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Where Do Fleas Come From Anyway?

By Chris Williams on September 26, 2014.

My son and his wife just got a puppy. The dog was checked by a vet and was certified flea-free when they got it, but now the puppy has fleas. How could that happen? Where did the fleas come from? P.P., Winthrop, MA

where do puppies get fleasPoor puppy. There are several possible ways that the puppy could have picked up fleas. Without knowing more about the situation, I can only speculate.

Who Has That Puppy Been Hanging Out With?

  • Did your son have a pet in his home before he got the puppy? There could have been flea larvae or flea eggs remaining in the home that later turned into adult fleas. There could even have been adult fleas already present that were just waiting for a new pet to appear.
  • If the puppy goes outside, he could have picked up fleas in his own yard. Other animals, including wild animals and neighborhood cats, that have strayed into the yard could have left fleas behind.
  • Does the puppy visit a neighborhood park or go for walks? Anytime the puppy visits an area where other pets have been (even the vet’s), he could potentially pick up a flea. If it’s a pregnant female, the infestation begins.
  • Has anyone else brought a pet into your son’s home? If his puppy played with another dog, or even a cat, fleas could have been passed from one to the other.

Next Step? Call in the Professionals

The list above doesn’t even include all of the possibilities. But regardless of how it happened, your son now has to get rid of fleas both on his puppy and in his house. The puppy needs an on-animal flea treatment but since he’s a puppy, that treatment might be better handled by the veterinarian who will make certain that he gets the right puppy dosage.

Secondly, your son needs to have his home treated by an exterminator. This treatment is to kill flea eggs and larvae that are developing in the puppy’s bed or in other areas in the house where he spends his time. Since he’s a puppy, that might mean the whole house! If there’s reason to think that he picked up the fleas outside, your son’s yard may need a flea treatment, too.

It’s very important that both the puppy and the home are treated. If one is treated but not the other, the puppy’s flea infestation will continue…and no one will be happy.

photo credit: ☺ Lee J Haywood via photopin cc

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