Adopting a stray dog is a noble deed, but it comes with several challenges. One of these challenges is flea infestations. So, you must know how to deal with flea infestations if you’re planning to adopt a stray dog.
In the US, there are over 70 million stray cats and dogs. That number is about 200-300 million worldwide. So, if you’re planning to get a dog, you should consider adopting a stray.
Adopting a stray dog is an easy way to improve your own life and the lives of others. Stray dogs are more likely to be happy, healthy, and well-behaved than their domestic counterparts. Since they've had to fend for themselves, they're more independent and self-sufficient, which means that they're easier to train and care for. They'll also be less likely to have genetic health problems. Stray dogs can also serve as excellent companions for other animals, children, or adults with disabilities.
However, adopting a stray dog comes with numerous challenges.
Challenges of Adopting a Stray Dog
Adopting a stray dog can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with many challenges.
You're taking on the responsibility of caring for an animal that has no training or understanding of how to live in a home. This means that you'll have to work on getting your new dog used to living with humans, as well as teaching your dog how to behave in certain situations. This process can take months or even years!
You should also consider the cost of adopting a stray dog. You will need to pay for food and veterinary care for the animal, which can add up quickly if you don't budget accordingly.
Adopting a stray also means you have to deal with fleas, which can be harder to manage than it seems. In such cases, you need an appropriate flea treatment for dogs. Whether it’s a flea shampoo for dogs or dog flea pills, you need to figure out what would work best for your new stray friend.
Symptoms of Fleas in Dogs
Fleas can cause a lot of health problems for your dog. If your dog has fleas, you will notice them crawling around in his fur and biting him. You may also see black specks of digested blood on his coat caused by them biting him. This is especially noticeable on light-colored dogs or light-colored areas such as their legs or belly area, where there is less fur to cover up the bite marks.
Flea bites can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in some dogs. This can lead to redness and swelling around the bite area, as well as hair loss in these areas if left untreated.
Because of these symptoms, it’s also vital that you be careful while using a flea comb or a dog brush.
How to Treat Fleas in a Stray Dog
Studies show that one in seven dogs have fleas. If you're adopting a stray dog, chances are they already have fleas on them. This makes it even more important to take precautions before bringing them home with you.
Check their coat for fleas or eggs behind their ears or around their neck (these can be seen with the naked eye). Be sure to check underneath their tails as well because that's where they like to hide.
If there are no visible signs of fleas yet, but you still suspect they're present, use a flea comb or fine-toothed comb to comb through their fur and check for any signs of eggs or larvae. If any appear, then immediately wash them off with warm water.
Bathing a dog is a great way to get rid of fleas. When you bathe your pet, the soap and water will help wash away any eggs or larvae that are on their skin. You can also use an anti-flea shampoo to make sure that you're getting rid of any fleas that might be hiding in your dog's fur or coat.
If you live in an area where fleas are a problem, like New Orleans, Tampa, or Houston, it's important to make sure that your dog is regularly bathed. This will help keep the flea population down and prevent them from becoming a problem for both you and your pet.
Vet-prescribed flea medicine for dogs can provide a more effective treatment. Capstar for Dogs and Frontline Gold and Frontline Plus for dogs are the most popular flea meds for dogs.
As a precaution, you can put a Seresto Flea Collar for dogs on your stray pet. This dog collar will keep fleas away and prevent infestations once the existing ones have been dealt with.
What Happens When Flea Infestations are Left Untreated
Flea infestations can be difficult to manage, and when left untreated, the problem can become worse. The fleas will soon start to reproduce and spread. You may never notice the infestation until you see your dog scratching itself excessively or exhibiting other signs of discomfort.
Fleas are small insects that live on dogs and cats. They feed off the blood of their hosts, but they can also bite humans if they come into contact with them. They're not dangerous in small numbers, but they can be irritating and painful if there are too many of them biting at once.
If left untreated for long enough periods of time, flea infestations can cause anemia or tapeworm infections.
Fleas can cause anemia in dogs due to the large amount of blood they consume during feeding. This condition can lead to weakness, lethargy, pale gums, and pale mucous membranes. In severe cases, it can also result in death.
Fleas can also transmit tapeworms if they have access to a host that has not been dewormed regularly. This parasite attaches itself to the intestinal tract and causes irritation by moving around inside the stomach or intestines. It can also cause vomiting and diarrhea in some cases.
Adopting a stray dog comes with several responsibilities, one of which is dealing with their fleas. Yet, the experience of adopting a stray dog is a rewarding one nonetheless. Once you deal with the fleas, there shouldn’t be too many other serious problems that require such extensive treatment and care.