How Do I Know If My Dachshund Has Fleas?

How to tell if a Dachshund has fleas

Are you worried your Dachshund might have fleas? Do you want to know how to check if your Dachshund has fleas? Here’s everything you need to know about Dachshunds and flea infestations! 

How Do I know If My Dachshund Has Fleas? Your Dachshund may have fleas if they itch, bite or lick their skin a lot. You might also notice redness or lumps on your Dachshund’s skin, especially their ears, belly, armpits, or tail. Check your Dachshund’s coat for black spots and their bed for white flecks.

Read on to find out how to tell the difference between regular dirt and fleas, how your Dachshund gets fleas, how to get rid of them, and how to set up a flea trap in your home! 

This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist.

How Can You Tell If A Dachshund Has Fleas?

Fleas are tiny, dark brown insects that feed on the blood of other animals. Once your Dachshund gets fleas, the infestation will keep multiplying and growing.

Unfortunately, fleas can cause health problems for Dachshunds if they’re not treated right away. Dachshunds will scratch at fleas, which can lead to irritated or infected skin and even bald patches appearing in their coat.

Here are the signs and symptoms that your Dachshund might have fleas: 

Your Dachshund is itching

One of the main things you’ll notice if your Dachshund has fleas is itching. Flea bites irritate your Dachshund’s skin, so it’ll become very itchy and sore! 

If you notice your Dachshund itching, particularly around his ears, belly, armpits or the base of his tail, he may have fleas. Itching can become extremely excessive if your Dachshund has a full-on flea infestation. 

As well as itching, your Dachshund might also lick or bite his skin when he’s trying to get some relief. If you notice your Dachshund doing this, he’s probably feeling very uncomfortable and needs to be looked at by a vet.

Your Dachshund’s skin is red

Part your Dachshund’s coat to see if he has any patches of red skin. This can be another indication that the flea bites are irritating him or he’s reacting to the flea saliva. 

The red areas are basically the result of the inflammation caused by flea bites.

Your Dachshund has lumps on their skin

Your Dachshund might also develop small lumps on his skin in reaction to the flea bites. You can feel for lumps by running your hand across his body.

Feel especially for lumps around his neck, armpits, ears, and tail.

Your Dachshund has bald spots in their coat 

If you notice bald spots starting to appear in your Dachshund’s coat, this might be a sign that he’s scratching a lot as a result of fleas. 

Any excessive itching and biting can lead to dry skin and bald spots on a Dachshund’s coat.

Your Dachshund is irritable 

As we all know, having itchy skin is very uncomfortable and will be frustrating for your Dachshund too!

You might notice that your Dachshund looks miserable and is more irritable than normal because of the fleas biting his skin.

Your Dachshund has black dots in their coat 

Your Dachshund might have small black dots in his coat. These can either be fleas or flea ‘dirt’ – which is basically flea poo! 

Use a fine-toothed flea comb to check whether your Dachshund has fleas or flea dirt in his coat. You can find flea combs in pet shops or on Amazon.

To properly use a flea comb, run it through the fur on your Dachshund’s back and tummy. Then check the comb to see if you’ve picked up any flea dirt or fleas on your Dachshund’s coat. 

Be sure to rinse the comb in soapy water each time you use it to see if any of any of the small dark flecks turn a reddish colour.

If they do, it’s likely you’re looking at flea dirt – and not just normal dirt! That’s because flea dirt is basically just dried blood that’ll change colour in water.

Putting the comb in water will also kill any fleas you’ve removed from your Dachshund’s coat and stop them jumping straight back onto him.

Brushing your Dachshund while he’s standing on top of a white towel, paper towel or sheet will also help you see the black dots more easily and clearly.

It’s often easier to see fleas and flea dirt in areas where there’s less fur, like the tummy for instance. So it’s best to start checking for signs there first.

There are black flecks around the area where your Dachshund sleeps

You can also wipe a white towel slowly over the floor area around where your Dachshund sits or sleeps to see what’s picked up on the surface.

Some people also put white socks on their hands and run them over specific areas to check for fleas.

Using something white just makes it easier to spot the dark brown fleas and black flea dirt.

