How Do I Know If My French Bulldog Has Fleas?

How Do I Know If My French Bulldog Has Fleas?

Fleas are a very annoyingly common parasite and French bulldogs are just as prone to fleas as any other dog breed, however, Frenchies do not tolerate fleas very well, this is because they have very sensitive fur lines which would be irritated by the constant itching caused by fleas. 

These parasites can be the trigger to deadly health concerns in a French bulldog; thus, owners should ensure that preventive and controlling measures should be put in place. Fleas thrive the most in warm weather and they are highly active, you cannot afford to delay. 

The first step is finding out whether or not your French bulldog has fleas. In most cases, you can easily tell if your dog has fleas by watching his behavior. You can also do this by performing a visual check during grooming and examining the environment for signs of fleas. Here’s how to know if your French bulldog has fleas. 

Checking Your French Bulldog For Fleas 

In checking your Frenchie for fleas, the first thing to do is to watch your dog for excessive scratching or chewing. Flea bites are extremely itchy, that is why the first sign of flea infestation would be scratching and or chewing himself more than usual. This could also include head shaking, hair loss or scabs. 

If you notice any of the above or suspect that your French Bulldog may have fleas, the next thing to do is examine your dog’s coat and skin. Use your fingers to part your dog’s coat so that you can see the skin. Fleas can be found anywhere on a dog but the areas most susceptible to flea infestations are the base of the tail, the abdomen, behind the ears, the groin and armpit.  

Lay your Frenchie on his back and focus more on these key areas. You should know that fleas will move away from your fingers as you search, this would make them more difficult to spot. Fleas are usually dark in color and so may be even harder to spot in a Frenchie with a dark coat. 

If you are unable to locate the fleas, check for flea bites. These bites are usually smaller than normal insect bites but they can be found if you look closely. French bulldogs usually have a stronger reaction to flea bites and saliva. This would cause a larger area of skin to turn red and result in severe irritation. Sometimes, you may even notice small red dots on his skin that indicate flea bites. 

Another way to locate fleas would be to have your Frenchie stand on a white towel or white sheet while you brush the Frenchies' coat. Fleas are high jumpers and this action may agitate them, causing them to jump off your Frenchie. You should be able to see them on the white towel or sheet. 

You can also look in your frenchie’s mouth to see if the gums are pale. Pale gums could be an indication of blood loss due to blood sucking fleas. Other signs of blood loss or anemia include low body temperature and general dullness. Anemia from flea bites is more dangerous to young puppies and small dogs.  

It is often recommended to use a flea comb and soapy water to check your dog’s coat for flea dirt. You place the flea comb on your French bulldog’s coat and then apply pressure very slightly till the comb comes in contact with skin. Carefully brush through the coat, making sure that the comb stays in contact with skin with every stroke. 

After each stroke, dip the comb into a bowl of warm soapy water in order to clean the comb. As you do this, you should see flea dirt or flea droppings which look like small black flecks but they mostly contain dried blood. As you dip the comb in water, you should see the black flecks slowly change to red. If the flecks remain black, it’s probably just regular dirt. 

Checking Your Environment 

Most of the time, if your French bulldog shows signs of a flea infestation, you can be sure to find fleas in your surroundings. Examine your Frenchie’s bedding and food area for any signs of fleas or flea dirt. If you see small black flecks, wipe them up with a damp white washcloth or paper towel. This is so that you can see if the flecks turn red, if they do, it's flea dirt. 

You can also wear white socks and walk near your dog’s bedding or an area where he spends a lot of time. If there are fleas or flea dirt in the area, they will get trapped in the socks, thus making it easier for you to see them. Sometimes, if you look closely, you may spot adult fleas in the area. 

Another option would be to make a light trap with a bowl of water and a lamp. You do this by getting a small bowl of soapy water and placing it on the floor near your dog’s bed. You make sure the only light on is the lamp or nightlight, place it near the soapy water. If there are fleas in the area, they will be drawn to the lamp, this then causes them to fall into the soapy water and drown. 

If you want to go with this option, you should remove your dog from that area overnight. This is to prevent your Frenchie from drinking the soapy water and to help your trap work effectively. 

Treating Fleas In a French Bulldog 

Step 1 – Contact your vet If you suspect your French bulldog has fleas

If you find out that your French bulldog has fleas, contact your vet immediately. Your vet will recommend a treatment plan that will work specifically for your household. If you have more than one pet, all of them will have to be treated. 

It is important for you to have a treatment plan that is made specifically for you, your Frenchie and your home. This is because if you use every product or use certain products in combination with others, it may become toxic to your Frenchie. 

You could try flea sprays, powders or other natural remedies in order to get rid of fleas. There is also the monthly treatment applied on the dog’s coat, like shampoos. 

However, it is important to be careful with these chemicals as they could be extremely dangerous. Wear a face mask to protect yourself, keep your pets away while you are spraying your home with flea- killers and do not forget to be acquainted with the instructions on the label. 

Step 2 – Clean Your House And Surroundings Thoroughly

In order to successfully get rid of and prevent further infestation of fleas, you will need to deep clean your home and surroundings. Vacuum and wash all of your carpets, rugs, beddings and furniture. Mow the grass in your yard to prevent fleas from jumping on your dog when he is outside. 

Mowing the grasses exposes fleas to sunlight and this will discourage them from infesting your yard. To prevent fleas from returning, mow your yard and wash your dog’s bedding at least once a week. 

Step 3 – Invest In Flea Preventive Measures

Contact your vet for any flea preventive measures you can take. This may include flea medications, flea collars, shampoos or home remedies you can try out. You should ensure that whatever measure you choose to carry out has minimal to no side effects on your Frenchie. 

A flea infestation is without doubt, very annoying. But it could get so much worse, it could pose several threats to you and your Frenchie’s health. We hope the information provided arms you against these tiny but deadly parasites. 

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