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Dog Fleas and Humans

Fleas are small, wingless insects that feed off of a host’s blood to stay alive and reproduce. The most common type of flea is the cat flea, but unfortunately for dog lovers, there are fleas that bite dogs as well. These kinds of fleas are known as Ctenocephalides Canis. A bite from a flea can cause extreme itching and irritation for your dog, especially if he has an allergy to the flea’s saliva. Dog flea bites may lead to hair loss, inflammation and secondary skin conditions such as hot spots.

Not only are fleas irritating for your dog, but their bites can lead to serious health issues if left untreated for too long. If enough fleas infect a dog, it may be possible for them to become anemic, especially puppies or older dogs, or even dogs with weaker immune systems. Tapeworm infections are also a common result of an untreated flea infestation.

Some symptoms of a flea infestation include:

  • Excessive itching, rubbing or biting of the skin and fur, especially on the paws, tummy and above the tail.
  • Hot spots or sores caused by too much scratching
  • Flakey or shedding skin
  • Red, irritated patches on different areas of the body.
  • Flea “dirt”

We understand that fleas are a huge problem for dogs and may carry diseases such as Lyme disease and Ehrlichia, but what about humans?

Can Dog Fleas Live On Humans?

Although it is very uncommon, dog fleas can sometimes affect humans. The short answer to the common question, “can I get fleas from my dog?” is no. Fleas will not use humans as a breeding vessel like they do with dogs or cats. They will, however, bite and feed on human blood if necessary.

Fleas prefer to live in quiet, dark areas such as carpets and blankets to lay eggs. Although they do prefer a dog as their host, they will sometimes use a human as the next best feeding ground. Usually though, fleas that affect dogs will not turn to humans.

Fleas from dogs will generally bite around the ankles or lower legs. These will itch like a mosquito bite, especially if you have an allergy. Dog fleas are not as risky as those types that purposely seek out humans (these are called Pulex Irritans). If you are bitten by a dog flea, the area will be red and may be a little bump. Keep in mind that fleas do not live on your skin or in your hair, they will simply feed and return to a secluded area.

What To Do About Fleas

When it comes to fleas on humans, the best thing to do is to first treat the animal and the household. There are many different options available for treating flea infestations both on your dog and in the house and yard. There are even home remedies available to help ease itching and irritation on your dog as well.

As for treating fleas on humans, the most important thing is to not itch the bites, because they will get worse. Personal hygiene is also very important. Fleas don’t like to live on clean hosts.

For more information about dog fleas, treatment options, home remedies and more, vist

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