What do fleas feel like on dogs? The Ultimate Guide

Symptoms of Flea Bites on Dogs

So what do flea bites look like? Fleas leave tiny, red, raised dots on your dog’s skin. They are typically smaller than other insect bites, although they can become inflamed after a dog scratches. Some dogs have a stronger reaction to flea bites than others, which creates a much larger red area.

Flea bites are much more obvious on humans, since we don’t have dense layers of fur. On humans, flea bites look like tiny red dots. If you have a flea bite, however, you probably won’t be worrying too much about what it looks like—you’ll be more concerned by how much it itches.

Here are some symptoms of flea bites on dogs to look for:

  • Severe scratching and itching
  • Biting and chewing at skin
  • Hair loss
  • Scabs
  • Red, irritated skin
  • The problem with identifying fleas based solely on bites is that we can’t always see flea bites on dogs. That is why it is important to know the other signs of fleas on dogs.

    How To Tell If Your Dog Has Fleas

    Fleas are most active during the warm months but they are very efficient and can thrive year-round. Fleas can contribute to the onset of secondary skin infections and the transmission of multiple diseases and parasites.

    Itching, scratching, and biting the skin are often the first telltale signs that your dog has fleas and warrant further looking into, as would hair loss, scooting, “hot spots,” and a copper- or rust-colored coat.

    Other than changes in your dog’s behavior (excessive scratching, licking, and chewing) that may prompt you to check your dog for fleas, the most common signs of fleas are related to the skin.

    Your dog may have hair loss or “hair barbering” (when the hair is chewed off leaving stiff or rough ends), changes in its coat color due to chronic licking or chewing, crusts, scales, redness, and “hot spots” (moist, ulcerative, and often inflamed lesions that appear suddenly). Areas near the lower back, tail, inner thighs, and groin are generally the most affected.

    Also, when bitten, dogs may be allergic to the flea saliva and may develop a reaction known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis.

    Fleas can also transmit diseases caused by the Bartonella bacteria, as well as parasites such as tapeworms, and even diseases that humans can contract such as murine typhus.

    Keep in mind that fleas ingest their host’s blood when they bite, which can also lead to anemia (iron deficiency).

    Is It Dry Skin or Fleas?

    When your dog has dry skin, you may see scales and flakes that are stationary and white, akin to dandruff in people. Dry skin is also seen in patches.

    Fleas, on the other hand, are dark brown or black, crawl around, and can be seen in your dog’s fur one at a time, or in multiples.

    Fleas In Dogs | Vet Explains

    Fleas are one of the most common pests that dogs can get. They are communicable to humans and can be very hard to remove from your home once they have taken up residence. If you have a pet that you think might have fleas, it is in the best interest of you and your pet to identify and remove these pests right away.

    Knowing what flea bites look like and knowing how to treat fleas when you have spotted them is key to preventing them from infesting your home and all your other pets. Fleas are tiny parasites, but they are quite easy to spot, and you can learn the common signs and symptoms of these little invaders before they take over your home.

    If you are ready to learn more about flea bites on dogs and how to spot and treat them, you need to keep reading.