Fleas on a puppy less than six weeks old can be dangerous if not treated promptly. Fleas feed on blood, and a flea infestation in a young dog can result in severe anemia or death, according to the ASPCA. Unfortunately, most flea products are designed for older dogs. Using commercial flea powders, flea collars or flea rinses on young puppies is potentially fatal and should be avoided. Luckily, there is a simple and inexpensive way to get rid of fleas on a puppy.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on a Puppy
Fill your kitchen sink with warm water. You must be careful that the water is not too hot. Test the water using a baby bath thermometer, or run the water over the inside of your arm.
Place your puppy in the water, wet him from the neck down and bathe him using dishwashing liquid. Whenever possible, have someone else help you hold the puppy while you lather him.
Rinse your puppy very well, and then dry him thoroughly as soon as you remove him from the sink. You can use a blow dryer set to low if your puppy has long hair or if the air in your home is cool.
Use a flea comb on your puppy to remove fleas that remain following the bath. Flea combs are most effective when the coat is still damp, but you can use them after your puppy is fully dry. Start at the tail and work toward the face, and use your fingers to pick off any fleas near the eyes and mouth. Rinse the flea comb in a cup of hot water to remove the fleas.
Treat the puppy's mother with a commercial product, such as Advantage or Frontline, and bathe any other puppies in the house. If you leave even one animal in your house untreated, the fleas will quickly infest your puppy again.
Wash your puppy's bedding in very hot water, and then dry it on the highest heat setting on your dryer. This will kill eggs in addition to live fleas. The ASPCA recommends vacuuming all carpets and upholstered furniture inside your home, and then disposing of the vacuum bags in an outside trashcan.
Take your puppy to the veterinarian when he reaches eight weeks of age. Your veterinarian can prescribe a product appropriate for an eight-week-old puppy. Avoid using over-the-counter products until your puppy is older, unless instructed to do so by your veterinarian.
Items You Will Need
- Dishwashing detergent
- Flea comb
- Flea product for treating the puppy's mother
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