How to Treat a Pregnant Dog for Fleas

by Joshua Duvauchelle

TJ Nuckolls

Fleas are a common parasite that will not only irritate a dog but can also carry disease. It is especially important to treat fleas on a pregnant dog because she may have a lower immune system. Newborn pups may also be more susceptible to fleas living on their mother.

Step 1

Fill a large wash tub or bathtub with warm, soapy water. Ordinary dish soap or dog shampoo can be used. If using a dog shampoo, avoid products containing diethyltoluamide, commonly referred to as DEET, as it may harm a pregnant dog and her unborn pups.

Step 2

Wash your dog in the soapy water. Soak her entire body thoroughly for five minutes while vigorously washing her coat. The soapy water will kill fleas in her fur without using harsh chemicals or insecticides.

Step 3

Comb your dog with a flea comb (available at most pet stores). Start at her head and work your way down her body. Manually removing fleas is labor-intensive and may not remove the pests as quickly as a commercial insecticide, but is much safer and allows pet owners to monitor flea levels. It is easier to treat fleas as soon as they are noticed rather than after they have become established.

Step 4

Consider using a natural flea deterrent or pesticide if the problem persists. Natural pet sprays and coat enhancers containing citrus extracts naturally repel fleas. Likewise, diatomaceous earth (DE) is an all-natural powder made of pulverized fossils that successfully kills all fleas without using chemicals that could harm a pregnant dog. Sprinkle the powder on your dog, dusting her fur thoroughly but avoiding her face.

Step 5

Clean your dog's environment. Fleas in upholstery and the general pet area will simply jump back onto your dog after you have cleaned her. Vacuum the area thoroughly and wash all pet bedding and toys in hot, soapy water.

Items You Will Need

  • Bathtub
  • Dish soap or dog shampoo
  • Flea comb
  • Citrus pet spray
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Vacuum

Warning

  • Heavy flea infestations may require a pet-safe insecticide such as Advantage or Revolution. Discuss their use with your vet before applying them to your pregnant female, as they contain potentially toxic chemicals that can have adverse affects on the puppies, depending on the health of the mother.

Photo Credits

  • TJ Nuckolls

About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.