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Why Is My Dog Still Scratching After Flea Drops?

Applying topical flea drops to your canine friend may not stop his scratching if the dosage is wrong; if other pets and the environment, both indoors and outdoors, have fleas; or if your pet is sensitive to flea bites. Follow all directions on the flea-drop package and repeat the process at the correct intervals to keep your dog flea free.


Scratching After Flea Drops


Weight and Dosage

Topical flea drops are packaged according to dog weight. Your dog will be protected from fleas only if he receives the correct dosage. Weigh yourself on a bathroom scale, then weigh yourself holding your dog. Subtract the first result from the second to weigh your dog. Weigh your dog regularly; he may gain or lose a few pounds and need a larger or smaller dosage.


Product Dilution

Topical flea medications sink into the skin and distribute themselves throughout your entire pet to kill fleas. Bathing your dog often or allowing him to play in the rain or to swim often can dilute the product so it isn’t as effective. The best idea is to bathe your dog no more than once a month, allow him to dry completely, and then apply the topical flea killer.


Other Pets

Households with multiple pets need to treat all pets at the same time. Use flea drops specifically designed for the type of animal you have — don’t use canine topical substances on cats, for instance, to prevent toxicity and serious illness.


Cleaning House

If flea eggs in your home hatch, they can reinfest your dog. Insecticides with insect growth regulators can break the flea cycle and kill all stages of the fleas in your home. It is best to treat the inside of your home on the same day you apply flea drops. Routine washing of your pets’ bedding, and cleaning floors and promptly disposing of the vacuum bag or emptying the canister, can help eradicate household fleas.


Outdoor Treatment

A flea-free pet can carry in fleas from outdoors in your yard. Fleas like tall grass, leaves and brush. Clean these items up and dispose of them. Keep outdoor garbage cans out of the reach of flea carrying varmits, such as rodents and raccoons. Treat your lawn with an insecticide that contains IGR to delete all the fleas from outdoors.


Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Some dogs are very allergic to the saliva of fleas when they bite. It only takes one bite to send a dog with flea allergy dermatitis into a scratching frenzy. Signs of this allergy include red skin, generalized hair loss over the body, hot spots and scabs from scratching. If you see these signs when your dog is scratching, take him to your veterinarian for a course of treatment.


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