How to get rid of fleas on dogs

two spaniel puppies with fleas
Written by: Sam Webster (BVetMed MRCVS) Head Vet at Joii

Dog fleas can be a nuisance, but they are a reality many dog owners will have to face. Dogs are likely to get fleas at some point in their lives, so knowing how to deal with them and get rid of them is essential.

Fleas are freeloading pests that just won’t go away on their own, so the right combination of prevention and treatment is needed to send them packing for good.

What do dog fleas look like?


The first step is ensuring you know what dog fleas look like, so you know what you’re looking out for. One way is to look for flea bites on your dog that will give you an indication of whether they have caught fleas or not. Fleas tend to leave tiny red raised dots on your dog’s skin which quickly become inflamed once your dog begins to scratch at them.


Fleas are only about 3 to 4 mm long and are reddish brown wingless insects. Adult fleas can be seen by the naked eye as a tiny black speck, but they can still be hard to spot, especially when they’re hidden within your dog’s fur.




How do dogs get fleas?


A common question dog owners have is how exactly their pet catches fleas and where they come from. There are a number of different flea hotspots – and your dog could catch them from anywhere. One of the most common ways dogs catch fleas is from other animals. Dogs are sociable creatures and so fleas can easily jump from one pup to another, but most commonly they contract fleas from cats.


Dogs can also pick up fleas when spending time outdoors, especially if you take them on walks through woodland and areas with tall grass. 


How to get rid of fleas on dogs


There are a number of different ways you can protect your dog from fleas, and your vet will be able to advise the best approach for your pet. Here are some of the best and most common ways to treat a dog with fleas:


  • Fleas treatments - give your dog a veterinary recommended flea product. These should be given routinely to prevent reinfestation.
  • Worming treatment - fleas carry the eggs of tapeworm, so it is important to also give your dog a veterinary recommended worming treatment.
  • Comb your pet’s hair using a fine-tooth flea comb – the teeth on a flea comb are spaced in a specific way to help pick out the fleas so they can be removed.
  • Wash your dog’s bedding and anything they sleep on regularly at 60°C to kill off any flea eggs or immature fleas.
  • Vacuum furniture, floors and skirting boards before treating the house with a veterinary recommended environmental flea spray to kill off any flea eggs and larvae in the environment.


Take any necessary precautions to prevent fleas from coming into your home and be sure to do regular checks every now and then to keep on top of things.

Don’t forget to check out our Asda Pet Insurance policies so you can be protected against those unexpected vet bills and treatments, as well as get access to our 24-hour Vet Advice Line.

Trustpilot reviews