What Common Home Pests Can Be a Problem for Your Dog

There are about 90 million dogs in the United States, this post examines the five most common house pests that are a nuisance for dogs.

 

By Guest Blogger, Laurel Tied

There are about 90 million dogs in the United States, of which about 63 million households own at least one dog. As man’s best friend, we enjoy the companion they give, and who’s to deny their lovable nature? However, as they explore their surroundings, there are millions of pests in nature that pose serious risks to them. From mild hair loss to diarrhea and even death, these pests can wreak serious havoc. That’s why keeping the population of pests in check is important. You can call Precise Exterminating if you need pest control services in Ohio.

This post examines the five most common house pests that are a nuisance for dogs.

  • Fleas

The flea is a wingless, hard-bodied insect that’s as tiny as a pencil’s tip. With their powerful legs, they can jump as high as 150 times their height. This makes it easy for them to attach to your dog when in proximity. Their narrow body makes it easy for them to navigate a dog’s fur. Since they love cool to warm temperatures, they can thrive inside your home and live up to 18 months on your dog’s body.

Once attached to a host, it’s mouthparts are used to suck the host’s blood. This may cause a variety of infections including anemia, flea allergic dermatitis, tapeworm, scratching, scabbing, and restlessness. Check out homepestcontrol.org for help getting rid of fleas and other pests.

  • Ticks

Ticks are also bloodsuckers, but they are more harmful than fleas because they spread bacteria and diseases from animal to animal. They are tiny arthropods that cannot fly or jump but can effectively crawl. This makes it harder for them to find a host, but once they do, they attach their mouthparts deeply into the skin and suck blood until they become engorged.

Some of the infections that may be caused by ticks include rocky mountain spotted fever (which causes depression, seizures, loss of appetite), canine hepatozoonosis (which causes diarrhea, lethargy, weight loss, and kidney failure), tick paralysis, piroplasmosis, and Lyme disease.

  • Heartworms

Mosquitoes are known to cause malaria in humans, however, they transmit heartworm larvae to dogs. Heartworms are one of the most dangerous internal parasites for dogs. Once the larvae get into the bloodstream, it finds its way to the dog’s heart where it grows to be about 9 to 16 inches long.

Heartworm disease can result in severe lung diseases, heart failure, and other organ damage if left untreated.

  • Mites

Mites are tiny arachnids that attach to the body of dogs. A small number of mites on a dog is harmless because the dog’s immune system keeps their population under control. However, when they proliferate, they can cause skin infections known as ‘mange’. Mange can result in hair loss, itching, scabbing (from itching), and bald spots.

There are two types of mange that affect dogs. Demodectic mange can spread over the entire pet’s body through a bacterial infection transmitted by the mite. On the other hand, Sarcoptic mange is more localized as the mite burrows into the dog’s skin at a specific area.

  • Intestinal Worms

These are internal parasites that dogs typically pick up from their environment, usually contaminated soil or infected feces. They may also be transmitted from mothers to their puppies. The most common ones are roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.

Typical symptoms of intestinal worms include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lethargy. However, it’s also possible that the dog shows no symptoms until the problem escalates.

Conclusion

Many of these infections cause serious discomfort for dogs and their treatment can be expensive. If left untreated, they can be deadly. That’s why the best course of action is prevention. Keeping a pest-free environment will ensure that your dog stays in good health.

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