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How Do Dogs Get Fleas?

Why Your Pooch is a Flea's Perfect Pad

By Gina Carey. March 27, 2012 | See Comments

How Do Dogs Get Fleas?

Dogs can catch fleas just about anywhere. Here are some of the most common ways your dog can pick up these pests.

Is your pup a walking flea magnet? In order to stop future infestation, you’ll need to track down how your pet contracts these bloodsuckers in the first place. Here are the four most common ways dogs get fleas.

Dogs Get Fleas From Other Animals

Dogs’ social nature may work against them when it comes to flea control. The most likely way your pet will come in contact with fleas is through exposure from other animals. Fleas can easily jump onto your dog from carriers in close range and start up a new colony.

So which flea-infested animals are a danger to your dog? The variety is unfortunately very wide ranging. Dogs can contract fleas from feral animals, as well as other household pets, including cats. Though the dog flea, Ctenocephalides canis, prefers to subsist on dog blood, cat fleas do not discriminate and will happily start up a colony on your pup. Common house mice will also spread their fleas to your dog, if not directly, then by infesting areas around your home.

Outdoor animals that carry fleas include:

  • rodents
  • birds
  • ferrets
  • squirrels
  • skunks
  • opossum
  • rabbits
  • deer
  • raccoons
  • foxes
  • bovine

Dogs Get Fleas From Your Home

Fleas have a knack for hitchhiking from place to place, and they can enter your home in many ways. Animals, such as wild mice, can introduce fleas to your indoor environment, and just a single flea that sticks around can start up a nasty infestation. Humans can also bring fleas into the home via their clothing and shoes.

Fleas can also spread into your home through infested bedding, rugs, blankets, and plush toys. If you purchase these household items secondhand or receive them as hand-me-downs, make sure that flea eggs are not present before bringing them into your home.

Dogs Get Fleas From Dog Facilities

Indoor locations that other pets frequent can also be a flea free-for-all. Be cautious when choosing a groomer, pet boarding, or doggie daycare. You can always ask about flea outbreaks and how they manage flea control before you expose your pet to their environments.

Dogs Get Fleas Outdoors

Fleas can survive outdoors for long stretches of time, especially during warm, humid weather. They tend to hang out in cool, shady places, and can successfully lay eggs there. Whether it’s your yard or other places your pet visits, potential flea infestation is fair game wherever the parasites take up residence.

Here are some of the places your dog can come in contact with fleas outside:

  • Dog run or park
  • Backyard
  • Kennels
  • Dog houses
  • Under the porch
  • Neighboring yards

Fleas on your property may have appeared through wildlife, or could be transients from your neighbor’s yard. You can easily check your own yard for fleas, but it might be more difficult to track down whether the dog park or a dog run is causing infestation. Ask other pet owners if they’ve had issues with fleas after visiting the parks. That way, you can do your best to keep your pet flea-free all year round!

Related Products

K9 Advantix
Advantage II for Cats
Advantage Multi
Frontline Plus
Comfortis
Revolution

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