid in it’s entirety for several reasons:
      • Fleas lay eggs and lots of them
      • Eggs in your carpet mean those bad boys can continue to flourish even after you’ve deloused your dog
      • The longer the fleas live in your home means you’re spending a lot of money and time getting rid of them
  • Fleas don’t like citrus or acidic environments. Grab you some vinegar, and some citrus essential oils that can be used on the skin, and keep those handy in the coming weeks.
    • Linalool and Limonene – are really effective insecticidal compounds and are found in essential oils.
      • They kill all stages of flea – from egg to adult.
      • Be careful with them, though. Make sure the essential oils are diluted (we put about 15 to 30 drops in a 16 oz bottle of vinegar and water solution before using it on our dog) and make sure to test it out to see if it causes any skin reactions. You don’t want an allergic reaction on top of fleas for your puppy or for you.
  • Fleas are especially active at night.
    • Not that Sasha didn’t scratch during the day, but we definitely noticed a lot of activity and biting going on at night.
  • Fleas are attracted to light.
    • If you have fleas in your carpet, or in an area of your home, there’s a nifty method we found out about that will need some supervision, but is helpful in trapping the beasts. We detailed it below.
  • Fleas do not so well in soapy water.
    • We grabbed Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap (because it was on hand and happened to have an essential oil that could nip those fleas in the bud) or you could try the citrus one. Let us know how it went.
    • Theoretically, any soap would do, but we wanted a double whammy of citrus and soap to get rid of the issue as much as possible from the start.  When we started the washing process, the fleas would jump right off Sasha into a soapy death.

DESTROY THE FLEAS

When it comes to this process, this is how we did it to get rid of the flea problem in less than 3 days…at the longest a week or two just to make sure she didn’t still have them. Try this at your own risk and make sure to test your dog and carpeted areas out as you go. Results may vary based off of the infestation, so keep at it if it doesn’t work the first time.

heavy-water-factory-1053775_640.jpg

  1. Quarantine your animal.
    1. No matter how much it hurts, stick Rosco somewhere with no carpet, and that he/she can’t get anywhere. We kept Sasha in a side room that was carpet free and had a door we could lock her away in.
  2. Clean all doggy bedding, clothes, and toys in the hottest cycle with bleach or a hydrogen peroxide alternative.
    1. Consider using a towel or something that your dog can lay on in the meantime. This way it’s something quick and small that you can wash on a dime. And your animal has somewhere to lay down that’s not bare floor.
  3. If you have a carpet infestation:
    1. Vacuum your floors, and then get to deep cleaning those areas. We recommend using our [DIY CARPET CLEANING SOLUTION], hot water, and the Rug Doctor you can grab at Harris Teeter. It’s inexpensive and gets the job done. Instead of using the Peppermint Dr. Bronner’s Soap, grab the lavender or citrus soap to add to the solution as the alternative for that flea deterrent.
    2. At night, before you go to sleep – get a dish or small bowl of hot water and mix soap into it. Lather the soap up just a bit, and place a tea light in the middle of the solution. Place this little lighthouse contraption in the room with the infestation. Then, turn off the lights, and SUPERVISE (don’t want you to burn your house down). Watch the area until the candle goes out. Keep doing this until you don’t notice them anymore.
      1. The fleas are attracted to the light, and will jump in thinking, “Yay, warmth!” Sadly, they will get a soapy death trap. They can’t hop out, so you end up nabbing them before they can go further.
  4. Time to wash your animal in a bubble bath.dog-1310545_640
    1. Get you some gloves if you have them and fill your tub up with warm water, and squirt the soap into the water. Create a mini bubble bath for your dog.
    2. Proceed to squirt the soap directly onto their bodies and work up a heavy lather. Make sure to concentrate on their sides, underbellies, legs, butts, and tails.
      1. If you see any fleas, now would be the time to take tweezers, a flea comb, or a napkin to grab the flea and pull them off.
        1. We searched and destroyed with tissue, and then immediately threw the tissue in the toilet and flushed.
        2. Make sure to watch your body and go for light colored clothing so if you notice any trying to jump ship onto you, you can quickly grab and get rid of them.
    3. You should start to see black specks in your bath water. Keep searching for them and scrub your puppy for 7 to 10 minutes. This needs to be thorough.
    4. Empty out the bath water, rinse your animal, and grab your vinegar/essential oil mixture.
      1. 8 oz of vinegar, 8 oz of water, 15 to 30 drops of lavender, or lemon/grapefruit/lime essential oil
      2. You’ll want to spray your dog liberally. Fido might not like it, but the vinegar makes for a shiny coat, and it’ll help deter any fleas from wanting to come aboard.
  1. Continue to quarantine your animal, bedding, and other items you may have found with fleas in that one centralized area until there are no more fleas.
    1. To monitor the flea count, just count how many each day you get rid of.
    2. Monitor your animal and how they are throughout the day.
    3. This is a look, check, and be proactively searching method…so if you’re not down for the cause, go get a solution from your vet.

This can be an arduous process. So, you might say, “Screw this…she’s about to sleep outside from now on.” But, if you keep at it daily, you’re bound to see a major improvement.

dog-trainer-silhouettes-sunset-38284.jpeg

How’d it go? Are the fleas gone or are they taking their dear sweet time leaving? Let us know below Millennials. You know the dealio. 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s