How to Remove Dead Fleas From a Dog

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How to Remove Dead Fleas From a Dog
Image Credit: K_Thalhofer/iStock/GettyImages

Fleas are annoying pests that can cause everything from itching to health problems for your dog, like tapeworm infestations. If you've recently treated your pup for fleas, then you'll need to remove the dead ones from his coat with a bath, a flea comb, and some careful grooming.

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In addition, you'll need to make sure that you've gotten all the dead and live fleas and flea eggs off your dog and his bedding so they don't make a return appearance. Learn how to get rid of all those dead and possibly live fleas within your home.

How do you get fleas off a dog?

The best way to get dead fleas off your dog is with a bath using a flea shampoo. This way, you'll not only wash off the dead fleas but any remaining live fleas and their eggs.

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If you don't want to use flea shampoo or if your pup is too young for you to use it on her, then you can simply use dish soap instead. Although you shouldn't use it all the time for baths because it can dry out the skin over time, dish soap will remove any living or dead fleas from your dog's coat.

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Simply fill your bathtub with an inch or two of warm water, wet your dog's coat, and lather your dog with the flea shampoo or dish soap. Let the suds sit on your dog's fur for a few minutes to kill any remaining live fleas before carefully rinsing off your dog. When you rinse your dog, you should see dead fleas coming off in the water.

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Can I brush my dog after flea treatment?

After using a topical flea medication on your dog or giving your pup an oral flea medication, the fleas on your dog will die. They'll wind up falling off your dog's skin at this point but may wind up caught in his fur. In this case, you may want to just brush those fleas off the coat.

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To properly brush any dead fleas off the coat, start by using a slicker brush to remove any knots from the coat. Then, use a flea comb to find and remove any remaining fleas that are closer to your dog's skin. Coating the comb with petroleum jelly will help the dead fleas stick to the tines of the comb so you can easily remove them.

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Dead fleas on a dog with mats

For dogs with severe matting, dead fleas might accumulate within the knotted fur, making them difficult to remove. If this happens, you may have to resort to using a shedding brush and a bit of conditioner to try to break up the mats and get rid of the fleas.

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Severe mats may require you to use a pair of pet clippers to shave them off. Remember to do this in an area outdoors that's easy for you to clean up, especially because there may be some flea eggs among those dead fleas that fall off your dog while you are shaving off the mats.

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Finding dead fleas after treatment

It's perfectly normal for you to find dead fleas on your dog and around your home after treating your dog with a flea pill, flea shampoo, or topical flea medication. You'll want to remove these fleas from your home by thoroughly washing your dog's bedding in hot water and vacuuming your floors so the fleas don't wind up sticking to your dog's fur again. Once you're finished vacuuming, toss out the bag in case there are any live fleas or their eggs in there.

In addition, you'll want to wash your own bedding if your dog spends time in your bedroom and vacuum your car seats after trips with your dog. Finally, a good mopping of your tile or wood floors should get rid of any remaining dead fleas.

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