Dog fleas look similar to tiny dirt particles on a comb or brush. They are dark brown and about 0.1-0.3 millimeters long. Fleas cannot fly, but they can jump a long distance and are easily visible on a dog’s fur. To find them, make sure to wash bedding and other items that your dog might be sharing with fleas.
Dog fleas can cause a number of health problems for your dog. The most common problem is flea allergy dermatitis, which results in itchiness, hair loss, and scaly skin. In some cases, the fleas can cause secondary skin infections as well. Moreover, fleas can lead to a variety of other medical issues, including anemia in heavily infested dogs.
Flea bites are different from those caused by other insects. Some fleas leave individual red dots, while others cause widespread redness, flaking, and inflammation. A dog’s flea bites can appear on his stomach, or on the inner top of his back legs. A dog may also scratch at the bite site, resulting in a red area.
The most effective way to treat a dog for fleas is with spot-on treatments. These are small liquids that are applied to the dog’s skin, often on its back. Sprays are also available but are less common due to their messy nature. Powders, however, are more difficult to apply as they need to remain on the dog’s coat to be effective.