If you’re a proud owner of a short-haired dog such as a Poodle, Shih Tzu, or Maltese and you’ve been wondering if they get fleas like their long-haired counterparts do. The answer is yes.
Fleas can be found on any breed of dog, and short-haired dogs are just as susceptible to them as long-haired dogs.
Do Short-Haired Dogs Get Fleas?
All types, sizes, and hair lengths of dogs are capable of getting fleas. This is because the hair is not the deciding factor in whether a dog gets fleas.
Short-haired dogs are just as likely to get fleas as long-haired dogs or any other type of canine with fur or feathers.
Even if your dog’s hair is short, it may be curly, dense, or thick. These factors can make a difference in whether or not your dog gets flea bites and how badly they are affected by them.
Short-haired dogs are equally exposed to environments where fleas are present, such as animal shelters, houses with other animals, public parks, or dog parks.
They may also get fleas from coming into direct contact with another flea-ridden dog, which can just take a few moments for fleas to jump from one dog to another. Fleas are very strong creatures and can easily hop from a short-haired dog to a long-haired one without anyone noticing.
Can Fleas Live on Short-Haired Dogs?
Fleas can live on short-haired dogs, although they may be more visible on long-haired dogs.
Fleas will lay their eggs on the dog, and as the eggs hatch, the larvae will feed off of any blood they can find. These larvae can live for weeks or even months before turning into adult fleas.
Adult fleas will then lay more eggs, which will hatch and create a new generation of fleas. This cycle can happen over and over again, meaning that fleas can live on your dog no matter what their hair length is.
Some breeds of short-haired dogs can also develop a hypersensitivity to flea saliva and become very itchy as a result. This is not dangerous, but may be uncomfortable for your pet if you do not treat them effectively.
Fleas live best in warm moist environments, so they are most often found in areas of your dog’s body that have thick or dense fur, such as the ears or elbows.
How Can I Tell if My Short-Haired Dog Has Fleas?
If you are concerned that your short-haired dog may have fleas, there are a few ways to tell.
Look for Tiny Black Specks
One way is to look for tiny black specks on your dog’s coat. These specks are most likely flea feces, which is what the adult fleas leave behind after feeding on your dog’s blood.
Check for Flea Dirt
Another way to tell if your dog has fleas is by checking for flea dirt. Flea dirt looks like small, dark red droplets that are similar to dried blood. You can rub the droplets between your fingers to see if they turn into a black powder, which is another sign of fleas.
Use a Flea Comb
The best way to check your dog for fleas is by using a flea comb. This is a thin metal comb with closely spaced teeth that can help you remove any fleas or eggs from your dog’s coat.
White Towel Test
You can also do a white towel test to see if your dog has fleas. Place a white towel underneath your dog and vigorously rub, scratch, or comb them. If the towel becomes covered in black specs, this is another sign of fleas.
Finally, you can also look for signs of fleas visually. Fleas are fairly easy to see, especially if you have a short-haired dog. Check in areas that are sparsely covered with hair, or in crevices such as your dog’s ears.
Symptoms of Flea Bites in Dogs
If your short-haired dog has fleas, it may experience symptoms of a flea infestation.
The most common sign is constant itching and scratching at their skin, which can lead to hair loss or redness on the affected areas. Your dog might also have small dark specks on their coat, which is flea dirt, or you might see small red bites on their skin.
You may notice small bumps or red patches on your dog’s skin. These patches might be a sign of bites from fleas, or they might be a sign of another type of skin allergy. If your dog is allergic to fleas, they may also have swollen lymph nodes, especially in their neck.
If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to a veterinarian or use an at-home treatment. Untreated flea bites can lead to skin infections and other health problems.
How Do You Get Rid of Fleas on a Short-Haired Dog?
There are a few ways to get rid of fleas on a short-haired dog.
The most common way to treat a flea infestation is with oral medication. There are a number of different types of oral medications available, and your veterinarian can help you choose the best one for your dog.
These work by killing the adult fleas on your dog’s body. They also work to prevent new fleas from hatching, which will help break the cycle of infestation.
The medication will take effect in about 30 minutes, and can kill all of the fleas in about 24 hours. These medications will continue to work on your dog for about a month, so they are highly effective.
