One minute, your little furry friend is running around happy as a clam, and the next he seems woefully under the weather. While young animals may encounter a slew of health issues, many of them can be stopped if the owner recognizes some key warning signs. If you suspect your pooch has fallen prey to fleas, you could be right. Here are three warning signs to be aware of.
1. Behavioral changes
When something's physically wrong with a dog, most of the time his behavior will change dramatically. PetMD explained that when a pup has fleas, he often becomes restless and agitated. He's probably scratching constantly, and may be shaking his head more than usual. Some dogs display these behaviors all the time, but if your pooch seems to have picked these habits up recently, he could be experiencing an uncomfortable infestation.
2. Visible parasites
If your animal is experiencing a serious case of fleas, you'll be able to see physical evidence on his fur. According to Cesar's Way, there are a few ways you can see the culprits at work. First, you may notice dark specks all over your pup's body – this could be fecal matter from adults fleas, known as "flea dirt." Place one of these specks on a napkin and put a drop of water on it, explained My Itchy Dog. If the speck turns red when it dissolves, it means there's blood mixed with the flea dirt – this is a telltale sign your dog's infested.
You may also be able to see the fleas jumping around your dog, as they move rapidly on his coat of fur.
3. Comb-through evidence
Still not sure if your dog is suffering through an infestation? You'll almost always be able to tell by using a comb. My Itchy Dog recommended using a fine-tooth comb, as the fleas can be quite small. Simply brush it through your dog's hair, looking for flea dirt or bugs themselves. It's a good idea to do a comb-through fairly regularly, as you may be able to identify bugs or droppings before your pet even realizes he's infested. Pay special attention to the tail and belly, as those are favorite hiding spots for pesky parasites, noted the source.
If your little pup is experiencing an infestation, don't hesitate to clean your furry friend with Hartz® UltraGuard Plus® Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo – Deep Conditioning.