Chihuahua Flea Treatment and Prevention

If you see a flea on your Chihuahua, it's important to take immediate action to treat and prevent them from coming back. Although they are most commonly found in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, dog and cat fleas can still be found year-round in warmer regions of the U.S. The problem is that many owners don't even know their Chihuahua has fleas until an infestation has begun. Their small size and stealth-like behavior allows them to go unnoticed while they feast on the blood of your tiny canine companion. Here we'll take a look at some of the most effective ways to both treat and prevent fleas in your Chihuahua.

Flea Diagram

Illustrated Flea Diagram

Many Chihuahua owners are under the assumption that there's only a single type of flea. The truth is, however, that there are over 2,000 species worldwide, 200 of which are located inhabit the U.S. While they may look and act the same, there are some distinct differences between the species. No matter what type of flea is infesting your Chihuahua, you need to treat them in a timely manner; otherwise, they will reproduce and grow to numbers that are difficult to control.

Think you know everything about fleas? Think again. Take a look at some of these interesting statistics and facts about fleas:

  • Prehistoric fossils reveal fleas to have been around 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.
  • A single female can leave over 2,000 eggs in their lifetime.
  • The average flea will bite into their host several hundred times a day. If a Chihuahua is infested with just 10 fleas, that's thousands of bites each day!
  • Fleas prefer warmer temperatures, but they can still live in near-freezing regions when necessary.
  • Fleas live approximately 3 months before dying.
  • Because of their powerful back legs, fleas can launch over 10 inches into the air, which is why they are so difficult to pick off a small Chihuahua.
Danger Sign

Danger Sign

Why Fleas are Dangerous To Chihuahuas

Unfortunately, a lot of owners brush off a flea infestation as something that's minor and not of a serious concern. While it may only look like it causes an occasional itching, fleas are much more troubling. Fleas are considered parasites because they bite into their host (your Chihuahua) to drink their blood, which they typically do about 300-400 times per day. As a result of being constantly bitten throughout the day, some Chihuahuas will obsessively lick and clean themselves to try and eliminate their fleas, but this usually doesn't work. An infested Chihuahua will remain covered in fleas until the owner steps in to remove them.

To make matters worse, some Chihuahuas are allergic to the saliva in fleas' mouths, which causes them to chew and scratch the hair off their body. In some of the more severe cases, Chihuahuas will even chew the skin off their body, leaving open wounds that are susceptible to infection. In addition to traditional flea treatments, you'll have to place a cone over your Chihuahua to keep them from causing further injury to their body.

Possibly the most serious issue associated with fleas is their ability to transmit harmful parasites and diseases, such as Rickettsia typhi, Bartonella hensalae, hemoplasmas, Flea Tyhus and even the Bubonic Plague! Some of these harmful pathogens are even transmittable to humans, so keep your Chihuahua out of your bed if they're infested with fleas.

Flea Under Microscope

Flea Under Microscope

Treating Your Chihuahua's Fleas

The first step in treating fleas in your Chihuahua is to understand and identify their breeding grounds. If you see fleas on your Chihuahuas skin, they're probably burrowed in other parts of your home, and it's up to you to find out where. Think about where your dog spends their time napping and resting and clean these areas. If your Chihuahua has a bed or crate filled with blankets, take these items out and wash them using warm water and a small amount of bleach. Also, it's not uncommon for fleas to lay their eggs in the carpet and on rugs. When your Chihuahua has a flea infestation, try to get into the habit of vacuuming the floors daily to help remove eggs that could possibly be lingering there.

Giving your Chihuahua plenty of baths is also helpful in reducing the amount of fleas and flea eggs infesting their body. Don't just use any dog shampoo, but instead look for one that's made specifically to treat fleas in small dogs. Hertz sells a couple different products that many owners have had success using. Just be sure to follow the directions step-by-step to ensure your Chihuahua is safe and comfortable during their bath. As you bath them in the water, it's also a good idea to keep a cup of soapy warm water nearby to place any fleas you pick off your Chihuahua in. The soapy water should drown them, as they won't be able to jump out.

When your Chihuahua is done bathing and you've given them plenty of time to dry off, you should go over their coat with a flea comb. These combs and can be purchased from most major pet stores for as little as $5 bucks and are designed to pull out both fleas and their eggs. Just keep another cup of warm soapy water nearby and occasionally dip the comb in it to remove any fleas you've picked off them.

If you want to go one step further, you can fill a spray bottle with a mixture of vinegar and water and spray your Chihuahua's coat down with it. The highly acidic content of vinegar won't bother your Chihuahua (just keep it out of their eyes), but fleas seem to hate it.

Severe Flea Infestations

Depending on how severe your Chihuahua's flea infestation is, using the traditional methods listed above mat not be enough. If you can't seem to get rid of all their fleas, or if they come back in a few days, you'll need to take a different approach to these treating these horrific parasites. Hands down, one of the strongest and most effective flea medicines for dogs is a product called Frontline. According to their official website, Frontline is also the #1 choice of flea and tick treatment by veterinarians. So, why is this product so popular and effective? Unlike other flea medications, Frontline kills fleas at all stages of their life (eggs, larvae, pupae). Once it's applied to their skin, it will begin to kill the fleas in as little as 12 hours.

