Flea infestation is one of the most common problems faced by pet owners and newborn puppies are always going to be the most vulnerable group.
You see, fleas (blood sucking parasites) not only bite and feed on your pet but can also spread serious diseases such as tapeworm and bartonella bacteria infections.
Fortunately, there are ways you can deal with flea infestation for your newborn puppies.
To get fleas off a newborn puppy, spray some diluted essential oils on his coat and use a flea comb to remove fleas hiding in his coat. Give him a routine flea bath and dry him thoroughly after the bath. Keep his sleeping spot, bedding and rugs clean by regular washing and have a flea collar on him.
Here is what you can do:
Use Of A Flea Comb
A flea comb looks like a small ordinary toothbrush. It is made of metal and has a lot of teeth on it.
The way to use it will be to give it a quick GENTLE stroke across the top of your puppy’s hair and then brush downward and outward over his body.
The purpose of this is to dislodge fleas that are hiding in his hair follicles.
Once the flea is “trapped” in the comb, you can make use of some cotton balls that are dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove them.
Do not ever use the cotton balls strained with rubbing alcohol directly on your puppy’s coat as his skin is too delicate, and he will not be able to “take it”.
You should ”clean” your puppy with the comb once daily for 2–3 days if he is getting fleas on his body.
When you see that there are no more fleas appearing on the comb during the combing, you can stop using it but continue to give your puppy a monthly bath to keep him clean.
Be gentle with the combing as the skin of a newborn puppy is very delicate. The teeth on the flea comb are pretty sharp and might have cut his skin.
How do you remove fleas from a flea comb?
You must be very careful when you are removing the flea from the comb.
Scrub it with a strong vinegar solution until the flea is no longer attached to the comb.
Then, wash the vinegar off in hot water. Finally, dry the comb and put it away.
Use of A Flea Collar
Have you ever heard of flea collars? These little devices are used for two main reasons:
1. To help control an existing flea problem for your puppy.
2. To prevent the return of fleas from your pet to your home.
You can easily buy a flea collar at almost any pet store.
To use the collar, gently slip the leash over your puppy’s neck and then put the collar on the other end of the leash.
Make sure the collar is snug but not too tight. I would suggest using one finger to move around the collar to ensure that it fits just nicely on him.
This will kill any fleas and ticks that are on your puppy and also repel them if they are not already on him.
In fact, many people use these collars in conjunction with some natural remedies (use of essential oils) to make sure they never have to worry about their dog getting fleas again.
When to use flea collars on puppies?
Flea collars can be used at any time of the year. However, it is best to use them:
1. In the spring and fall, when the flea population is at its highest.
2. When he has been outside and is coming back inside.
3. After he has been playing in the dirt or other places where fleas may be.
4. Whenever you are going to be away from home for a long period of time.
5. On the days when you decide to go to the groomer or vet.
6. If your puppy has an allergy to fleas.
7. And finally, if your puppy is old enough, he should wear a flea collar every day… It’s a very good feeling to know that your puppy is protected 24 hours a day — without the hassle of having to apply flea treatment every day.
Give Him A Routine Flea Bath
Flea baths are one of the most important things when it comes to getting fleas out of your puppy’s fur. The reason for this is that fleas don’t just cling onto your puppy, but they also live in his fur.
Give him a bath with a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar (1 part vinegar to 10 parts water). Make sure to rinse him well to get rid of the solution and pat him dry.
This will not only get rid of the fleas but also cleanse his coat of any dirt and heal any infections that make him itchy.
Alternatively, you can get flea shampoo for your puppy. Flea shampoos are available in pet stores and supermarkets.
Make sure that you get a flea shampoo that contains insect growth regulator (IGR) and flea control ingredients like pyrethrins and pyrethroids.
These ingredients will not only kill existing fleas, but also prevent new ones from infesting your puppy.
Do not use just a normal dog shampoo on your puppy, you’ll just be leaving the fleas in his fur.
