How to Find Fleas on Dogs

Every dog owner cherishes the moments of joy and play with their furry companions. But nature's embrace can sometimes bring along unwanted guests: fleas. These tiny intruders are not just irritants; they pose health threats to our pets. Recognizing and addressing a flea problem promptly is of utmost importance. At CanadaVet, we provide insights on detecting, understanding, and managing fleas on your canines.


1. Recognize the Signs of Flea Infestations

Persistent scratching or biting: Continuous itching, especially around the neck, ears, and tail, is a telltale sign.

Red patches or irritated skin: Allergic reactions to flea bites can manifest as inflamed skin.

Hair loss: Consistent scratching can lead to bald patches.


2. What Do Dog Fleas Look Like?

Adult fleas are small (about the size of a sesame seed), brown to black, wingless insects. Their bodies are flat, allowing them to move quickly through a pet's fur. Their agile nature combined with their dark color can make them tricky to spot, especially on dogs with dense, dark fur.


3. The White Towel Test

Placing a white towel beneath your dog and brushing them with CanadaVet brushes will make flea dirt visible. These tiny specks indicate flea activity.


4. Can Dog Fleas Transfer to Humans?

Yes, dog fleas can bite humans, causing itchy, red spots. However, they prefer animal hosts and don't usually infest human hair or bodies for extended periods.


Dog with Flea PreventativeDog with Flea Preventative

5. Physical Examination and Removal

Part the fur: Use a flea comb to inspect and pick out live fleas.

Spot and remove: While fleas are fast, they can be captured and removed with a comb or tweezers. Immersing them in soapy water is an effective way to eliminate them.


6. What Kills Dog Fleas Instantly?

While some home remedies claim to kill fleas, it's best to trust scientifically-backed solutions. Products like Bravecto, Credelio Plus, and Nexgard Spectra offer immediate relief, targeting fleas swiftly.


7. Understanding the Flea Life Cycle

Fleas have a complex lifecycle, comprising eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults. Understanding this cycle is crucial because adult fleas on your dog represent just a fraction of the infestation. Regular cleaning and washing your dog with shampoo and conditioner can disrupt the life stages.


8. How Do Preventatives Work?

Flea preventatives, like Simparica Trio, operate in various ways. Most are insecticides that either kill adult fleas on contact or interrupt the flea life cycle, ensuring that fleas do not mature and reproduce.



Navigating the world of flea prevention and treatment can seem daunting, but with the right knowledge and tools, it becomes manageable. At CanadaVet, our commitment is to ensure every pet owner is equipped to provide the best care for their canine companions. By recognizing, understanding, and acting against fleas, you're safeguarding your pet's health and comfort.

For more insights on comprehensive pet care, explore CanadaVet's weekly wisdom blogs and extensive product range. Prioritizing your pet's health is our shared mission!