Knowing how to get rid of fleas on your German Shepherd is important especially if you live in a hot and humid area.
Fleas are small and fast creatures that measure from 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch. There are more than 2,000 kinds of fleas around the world and the ones found on dogs can be difficult to see unless there is severe infestation. Fleas move very fast and you may not realize that your German Shepherd has them until he starts scratching like crazy.
Not only is flea infestation bad for your German Shepherd’s skin. These pesky creatures can also carry tapeworm eggs. When your GS eats tapeworm-carrying fleas, the eggs can activate inside his digestive tract and cause infestation.
Where Your German Shepherd Picks Up Fleas
Since German Shepherds thrive on outdoor living, it is natural for them to pick fleas and other parasites in different places including:
- Lawn – Fleas are very common and they can hide in the deepest and dark areas of your front or back yard. They can also hide in tall grasses. When your German Shepherd plays or rolls around near the area, then it is possible for him to pick up a bunch of fleas.
- Dog Park or Boarding Kennel – Your German Shepherd can also pick up fleas from the dog park, doggie daycare, boarding kennels or any places where a flea-carrying dog may be present.
- Just about everywhere – The sad truth is: fleas can be found almost everywhere where there is grass, dogs, and other pets they could latch on. Since fleas can live for long periods of time without food, they can be present in different items such as blankets, carpets, curtains and more.
If your German Shepherd is suffering from severe flea infestation you might see the following signs:
- Black specks (flea dirt) all over the skin,
- Red spots on the skin,
- And itching.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Your German Shepherd
There are different products that are effective in getting rid of dog fleas. But before you apply or put your German Shepherd under any natural or chemical flea medication, it’s important to clean up first.
Clean up the house and your German Shepherd’s bedding
Fleas can live in carpets and other furniture and they can live as long as 100 days without blood meal. This means that putting your German Shepherd in flea medication without cleaning may not help in getting rid of all the fleas. So it is important to vacuum carpets, furniture, and the entire house to make sure that most fleas lurking in your home are removed. Wash beddings regularly, preferably in hot water. Of course, you will need to wash your German Shepherd too. After his bath, then he’s ready for his flea medication.
Treatment Options for Flea Infestation
There are different chemical and natural treatments that can help get rid of fleas in your German Shepherd.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Fleas in Your German Shepherd
Flea comb – To remove fleas from your German Shepherd, you will need a flea comb and a water-lemon solution. To make this solution, boil a pot of water and add about 5 slices of lemon to it. A minute after putting the lemons, turn of the heat and let the solution steep overnight. The next day, dip the flea comb on the mixture and run it through the fur.
Natural Flea Repellent Spray – You can also make your own natural flea repellent spray out of the boiled water-lemon mixture. Fleas do not like acidic environments so a lemon spray should help keep them away.
Apple Cider Vinegar –You may use apple cider vinegar in two ways: as a flea-repellent spray and by mixing it with your German Shepherd’s drinking water.
Brewer’s Yeast – Brewer’s yeast is known to help repel fleas in dogs. It is a non-toxic solution that can be mixed with German Shepherd’s food to make him taste repulsive to fleas. Please consult your veterinarian to know what the proper dosage is for your German Shepherd.
Medications to Get Rid of Fleas in Your German Shepherd
There are also flea medications available in the market and here are some:
Advantage – Advantage is a spot-on flea treatment created by Bayer. It is applied on the dog’s nape once a month. Advantage can kill both adult fleas and larvae. It also helps prevent infestation for 4 weeks.
Advocate – Just like Advantage, Advocate is a spot-on treatment that is given once a month. Advantage and Advocate have the same maker: Bayer. The difference between the two is that aside from controlling fleas, Advocate also acts as a wormer and kills other external parasites like mites. This is given once a month.
Frontline – Created by Merial, Frontline is another spot-on treatment that helps repel and kill fleas and ticks.
Vetgard – This another monthly spot-on treatment that is effective in killing and repelling fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. This product can also break flea life cycle and stop eggs from developing into adults. This product’s effect can last up to 4 weeks.
Nexgard– Nexgard is a once-a-month chewable for dogs. This product by Merial can kill both fleas and ticks and can prevent infestation for up to 4 weeks.
Preventing Flea Infestation in Your German Shepherd
After the medications, it is important to keep your house and German Shepherd’s beddings clean regularly. Getting him on monthly preventatives should also keep fleas away.