If you do pick up anything, just add some water to see if the flecks change colour. If they do, you’ll know for definite that you’re dealing with fleas!

There are small white dots in your Dachshund’s bed

Small white oval specks in your Dachshund’s bed could be flea eggs.

Check if your Dachshund’s bed has white flea eggs or black flea dirt in it. Flea eggs are a clear sign that your Dachshund has a flea infestation that needs to be treated. 

Your Dachshund has pale gums

If your Dachshund has a large flea infestation where he loses too much blood, he can become anaemic. This can result in his gums looking pale and sometimes even white.

Other signs of anaemia in dogs are lethargy and weakness.

If you notice your Dachshund has pale gums, you must contact your vet right away!

Dachshund laying down with a speech bubble that says 'I've got fleas'.
Dachshund with fleas

How Do Dachshunds Get Fleas?

Fleas can jump onto your Dachshund from the ground. Often, flea infestations start when a flea jumps onto your Dachshund from the grass or another animal.

Here are the ways your Dachshund can get fleas:

Your Dachshund can get fleas from other dogs 

It’s very common for your Dachshund to get fleas from another dog.

Meetings in the park are the perfect time for flea transmission. Unfortunately, fleas can jump from one dog to another quite easily! 

Your Dachshund can get fleas from other animals 

Dachshunds might also get fleas from your other dogs or cats. Fleas are additionally found on wild animals including squirrels, deer, and foxes. 

Your Dachshund can get fleas from being outside 

Just like ticks, adult fleas can make the leap onto your Dachshund from just being outside and then latch onto him.

Flea eggs can also get caught on you or your Dachshund when you’re out and about. They can attach to his fur and also your trousers, bags, or shoes too.

Once you’ve accidentally brought them into the house, they can hatch and then start biting your Dachshund.

How Do I Treat My Dachshund For Fleas?

If you spot a flea on your Dachshund or notice white flecks in his bedding, you need to speak with your vet.

Your vet will prescribe a flea treatment that will kill the fleas on your Dachshund.

Flea treatments can also be used as a preventative measure and are effective at stopping your Dachshund from getting fleas in the first place. 

There are many flea treatment options available. So it’s best that you speak to your vet about the best way to keep your Dachshund safe from fleas.

Please note that some dogs and cats can have serious reactions to flea treatments so you must do your research and speak to your vet for advice.

Here are the most common ways to treat a Dachshund for fleas: 

Use a ‘spot on’ dog flea treatment to treat your Dachshund for fleas

There are a variety of ‘spot on’ treatments which you can use to kill and prevent fleas on your Dachshund.

Spot on treatments are liquid mixtures which you can apply to the back of your Dachshund’s neck yourself with a pipette.

They’re a popular treatment because they kill fleas and also prevent new fleas from biting your Dachshund.

Protection with a ‘spot on’ treatment normally lasts for a month.

Use a flea shampoo to treat your Dachshund for fleas

You can use flea shampoos to get rid of the existing fleas on your Dachshund.

However, this is not a preventative measure and will only work to kill fleas currently on your Dachshund. It won’t stop new flea infestations from happening like a ‘spot on’ treatment would.

Use a flea tablet to treat your Dachshund for fleas

Flea tablets will kill the fleas on your Dachshund. They work by poisoning the fleas when they try to bite.

Flea pills can also stop the cycle of flea infestations by preventing eggs from turning into fleas.

Use a flea collar to treat your Dachshund for fleas

Some owners use flea collars as preventatives against fleas.

These contain slow release insecticides that penetrate your Dachshund’s skin over several months and then spread throughout his coat to kill off fleas.

However, some dogs and cats can have serious reactions to flea collars and other flea medications so you must do your research and discuss the various options with your vet.

How Often Do I Treat My Dachshund For Fleas?

Your vet will recommend that you routinely take preventative measures to protect your Dachshund against fleas. 

How often you need to treat your Dachshund depends on the product they prescribe.

Flea treatments will specify how often you should apply them on the instructions. In general, most products are given monthly but ask your vet for advice with this. 

Fleas are a potential problem all year round, so make sure you apply flea treatment throughout the year.

Flea collars will also specify how long they last for, some last for up to six months or more. 

