How to spot the warning signs of a flea infestation

Paying attention to your dog's body language is key to promoting animal wellness.

As many may know, your dog can tell you a lot through his or her body language. Paying attention to this body language and responding to it accordingly is key to promoting dog wellness inside your home. The usual signs are well known – a rapidly wagging tail means happy or playful, and a lowered head and narrowed eyes may mean aggression – but how can we tell if our pet is struggling with a flea infestation?

Many times we won't notice a pet's infestation until the problem has gotten out of hand and the whole house has become exposed. This can be avoided by remaining diligent in your watch for the signs. 

The American Kennel Club suggested, if no live fleas are seen on your pet, to part your pet's fur in several places and look for flea feces, also known as "flea dirt." The flea dirt, which is digested blood, should look like black specks about the size of a poppy seed, noted the AKC. To check if it's actually flea dirt instead of just normal dirt or grime, place the speck on a damp piece of white tissue. If it's flea dirt, after a few minutes the blood will re-hydrate and spread into the tissue, appearing as a red spot on the damp tissue. 

If your pet is scratching more than usual, it's prudent to check for fleas or flea dirt right away. Running a fine-toothed comb through your pet's fur is a simple and effective way to check for fleas. You can also have your pet stand on a white towel or surface, rub his or her fur, then check to see if any fleas have fallen on the white surface. 

Rid your dog of fleas
If it's too late and your pet has already become infested with the annoying pests, all is not lost. There are products that can efficiently rid your dog of its infestation. The Hartz® UltraGuard Plus® Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo with Aloe kills fleas as well as flea eggs so any chance of reinfestation is prevented. The aloe moisturizes and nourishes the dog's coat, which most likely suffered during the infestation.  

This content is provided by the flea treatment experts at Hartz. We offer flea sprays, shampoos and drops to keep your pets safe inside and outside your home.