Banfield Pet Hospital - How to Check for Fleas on your Dog or Cat

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As part of your pets at home care it's a good idea to regularly check them for

fleas. Here's how it's done: first do a visual check for fleas. Fleas are small

and reddish-brown in color. It's easiest to see them on areas of the body where

the fur is thinner, such as their stomachs or the inside of their hind

legs. Fleas prefer thicker, furrier areas of your pet to hide in as well as the

nooks and crannies, like in-between your pets joints, near the base of the tail or

in the neck folds. Use a flea or any fine-tooth comb to comb your pets fur.

You can usually get a better look at the skin if you comb from back to front.

Have a small bowl of soapy water nearby as you comb your pet. That way if any live

please get stuck in the comb you can drown them in the water, so they won't

jump back on your pet. Look not just for fleas, but also for flea dirt. Flea dirt

is made up of digested blood and looks like small flecks of black dirt.

If you're not sure if something is flea dirt or soil, pick up some of the

suspected flea dirt with a white tissue or paper towel and apply a small drop of

water. If black particles turn reddish brown after a couple of seconds, it's

actually blood in the flea dirt. You should also check your pet skin for

signs of flea bites. This includes red, irritated and broken skin on areas such

as the neck, ears, belly or hindquarters. Regularly using year-round flea

preventives will help keep your pet and your home flea free. Talk to your

veterinarian about the product that will be best for your pet. For more pet health

tips you can watch more videos