So we love our puppies that’s for sure, but sometimes they can keep some very questionable company! Puppy fleas!! Makes me itch just thinking about them. They are almost as likeable as puppy worms. Urgh!!

Sadly, not every aspect of puppy ownership is kisses and cuddles and that sweet puppy breath, or bad breath depending on what the puppy’s teeth are like! Occasionally, we have to be realistic about some of the gross things we have to deal with, and flea treatment for puppies is one of them! With fleas though prevention is always better than cure as dealing with a full blown flea infestation in your home can take months to clear. 

Is your puppy itching and scratching? Perhaps you’ve seen some critters pinging about the place? Sorry, but it sounds like there are some fleas in the house, so we better look for the best flea treatment for puppies. Don’t worry. Fleas are normal and nothing to be embarrassed about. But let us help you deal with it before there’s a full on flea circus in your home.

We’ll guide you through:

  • The classic signs of fleas in puppies.
  • Deciding whether or not to treat your home for fleas.
  • How and how often to treat and prevent puppy fleas 

Oh and if you’re wondering how to teach your puppy to be ok with flea treatments, worming and handling exercises, we have it all figured out for you in the Zigzag puppy training app. Of course, if you have any queries, we also have a team of puppy training coaches ready for your questions as well, just get in touch and ask away!

puppy with collar waving
Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

What are the classic signs of fleas in puppies?

So what are puppy fleas, and how do you know if your puppy has them? Well, fleas are wingless insects that just love the sweet blood of pets Oh, and humans too, they aren’t fussy! Fleas are super common. Almost everyone has them camp out on them at some point, puppies, that is, not you. 

Classic signs of fleas in your puppy are

  • Your puppy feeling itchy and scratching themselves – well you would be too if you had something wriggling around in your coat.
  • Licking and biting around their tail or flanks.
  • Signs of flea dirt – these look like tiny black flecks when you part your dog’s fur.
  • The jumping fleas themselves – they’re very fast, and you’ll probably see them ping!
  • Hair loss – if your puppy has had fleas for a while, they will have been scratching at their skin, making them lose their fur.
  • Lethargy and pale gums. Fleas sucking on your puppy’s blood can cause anaemia. 

Should I treat my home for fleas?

If your puppy has fleas, then it’s likely that your home has now had some move in too. But there are cleaning treatments and routines you can do to help get rid of puppy fleas and prevent them from returning.

Regular cleaning and frequent vacuuming will help to remove flea eggs that may live in rugs and carpets. Don’t forget to get in all of the nooks and crannies of your house that puppy fleas may be hiding. You MUST make sure you empty your vacuum cleaner chamber or bag after doing this, or else the fleas can take up residence in there or simply hop back out.

Carpet cleaners are sprinkled on to kill puppy fleas and eggs and then hoovered up. Don’t forget to empty that vacuum cleaner afterwards! 

Flea killing house spray can be applied to carpets, curtains, sofas. Read the labels to check for any safety issues when using them, as they can be quite strong.

Flea bombs and foggers are an explosion of flea killer spray. You normally have to close all doors and leave the room for a while to let the liquid do its magic, and for you and your pets, not to breathe it in. 

Hot wash all soft furnishing on a 60-degree programme to kill puppy flea larvae and eggs.

By the way, some sites will suggest using diatomaceous earth as natural puppy flea control. While using this in the house is ok, it can be harmful if it comes into contact with puppies and other animals, so please read the instructions carefully.

black pug puppy in a collar with puppy prints on it. recovering from fleas
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

How are puppy fleas treated?

Puppy flea treatments come in various forms – from collars, tablets, shampoos to spot on drops. Different products will be suitable whether they are used as a preventative or when you actually have an infestation.

Spot on drops for flea treatment in puppies

This flea treatment for puppies is applied by parting your puppy’s fur on their neck and squeezing out the liquid, which then spreads across your puppy’s skin with their natural oils. Some spot-on treatments will kill fleas that jump on your puppy, whereas others will render fleas sterile and unable to lay fertilised eggs. 

The best ones come from your local vet and are frequently paired with other parasitic management. That way, they’ll also be treating your puppy for Roundworm, Hookworm, Heartworms, and Ear Mites. As well as Lungworm, Whipworm, Sarcoptes, and Demodex.

Electric comb flea treatment for puppies

Zap those fleas away with an electric flea comb! Yes, this device kills fleas, larvae and eggs on impact and does mean you’re not using harsh chemicals. It will probably take a while for you to get through your puppy’s fur, though.   

Flea collars for puppies

These contain an insecticide that repels and kills fleas. Some can pose serious health risks to puppies, and many are ineffective, so do your research before settling on one. Recently better flea collars have come on the market, such as Seresto, which are available from your Vet.

Puppy flea tablets

Giving your puppy flea tablets can be a good idea if you have an infestation, as it kills all the fleas on your puppy instantly. Some flea tablets are better than others, so it’s best to ask your Vet which ones they might recommend. 

Using shampoo as flea treatment for puppies

Flea shampoos are not the most effective way of preventing puppy fleas, but they can be gentle enough to clear an infestation before using other methods and soothe the skin from irritation caused by fleas. Make sure you rinse your puppy’s coat off well after use. 

To prevent your puppy from catching fleas in the future, choose a regular preventative such as one of the spot-on flea treatments recommended by your vet. 

Also, check your puppy over regularly and run a regular flea comb through their coat when they get home from walks, and pay attention to see if they start scratching more than usual. Do this, especially if you have been in grassy areas or had contact with local wildlife as fleas may have been present. 

Sidenote: Don’t forget to treat any cats that live with you too! Confusingly there are two species of fleas, cat fleas and dog fleas, and they are not fussed over which species they live on, so your cats can happily share their so-called ‘cat fleas’ with your puppy. 

brown and white puppy sitting on white rug
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

How often should I treat my pup for fleas?

When deciding how often to treat your puppy for fleas, it is essential to think about your personal lifestyle and what will work for you. 

Puppies who live in rural areas, who have contact with many other animals, especially outdoor cats who often bring in fleas when they’ve been off roaming, may stand a greater risk of catching fleas than those who don’t. For these puppies, monthly year-round preventatives may be essential for keeping fleas at bay.

Some people choose to only treat in the summer or warmer months when fleas are more prevalent or when they notice fleas on their puppies or dogs. 

To finish off, the best flea treatment for your puppy is one that is safe for them to use and one that you’re able to keep up with using. We recommend speaking to your vet about which one they recommend.

Keeping up with a regular grooming schedule is also a great way to stay on top of your puppy’s health and catch any fleas before they become a problem. 

We hope you’ve found this guide to puppy flea treatments informative. While you’re here, why not learn some amazing puppy facts

You’ll also find heaps more information in the Zigzag puppy training app. We have a dedicated programme for your puppy based on their age and breed. You also get access to a team of puppy training coaches, ready to answer all of your questions, and they’re around for you all day when you need them.