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What do flea bites look like on dogs?

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As you're about to pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy a good book, you hear an alarming sound. This is the familiar sound of your dog scratching. However, your dog doesn't seem to scratch from the occasional itch; her scratching seems more intentional and persistent. You're no amateur detective, but you fear the worst. Fleas.

Taking a closer look at your dog, you realize that you have never seen a flea bite before. So how can you be sure your dog has a flea problem?

Follow the evidence

Fleas leave small red dots on the skin of their victims, and the bites are usually smaller than a regular insect bite. However, some dogs may have a severe reaction to flea bites, causing the infected area to become red and inflamed.

If the red dots are not clearly visible, there are additional signs that indicate flea activity. If you notice one or more of the following signs, your dog most likely has a flea problem.

  • Irritated, red, or uneven skin (with or without noticeable red spots).
  • Presence of scabs
  • Fur loss
  • Presence of “flea dirt”, reminiscent of black pepper.
  • Signs of a culprit - flea (about one-eighth of an inch long, reddish-brown in color)1
  • Small white eggs, similar to rice, but smaller.

Follow your intuition

If you think your dog has fleas, you should immediately conduct a more thorough examination. If you notice activity from one flea, you can conclude that you are dealing with a single culprit and not an infestation. However, if you see more than one flea or evidence of recent flea activity, you need to take the situation seriously. Believe it or not, just 20 fleas can be considered an infestation. The presence of multiple bites is another clue that should not be ignored.

Return to the crime scene

If the evidence leads you to conclude that your dog has fleas, it's time to evaluate the situation. You need to take a flea comb, such as the Magic Coat Professional Series Flea Catcher for Dogs, and look for more evidence. If you find flea eggs, flea dirt, or flea dirt, you need to destroy as much evidence as possible. While this is not the best tactic for a police detective, it is the best course of action for you.

Once you have removed as many flea particles as possible using a comb, follow these steps:

  1. Bathe your dog with Adams Plus Foaming Flea and Tick Shampoo and Detergent. This shampoo kills fleas and prevents flea eggs from hatching for up to 30 days. Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo with Precor is great for dogs with sensitive skin. It contains essential protection from flea and tick shampoo while protecting your pup's skin. (And the aloe and cucumber scent will make your dog feel like he just spent a day at the spa!)
  2. Wash everything your dog has touched (bedding, rugs, clothes, etc.).
  3. Vacuum your carpeting and dispose of its contents in a trash can outside your home to keep the collected fleas out of your home.
  4. Sweep the hard floor and dispose of its contents outside the home.
  5. Clean and protect your carpets, upholstery and curtains with Adams Flea & Tick Carpet & Home Spray. The spray kills adult fleas and prevents non-adult fleas from becoming biting adults. One treatment will protect your carpets and home for 210 days.

Continue Detective

Using your newly discovered detective skills, determine where the flea infestation may have occurred. Has your dog been outside? Has your dog been around other dogs? Determining the location of origin is critical to eliminating any flea threat.

Take necessary precautions, such as spraying your yard with Adams Plus Yard Spray. The spray kills fleas and protects your yard for up to four weeks.

Protect your pet and the environment

Once you've removed unwanted pests from your dog, home, and yard, it's time to focus on flea prevention. Don't let your pet become a victim of flea attacks in the future! Instead, give her a top-notch protection plan.

  • Bathe your dog regularly and watch for signs of new flea activity. Magic Coat Cleans & Conditions 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner strengthens your pup's coat without tangling.
  • If you notice signs of fleas, give your dog a flea bath with Adams Plus Foaming Flea and Tick Shampoo and Detergent.
  • Place the Adams Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs and Puppy on your dog's neck to help prevent fleas for up to six months. Or consider using Adams Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs to keep fleas under control for up to 30 days. Both the collar and topical treatment also repel mosquitoes.
  • Keep your home always protected with Adams Home Flea and Tick Spray. The spray can be used on carpets, rugs, upholstery and pet bedding. It protects against fleas for up to seven months.
  • Continue your yard vigilance with Adams Plus Yard Spray. The spray protects your yard for up to four weeks and can be used on flowers and flower beds.

Mystery solved

Once you've used your newfound flea detection skills and eradicated the minor pests from your dog, home, and yard (and prevented them from returning to the scene), the only thing left to do is grab a coffee and get back to the mystery. the novel you read. For now, your work is finished. It's time to relax!

  1. Donovan, John. "How to recognize the signs of fleas." WebMD, 2018,
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