How do I know if my dog has flea dirt? Find Out Here

Is It Possible To Get Flea Dirt But No Fleas?

Yes, it is possible, for two major reasons. Firstly, consider the possibility that what you are seeing is actual dirt, not adult flea poop. Always double check by doing the water and paper test (mentioned earlier in this article). Secondly, if it definitely IS flea poo, but the adult fleas have been killed by a spot on treatment that was applied fairly recently, then you shouldn’t need to worry as the adult fleas are probably gone.

However, if you have not used any flea treatments recently and it is definitely flea excrement, then there must have been fleas on your pet at some stage, which is worth investigating as they are very likely to come back.

Where Can You Find Flea Dirt?

While fleas are not be too picky about the areas of residence, there are a few places where they are known to congregate. Its in your best interest to know these places so that you have a good idea where to start looking. Here are the steps that I personally follow:

  • The first thing I usually do is check for this dirt on my pets on bedding, unless I actually notice the dirt on my dog or cats fur first of course. Remember to use the “water technique” to check if it turns that red brown color. In fact, it’s a good idea to check this area from time to time to see if there is a bigger flea problem waiting to happen. Also, if you see your pet scratching continuously, its very possible that there may already be a flea infestation in the house so try and keep an eye out for this dirt (and signs of fleas) on a weekly basis.
  • Secondly, I would spend some time inspecting my dogs and cats fur, regardless of whether I find the dirt in their sleeping areas. I do this by pushing the fur apart to ensure that I don’t miss anything. Sometimes you may even see the fleas, unless there are very few. Pay extra attention to the belly area and on the back of the tail. Other common places include the paws (especially if its an outdoor pet) and under the arms (or technically, its legs).
  • How Can I Tell if it’s Flea Dirt?

    The appearance of flea dirt can look a little like regular dirt and some people are reluctant to accept their dog has fleas (especially if they haven’t spotted any other signs of the parasites).

    Hey, perhaps you did just spill some pepper on your dog, right?

    There is a reliable way to tell if those black specks are definitely flea dirt, however.

    You should either lightly wet a paper towel and gently rub it on the area of black specks or extract a few of the black specks, put them on a paper towel and add a few drops of water to them.

    In both methods, if the specks on the paper towel start to liquidate into something that looks like a small bloodstain, you’ll know that it’s flea dirt.

    How to tell if your pet has fleas

    Left untreated, chronic infestations not only make your dog miserable but can lead to infection and more serious flea-related diseases. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of flea infestations, along with prompt treatment, will help you keep your dog and her environment a healthy one.