References:

PedMD Fleas

Frontline.com




21 Responses to “Chihuahua Flea Treatment and Prevention”

  1. Donna Granger says:

    I have a long hair apple head chihuahua she is allergic to any that has to do with flea medicine. I bathed her in dawn killed some but she still has them. How oftem should I bathe her to get em cotrolled??Help please!!

    • Lorraine Davis says:

      I have 2 short haired chi’s i made a mixture of dawn soap w baking soda then acv (apple cider vinegar) with garlic cloves soaking in over their bodies while the dawn soap mixture is still on their coat. Yes it sizzles but instantly killed the fleas. Let them sit for a few mins while rubbing their coats and combing it with flea the comb. Then i put them in to another basin and rinse them off with warm water. I dry off excess water. While a little wet i apply skin so soft from Avon products (the original oil) to their coats and it dries with their coats. It’s been keeping them flea free since I’ve been doing this for about a yr now. I bathe them now 3x a month the 1st, 15th & 30th. Use to be 2x 1st & the 15th. My area is fill of fleas so i do it 3x now and treat outside our home. Don’t saturate the oil i put it on them like you do flea treatments. From the shoulders to the tip of the but. Also behind the ear and tail tip its just oil, not too much tho. Fleas hate garlic, you can crush garlic in their foods too not to often tho.

  2. JUDI NETO says:

    I want to know if flea meds are safe for a 6.5 lb CHIHUAHUA? When I rescued her she was wearing a flea collar.
    They sell it from 4lbs to 8 lbs I think K9advantix II
    I dont think there are,any ticks where we live.

    • Julie Hughes says:

      I am wondering the same thing. I jave a tea cup chihuahua and she probably doesnt each weigh enough for most flea products. I am very converened about using flea killing sprays because lets face it, its a posion to kill the fleas but what about the dog inhaling it and being absorbed into their pores. Can’t be healthy right? After just reading the artical about fleas and chihuahuas i admit using a spray bottle with vingar and water ( I’m assuming half/half solution) after a flea bath sounds so much more safer. Instead of poisonous flea sprays and dips. Any one eles have any non doggy posions methods to keeping fleas off our little ones? Oh, amd I’ve also heard fleas don’t like peppermint oil.

  3. Adrienne says:

    Dawn dish soap does work but what’s on your pet is only 10% of the population of fleas. The rest are in your house. I have 5 cats and 2 dogs(1 being a chihuahua) and they are infested. I’m even getting bitten. I called a groomer and she recommended a collar called Seresto. You can also get nematodes from arbico organics to help in your yard. As for the house…find a pest control company that treats for fleas.

  4. Corrisa says:

    I used gain dish soap and it worked wonders!

  5. Lois says:

    I find that fleas hate ivory soap dish washing liquid, they actually jump off. The chihuahua is so small but we use Hartz ultra every 2 weeks to keep it under control.

  6. tammy says:

    dawn dishsoap is a wonderful method for killing fleas immediately on dogs, sadly though it doesnt do anything after the bath. the fleas jump right back on. this year i have tried every natural remedy and nothing is working so we have decided to go chemical. which scares the living life out of me. but my poor chihuahua/boston terrier is just misserable. so we are gonna give advantix II for small dogs a try. lets hope for some good results. if anyone has tried this medicine on their small dog please let me know how it worked. thank you everyone.

    • Katherine says:

      Hello Tammy,
      I’ve had dogs all my life and have never seen a poor little chihuahua in misery. We have two cats, two dogs. My chihuahua has tried everything. Advantage for 5 months, did not work at all. Frontline now 3 months, very little change. I think she has one in her ears but I can’t see it. Bombed our house indoor. Sprayed the back yard, etc. different shampoos, a naturaI mix I got off the Internet. wonder why this medicine does not work on her? What are we to do?

      • Gary says:

        I’ve only ever needed to use Frontline on my chi and it works completely. If it is not working for you then I suggest that you contact the manufacturer for further advice. I have sought extra info from them in Australia and they have been really helpful.

        In my experience there should be no need to bomb the house or spray anywhere — using Frontline is enough. As eggs in your carpet hatch the fleas jump on your dog and die — pretty soon no fleas anywhere. If it’s not working then you must be doing something to stop if from working — are you washing your dog too soon after application?

  7. Shelley says:

    My teacup chihuahua keeps getting fleas I have to bathe him every 2-3 days with dawn is there a pill or shot for little ☕️? Thanks

  8. Kris says:

    Can someone please tell me what flea medicine I could use for 2 lb chi. They all say 3 lbs and up

  9. Shelaina says:

    Dawn dish soap with tea tree oil works wonders!! Just keep out of eyes. Drops fleas immediately.

    • Gina says:

      Its crazy how this dosh soap DAWN works !!! They basically just start dying an running off my new puppy with the water! A couple of more bath an I should be at peace an know his clear

    • Lorraine says:

      What is the recipe or quantity used? Do you use Dawn as a carrier for tea tree oil?

      Thank you

    • Reese says:

      Its this method only safe with the Dawn brand? Would another brand be harmful?

    • Becky says:

      In what parts do you mix it in? My dog weighs about 4lbs. The tea tree oil and Dawn?

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