If you live in along the Front Range in Fort Collins, Colorado, there’s no doubt that you and your dog spend plenty of time adventuring outdoors. Chances are, you’re out hiking, exploring new dog parks, camping under the stars and discovering new uncharted territories in deep wilderness. With all of the exploring you and your pup are doing, though, can lead to some unpleasant hitchhikers: Fleas. If you think your dog may have picked up these voyagers, it’s time to learn how to check your pet, get rid of them and furthermore, prevent them in the future.

How To Check Your Dog AND your Home For Fleas

Here are a few options to find out if your dog has fleas:

#1 Complete a thorough inspection of your pet’s fur.

You will need to divide the fur, and when you do, the fleas will try to run and hide by darting in the opposite direction. You’ll be able to identify them by their dark brown color.

#2 It’s time to give you dog a bath.

Scrub, scrub, scrub…Once your dog has been scrubbed with their favorite shampoo, keep the drain clogged and inspect the water closely. Do you see any tiny black spots floating in the water? If so, your dog has fleas.

Infographic explaining how to detect fleas on your pet, and how your Fort Collins veterinarian can help with flea prevention

#3 Purchase a flea comb.

Carefully comb through your pup’s fur. While combing your dog’s coat, if you notice flat, brown specs that scurry quickly, your dog is likely suffering from fleas. Take note: A fleas favorite areas on a dog include their rump and the base of their ears.

#4 Fleas leave behind evidence.

You’ll notice that your dog may have developed a type of “dandruff.” But, it’s definitely not the good kind. Fleas leave behind “flea dirt,” or “flea feces;” this looks like dirt of black pepper. To learn if it is indeed evidence of fleas, put the “dandruff” on a white tissue and wait. If it is indeed a flea, you’ll notice a small “halo” appear, or a red dot.

#5 Try to squish it!

If you see a bug on your dog, try to squish it between two fingers. If it doesn’t squish, it’s likely a flea. Unfortunately, fleas will not squish easily. If it does squish, congratulations, it’s likely your dog doesn’t have fleas.

#6 Get creative and make a flea trap.

Flea traps are easy to make, and it’s a simple trick. Light a candle in the middle of a plate with soapy water. The water should not have bubbles in it; it should be tinged with color. Fleas will be drawn to the warmth of the candle, jumping towards it. When they do jump towards the candle, they’ll drown in the soapy water. If it is a flea you’ve captured, it will sink to the bottom of the watery, soapy plate.

So, your dog has fleas? What’s next? Join our veterinary clinic in Fort Collins in our next blog post to learn your next steps.