Another way to treat fleas is with topical medication. There are many different products you can use on your short-haired dog, but most of them work in the same way. This type of medication works by being applied directly onto your pet’s skin.
It will kill the adult fleas on your dog’s body, as well as any eggs or larvae. It also works to prevent new fleas from hatching, which will help break the cycle of infestation.
Topical medications usually take about 12 hours to start working and can last for up to 30 days. They are a great option if you want to quickly kill the fleas on your dog’s body.
Insecticide Shampoo and Powder
You can also use an insecticide shampoo or powder, which is another way of getting rid of fleas on a short-haired dog. Most shampoos contain pyrethrins, which work by killing the adult fleas on your pet’s body.
You should use an insecticide shampoo once a week for at least four weeks to get rid of all of the adult fleas and eggs. Make sure you only bathe your dog after consulting with a veterinarian, as some shampoos can be harmful if used too often or in large amounts.
Insecticide powders also work in the same way as shampoos, by killing adult fleas. You can apply them directly to your pet’s coat, and they will usually last for about a month. However, you should be careful not to get any powder in your dog’s eyes or nose.
Another option is to use a flea collar. These are typically made of plastic and contain chemicals that work in the same way as other types of medications, by killing adult fleas or preventing eggs from hatching.
Flea collars usually last for about six months before you need to replace them with a new one. They’re an easy way to keep your pet protected from fleas, and you don’t have to do anything else once it’s on their neck.
You can also choose between conventional and natural flea collars. Conventional flea collars contain pesticides, while natural flea collars use essential oils to repel fleas.
If you want a more hands-on approach, you can also use a flea comb. This is a tool that has teeth spaced close together, which helps remove fleas, eggs, and larvae from your pet’s coat.
You can use a flea comb once a day to help get rid of any fleas on your dog. Make sure you disinfect the comb after each use, as it can become infested with fleas if left out. This is a great option for those that don’t want to use medication or shampoo. However, it can take much more time and puts you up close with living fleas.
If you’re looking for a natural way to get rid of fleas on your short-haired dog, dish soap can be very effective. Fleas cannot tolerate the strong chemicals in most types of dish soap, which will cause them to dehydrate and die within minutes.
You should use an unscented or mild type of dish soap and apply it directly to your dog’s coat. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, then rinse your dog off with water. You can do this once a day until all of the fleas are gone.
Be sure to read the label of any dish soap before using it, as some can be harmful if ingested. While bathing your dog, make sure that they don’t get any of the soap in their eyes or mouth.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another effective natural remedy for getting rid of fleas on your short-haired dog. Fleas cannot tolerate the acidic content in apple cider vinegar, which will kill them within minutes.
You should mix ten parts of water with one part of apple cider vinegar and use it as a rinse after bathing your pet or spraying their coat directly. Be sure to use raw, unprocessed apple cider vinegar for the best results. Avoid using distilled or processed vinegar, as it will not have the same effect.
Do Some Dogs Not Get Fleas?
Some people believe that certain breeds of dogs do not get fleas, but this is not true. All dogs can get fleas, regardless of their breed or hair length.
The only difference may be that some breeds are more resistant to the effects of fleas, such as getting an infestation or having rashes on their skin. However, all dogs should still be treated for fleas regularly, just in case.
Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Fleas?
There are a few things you can do to help protect your short-haired dog from fleas:
Take Care of Your Home
Keep your home and yard clean and free of debris that could provide a hiding place for fleas. You can also use a flea bomb or fogger to kill any fleas that may be present. There are also many household sprays that can be used for regular flea control that are relatively safe for animals and humans.
Keep Your Dog Clean
Bathe your dog regularly, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors. You can also use a shampoo that contains an insecticide to help get rid of any fleas on their coat, or simply use a gentle regular soap, which will help to kill a few flea stragglers.
Use a Preventative Medication
Use an appropriate monthly topical or oral flea prevention medication. You can also get them a flea collar that will help to repel fleas.
There are many natural products that work great for preventing flea infections. This is best if you don’t want to use medication, but some dogs may still get fleas if they have a lot of exposure outdoors or with other dogs.