Fleas are one of the most troublesome parts of being a pet parent. They’re sneaky pests that burrow into your dog’s fur, making it difficult to get rid of them.
Because Poodles have tight, curly fur, many pet owners think they are immune to getting fleas, but that’s not the case. In fact, their curly coat can make it harder for you to notice the infestation and more difficult to get rid of the fleas than other coat types.
Just like any other dog breed, your poodle is susceptible to fleas. Their curly fur coat may make it more difficult to notice the fleas at first, but without proper precautions, your poodle can catch fleas just as easily as other breeds.
How Do Dogs Get Fleas to Start With?
Fleas can come from your pup’s environment or from other animals they may be in contact with. While they thrive in hot and humid environments, in southern U.S. regions, these pests can be a problem year round.
While it may be more difficult to see the fleas in your Poodle’s fur, you can still look for other symptoms.
One of the biggest signs that your Poodle has fleas is itchy, irritated skin. If your dog is scratching more than usual, or you notice red, irritated bumps along their skin when you inspect it, they likely have fleas.
Other common signs of fleas include:
- “Flea dirt” along your dog’s skin and fur (looks like flakes of pepper)
- Your dog is losing patches of fur
- Pale gums
- You see tiny, reddish-brown bugs along their stomach
- You find white ovals (flea eggs) around your home
If your Poodle has fleas, there are a few different methods that you can use to get rid of them. These methods include:
- Oral Flea Medication: A pill is the fastest way to treat fleas because it goes directly into your dog’s bloodstream and stops fleas at their source. There are a variety of brands available, and your vet will recommend the best one for your Poodle.
- Topical Flea Medication: Topical flea treatments are applied to your dog’s fur and skin. These typically include a small amount of medicine that’s squirted onto your dog’s neck, as well as flea shampoos you can bathe your dog with.
- Flea Comb: To make sure all of the fleas are removed from your dog’s fur, you’ll want to check their fur regularly and slowly run the comb through to remove any bugs, eggs, or leftover flea dirt. If your Poodle is under six weeks old, this is also the safest method for them.
- Flea Collar: Flea collars work similar to topical flea treatment, but they slowly release the medication into your dog’s neck and work to fight off fleas on your dog’s body.
- Flea and Tick Home Spray: It isn’t just your dog’s fur that you have to worry about when it comes to fleas. To truly get rid of them, you need to remove them from your home as well. Spray treatments help to kill fleas on the surface of your floors and furniture.
- Natural Flea Treatment: There are a variety of natural remedies that can be effective at repelling fleas, including diluted apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or food-grade diatomaceous earth.
If you’ve just discovered that your Poodle has fleas, don’t panic. With a few simple methods and a little patience, you can effectively get rid of the fleas from your dog and your home.
Follow these simple steps if your Poodle has fleas:
Talk to Your Vet
Your vet will know your dog’s health history and be able to recommend the best treatment options to get rid of your poodle’s fleas. This will probably be a flea medication, as well as a flea shampoo.
Give Your Dog a Bath
Once you know what your treatment plan is, you’ll need to give your dog a bath to remove the fleas. Use flea and tick shampoo to kill any of the adult fleas on your dog, then work through their fur with a flea comb to remove any eggs or leftover flea dirt.
Get Rid of the Fleas in Your Home
Go through your entire home and clean every surface. Throw your bedding and your dog’s bedding into the washing machine, and vacuum the furniture and floors. Then, go over all the surfaces with a flea and tick spray.
Control Fleas Outside
Fleas can live outside your home as well, and if your dog spends a lot of time in your backyard or in a doghouse, you’ll need to clean these places as well. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a great option to use because it’s non-toxic to pets and children.
Take Precautions to Prevent Future Flea Infestations
The best way to treat fleas is to prevent them. Talk to your vet about a regular flea prevention medication routine, and make sure you stick to the regular schedule.
A flea bath helps remove fleas and flea dirt from your dog by swapping their usual shampoo for flea shampoo. You’ll lather and clean your dog’s fur just as you normally would, but the medicated shampoo helps to kill off any fleas on your dog.
Fleas can live up to 100 days and in that time, a single female flea can lay up to 2,000 eggs. If you’re not diligent about removing fleas when you discover them, the infestation can get out of hand quickly.
Not only are fleas uncomfortable for your dog to deal with, but fleas also spread diseases and parasites and, if left untreated, your dog could develop heartworms or tapeworm. Fleas can also cause secondary skin infections and hair loss.
Some pooches may be allergic or extremely sensitive to fleas, meaning that just one bite can cause excessive itching and scratching all of over their body.
Will fleas go away on their own?
No. Fleas are parasites and reproduce so quickly, that as long as they have a host (your pup) they will continue to hang around.
Other Common FAQs
You can use apple cider vinegar to help repel fleas on your dog’s coat, but the vinegar won’t kill them.
Fleas don’t like the smell and taste of vinegar, so if you’ve already gotten rid of all the fleas from your dog, ACV can help to keep them away, but it should be used with other more effective methods.
For fleas on your dog, using dish soap combined with a flea comb can be an effective method to remove them from your dog’s fur. However, excessive use of dish soap can rid your dog of their natural oils and lead to dry skin.
For your home, baking soda and salt can both be rubbed into fabric on furniture or carpet and then vacuumed. Diatomaceous earth is also a great, natural remedy for ridding your home and backyard of fleas.
While treating fleas can be stressful, there are so many treatment options available to make the process fast and effective. The best advice, depending on how bad the infestation is, is to talk to your vet and see what their recommendations are.
As long as you remain calm and stay diligent with treating your dog and your home for fleas, you’ll get rid of them quickly.