Once your pup has had his bath, it’s time for you to give him a thorough drying. Don’t just pat him down with a towel, but rather use a hair dryer on low heat until all the moisture is gone.
This will prevent any fleas that are still clinging to his coat from surviving.
Some dogs are allergic to these ingredients, and may develop itchy, flaky skin or even an allergic reaction.
If you notice your puppy scratching excessively when you use a flea and tick product, discontinue use and consult your veterinarian.
How often should you bathe your puppy?
You need to bathe your newborn puppy at least once a month. Always use a flea comb to remove fleas (if there is any) from your puppy’s coat before the bath.
To bathe a newborn puppy, make sure that the water temperature is not too hot or cold. It should be between 97°F – 100°F.
Use a thermometer to check the temperature, or you can use your hand to feel the water. Make sure that the water is comfortable on your skin.
If the water is too hot, your puppy might be scalded and if the water is too cold, your puppy will be chilled and may develop health problems.
Fill the sink with a small amount of lukewarm water. Add a few drops of hypoallergenic shampoo to the water, and mix it.
Be careful when you are handling the puppy. He can slip out of your hands and get hurt.
I would suggest that you get a helper to hold on to his upper body just to ensure that his head stays clear of the water.
Do the same for the rinsing stage. Ensure that the water is at the right temperature and your helper is getting hold of your dog’s upper body.
When the rinsing is done, use a dryer (keep it at a low temperature and at a distance away from your puppy and keep moving the dryer around to prevent scalding him) to dry him up.
Keep in mind that newborn puppies are very sensitive to temperature. Therefore, you must pay close attention to this aspect of his care.
Use Of Scents That Fleas Hate
You can make use of scents that fleas hate to make them stay away from your puppy. Natural essential oils such as citronella or eucalyptus are examples of such scents.
Peppermint, rosemary as well as tea tree oil also repel fleas. The way to use these oils is rather simple:
1. Dilute 3 drops of the chosen essential oil with 300 ml of water.
2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
3. Spray the solution on the base of the neck and the coat of your puppy, including his paws.
This will give off a strong scent that will drive fleas away.
Just make sure you do not use too much essential oil or else it could cause some unpleasant side effects for your puppy.
It is better to use a small amount and then test the results before applying more.
Give your pet some time to bathe in the smell. It is important that you give him enough time for him to get used to the smell. This way he won’t mind when you use it again on him.
Keep Your Puppy “Home” Free From Fleas
Fleas can be found anywhere and everywhere. They love to hide in clothing, on the carpets and furniture.
And they especially love to hide in the cracks and crevices of walls.
The way to get rid of fleas is to get rid of the “host” which provides them with a home.
So do a routine check on these items to make sure that they are not “offering” a shelter for the fleas.
Start by checking your puppy’s bedding and rugs for signs of parasites. If you find any, you should wash them immediately.
You need to wash them in hot water (140 °F or more) and dry them in a hot dryer. Make sure you put the items in the dryer for at least 20 minutes on the hottest setting or dry them under a hot sun.
The next step is to vacuum the floors and furniture in your home. Vacuum the carpets with a strong vacuum cleaner to get rid of the fleas, eggs, and larvae.
Just make sure the vacuum cleaner has a strong suction power. Otherwise, you may end up sucking more dirt and debris than fleas and parasites.
You can also remove the fleas from your carpet by steam cleaning your carpet or using white vinegar and baking soda solution.
To prepare the solution, mix the white vinegar, baking soda and water in a 1:1 ratio. Then sprinkle the mixture on the carpet and leave until it dries. Then use a vacuum to remove the fleas.
You can also use borax, which is a non-toxic cleaning product, to get rid of fleas.
Once you’ve done that, you should wash your puppy’s dishes and his chewing toys using a solution of apple cider vinegar mixed with water.
Finally, you should wipe down all the areas where your puppy usually goes by spraying insecticides to keep fleas away.
You can use sprays which contain an ingredient called pyrethrum. This is a natural plant extract that is very effective against fleas. You can find them in most supermarkets.