Last Updated on October 2, 2021 by Marco
Fleas are horrid little creatures that can make any dog’s life a misery, and cause dog owners considerable time and expense to get rid of the fleas from both the dog and the home.
So what happens if your dog is having puppies? Can it be done? Yes, there are a few products that are safe to treat fleas on pregnant dogs.
If you are looking for flea treatments for a pregnant dog, read on. In this article, we are going to review what flea treatment methods are safe to use in your home if you have a female dog who is expecting a litter of puppies.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas On A Pregnant Dog
If you have a pregnant dog with fleas, then you may feel like you are in a bit of a quandary. Ideally, your female dog will have been up-to-date with her flea treatment prior to becoming pregnant.
There are some products on the market available that are topical flea treatments, and safe for a pregnant dog. Chews are recommended over topical skin treatments for a pregnant dog with fleas. Here are the details on those products.
Bravecto Chews (fluralaner)
According to their website, Bravecto Chews “kill fleas and prevent flea infestations for 12 weeks.”
In their FAQ section, one question is: “Is Bravecto Chews approved for use in breeding/pregnant/lactating dogs?”, and the answer is: “Yes. Bravecto is approved for use in breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs.”
A single dose of Bravecto Chews is all that is needed, and the website states that it “should be given to the dog by mouth with food.”
Revolution (selamectin) For Dogs With Canex
Revolution for Dogs with Canex kills adult fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae. This is one of the few products on the market that is safe for both pregnant and lactating dogs, and that kills fleas in all stages of the life cycle – adults, larvae, and eggs.
Frontline Plus For Dogs
This flea treatment kills adult fleas, flea larvae, and flea eggs, and it is safe for lactating and pregnant dogs.
Sentinel Spectrum Chews
These chews are safe for pregnant dogs only and are not safe for lactating dogs. Sentinel Spectrum Chews only kill the eggs and the larvae, but not the adult fleas.
So it is probably not a good choice, given that adult fleas can still lay more eggs.
Plus, eventually, your pregnant dog will be a lactating dog, so Revolution for Dogs with Canex, and Frontline Plus make more sense because they offer a comprehensive flea treatment.
Advantix and Advantage
These two products are safe for pregnant and lactating dogs but they only kill the adult fleas and the larvae, not the eggs. Which will hatch. Then you’re back to square one.
Other Steps To Get Rid Of Fleas When You Have A Pregnant Dog
- Treat all other pets in the home for fleas at the same time as you treat your pregnant dog for fleas (cats and dogs)
- Vacuum sofas and sofa cushions (then throw the vacuum bag straight into the outside bin)
- Wash pet’s blankets and other bedding in water that is at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit
- Wash household bedding (your sheets, etc.) in the same way as mentioned in the dot-point above
- Clean out dog kennels and baskets
- Vacuum your carpets
- Vacuum your car
Fleas are parasites that live on the blood of mammals. They can jump from one animal, called the host, to another. When they bite an animal, such as a dog, their mouths leave a trace behind that causes the skin to become itchy and irritated. This is why dogs will scratch when they have fleas.
The flea itself crawling around on the dog’s skin beneath its fur is itchy for the dog too. Fleas can jump 13 inches to reach a new host, and this distance is 20 times its own body size.
The flea species that generally affects dogs is called the cat flea, it can live on cats as well as dogs. They prefer an animal host but will bite and feed off a human too.
Also, fleas droppings, called flea dirt, can itch too. Flea dirt is one of the signs that your dog has fleas. It looks like little blacks specks on the skin.
Fleas tend to hang out on the warmest part of the dog, but they move fast and can be hard to spot so if you see flea dirt, this is a sign your dog has fleas. This will usually be at the base of the tail and the dogs ‘armpits’.
Fleas can drink blood for up to two hours and lay 40 to 50 eggs per day.
An adult flea can live on a dog for two months. It is the larvae that burrow into bedding and are hard to remove from bedding and furniture, etc. It takes 2 months to get rid of a flea infestation in a home, and repeated hot water washing of bedding and vacuuming of furniture and cars is needed.
Some poor dogs are allergic to flea bites, which can cause red, scaly, and itchy skin, scabs, and hotspots. This is called Flea Allergy Dermatitis.
Fleas and Newborn Pups
It is important to treat a pregnant dog for fleas to ensure that she stays as healthy as possible during her pregnancy, and so that she does not pass fleas on to her pups.
Newborn pups with fleas are at risk of anemia. Signs to look out for are pale gums, weakness, and lethargy. Newborn pups only have small amounts of blood in their bodies and fleas can bite hundreds of times a day.
Keeping mom up to date with flea treatments before and during pregnancy, and during lactation, is very important. It’s just a matter of choosing the correct type of treatment.
Always check the label to ensure it’s a safe flea treatment for pregnant dogs, and to make sure you know when she is next due for her flea treatment and how much to give her based on her weight.
If in doubt, give your vet a call. They are there to help.