How To Get Rid of Fleas on Your Dog

You want to get rid of fleas on your Cocker Spaniel, but it's not just about killing the fleas, it's also about active, ongoing flea prevention to help kill off the eggs, the larvae, and the pupa as they develop and hatch into fully grown adult dog fleas. Read on to learn how it's done!

Get Rid Of Fleas - Permanently!

No-one said getting rid of fleas was going to be easy!

Dog fleas are one of the most annoying parasites that will ever find their way into your home and they can be a nightmare to get rid of!

They spend most of their time in your dog's coat but will also take up residence in your carpets, crevices in your floorboards, and underneath low furniture, such as your sofa.

Close up photo of a brown dog flea on a plain white background.How to get rid of fleas on your dog

In fact, you'll find them anywhere where it's warm and dark.

Once you're familiar with the life cycle of dog fleas you'll soon realize that one treatment may not always be enough.

The first treatment will kill off the adult fleas, but you'll also need to continue with further treatments until all eggs, larvae and pupa are either removed or have developed into adult fleas and are killed off.

If your Cocker Spaniel has fleas, read on to learn what you can do to get rid of fleas on your dog's coat and banish them for good!

How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Your Dog 

Step 1: Bathe Your Dog

Begin by bathing your dog; wash him thoroughly, making sure you create lots of soap suds and rub them into all the nooks and crannies.  

There are many specialist shampoo treatments for dog fleas available or your vet may recommend one to you.

This is a great way of getting rid of fleas because they can't get a grip on the hair and they literally drown in the watery soap suds!

Don't rinse your dog's coat at this stage because you want the shampoo to get working and do its job - leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, or however long the manufacturers recommend.

Step 2: Comb Your Spaniel's Coat 

Using a flea comb, work through your dog's wet, soapy coat, section by section, to remove as many remaining fleas or eggs as you can.

Keep a separate bowl of soapy water nearby and dip the comb into the bowl after combing each section to clean the comb and 'drown' the fleas.

As you work, you may see some of the fleas coming up to the top of your Cocker Spaniel's coat. Just pick them off and put them in the bowl of soapy water.

If you choose to shampoo his coat a second time, (or the manufacturer's recommend it) comb through your dog's coat a second time to remove as many fleas as possible.

Step 3: Rinse Your Dog Thoroughly!

When you've finished washing and combing your dogs coat, rinse him through several times to make sure all traces of the soap is removed.

Leaving soap in your pet's coat could cause itching or other skin problems, particularly as flea shampoo is usually heavily medicated, so be sure to rinse his coat well.

When you're certain there are no more soap suds, dry your dog thoroughly, paying particular attention to his ears, 'armpits', and under his tail as these are places where dog fleas love to feed.

If parts of his coat are left damp, these warm, moist areas may encourage the fleas to lay more eggs.

Step 4: Apply Dog Flea Medication

I'm sure we all agree that getting rid of fleas isn't easy and once you've managed it, the last thing you want is for them to return. 

You can help to avoid a repeat infestation by applying a monthly flea treatment to your Spaniel.

Some will only kill adult fleas, which will mean that the eggs, larva and pupa continue to develop into adult fleas, resulting in a much longer timeframe to get rid of fleas on your Cocker.

However, there are other treatments available which will kill fleas and stop any further development of eggs, larvae and pupa. 

This type of treatment is much more effective at killing and removing all traces of dog fleas. It is more expensive and you will probably need a prescription from your vet.

Applying Dog Flea Treatment

Your dog's flea medication must be applied in the right way if it's going to be fully effective. Don't waste your money. Learn how to use flea control treatments properly and help keep your dog safe from those bloodsucking parasites.

Before Applying Flea Medicine

Before you apply any flea medication, it's best to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully, as well as following the general guidelines below.

You might also want to check with your vet to be confident that you're using the most effective type of flea medicine for your Cocker Spaniel.

Make sure you bath him first because flea treatments are more easily absorbed if your dog's coat is clean.

Applying Flea Medication

Apply the treatment directly to your dog's skin (not his coat) otherwise it won't be as effective. Yes, this can prove a bit tricky, especially if your little darling won't sit still, but try anyway.

Part his coat with your finger and thumb or two combs, (whichever's easiest for you) and apply the liquid around his neck area or in a line down between the shoulder blades.

I usually do it in three or four places to make sure his coat isn't absorbing the liquid. If there is any liquid remaining in the pipette, empty it somewhere equally out of his reach, ie further down his back.

Following Dog Flea Treatment

Keep your Cocker Spaniel indoors until the medication is dry and has been absorbed by his skin otherwise he may rub it off after his first roll in the grass or the dirt.

It's what Cockers do, isn't it? 

So, bear in mind these points after you've given your dog flea treatment:

  • keep your pet out of water for a couple of days to allow the treatment to get into his system, even with alleged waterproof applications.

  • don't let your children stroke or pet the dog immediately after applying the medication, for obvious reasons,

  • always wash your hands thoroughly after applying flea treatment.

Summary: How to Get Rid of Fleas

After treating your dog for fleas, you may continue to see a few adult fleas as the immature forms continue to develop (unless you've used a treatment that halts this development).

In this case, continue bathing your boy and using the flea comb until you're certain that there are no more fleas or eggs present.

Once you've managed to get rid of these pesky critters, and you have the fleas under control, check your pet's coat often and keep a watchful eye open for tell-tale scratching.

You can always check your dog's coat each time you groom him

Continue using the preventative flea control each month to help keep him clear. You can pick up many effective flea treatments either online or in good pet stores.

Alternatively, your vet may prescribe something for you, or you can ask him about natural flea control if you prefer a more holistic approach.

Getting Rid Of Fleas In The House

Diagram of a dog flea, showing the hairs on their six legs. There is a green grass-like background to the photo.Removing dog fleas in the house

Unfortunately, getting rid of fleas on your dog is only the first step.

You'll also want to be certain that you get rid of fleas living in your home and prevent them from re-infesting your pet!

Learn how to banish those pesky parasites from your home...for good!

Photo credits for Get Rid of Fleas on your Dog:
1. Cosmin Manci at https://www.fotolia.com/id/30120482