Please be aware that some dogs and cats can have serious reactions to flea collars and other flea medications. You must do your research and discuss options with your vet.

Sad looking Dachshund laying down with speech bubble that says 'I've got fleas'.
Sad looking Dachshund with fleas

Are There Any Natural Flea Treatments For Dachshunds?

Yes, there are natural alternatives to chemical flea treatments that are said to repel fleas and other blood sucking pests like ticks.

Some examples of natural flea treatments are:

  • Cooper and Gracie’s Flea And Tick Protective Spray which is available to buy on Amazon
  • Billy No Mates powder or liquid that can be added to dog food to repel both ticks and fleas
  • CSJ Skinny spray which contains Neem and has a strong ability to repel both ticks and fleas

How well they work will be dependent on the individual dog, but there are many thousands of positive reviews online.

Natural alternatives can be a good option if your Dachshund reacts to the pesticides in prescription flea treatments.

However, any flea treatment you decide on will need to be researched thoroughly and discussed with your vet.

How Do I Treat Fleas In The Home?

If your Dachshund has fleas, there are definitely fleas or flea eggs around your house. As well as treating your Dachshund, you’ll also need to treat your home.

Set up a flea trap

Just like flies, fleas gravitate towards light. So it’s easy to set up a flea trap to remove them from areas where your Dachshund normally hangs out.

To create a flea trap, fill a shallow bowl with soapy water.

Put the bowl near the area that’s likely to be most infested with fleas. Maybe by your Dachshund’s bed or the sofa for example.

Setup a desk lamp to shine light directly down onto the bowl, and then leave it overnight.

Just be careful not to put the electrical light too near the water or any sofa fabric where it could be a potential fire hazard. You need to be cautious and use common sense!

All the fleas will be attracted to the light and will then die in the soapy water.

The reason it has to be soapy water is because things like washing up liquid change the surface tension of water and stop the fleas from bouncing right off!

You’ll obviously need to keep your Dachshund safely out of the area overnight as you don’t want them to drink the soapy water!

You can use as many flea traps in your home as you like, or you can move them around each day.

However, this isn’t going to work on any fleas your Dachshund already has, and it won’t stop any new eggs from hatching, so they need to be dealt with separately.

Hoover the surfaces

Hoover your floors, both upstairs and downstairs, to get rid of any fleas or flea eggs. Be sure to get into all the edges of any carpet or flooring and down the back of the sofa etc. 

Steam your floors

If you have a steamer, steam over the floors to kill off any fleas and flea eggs. You may even have an attachment you can use to steam the fabric on your sofa, bed and chairs.

Wash any bedding 

Wash both your own bedding and your Dachshund’s bedding in hot water and laundry detergent. You want to keep his bedding clean and wash it every week or so.

Hoover the car

Don’t forget to hoover your car as well, especially if your Dachshund has been in it recently! 

Flea eggs can hatch anywhere and you don’t want your Dachshund to bring a new infestation into your home!

Apply a flea spray for surfaces

Spray a non-toxic insecticide spray around your house to prevent the growth of flea infestations. Cooper & Gracie House Hold Pest Cleanse is a great natural option!

Can Fleas Affect A Dachshund’s Health?

Fleas can cause anaemia in your Dachshund because they feed on blood.

Some Dachshunds are also allergic to flea bites, which may cause them to have a severe reaction whenever they’re bitten. 

Fleas can also carry diseases and transmit these onto your Dachshund when they bite.

Parasites have also been known to be transmitted via fleas, including tapeworms. 

Can My Dachshund’s Fleas Affect Me?

Dog fleas won’t live on humans but they will bite! So you may notice red, itchy patches of skin on your ankles and feet if your Dachshund has fleas.

If you notice you have any bites, it’s time to start checking your Dachshund for fleas and then taking him to the vet for treatment!

So, there you have it! Your Dachshund might have fleas if he’s itchy, looks uncomfortable, gets red patches or lumps on his skin, or if you find black spots in his fur or white flecks in his bedding. Fleas are treatable with a variety of different products. You need to take preventative measures against them, and don’t forget to treat your home too!

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'How do I know if my Dachshund has fleas' heading with a Dachshund laying down and a speech bubble that says 'I've got fleas'
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