can dogs get lice

Can Dogs Get Lice?

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Lice, together with mites, fleas, ticks, and warms, is a parasite your dog can have. Even though it is highly unusual, your dog can suffer from lice. This parasite is known as ‘canine pediculosis’.

How to tell if my dog has lice?

Lice and fleas have similar symptoms, so they can often be confused with each other. The main difference between lice and fleas is that when your dog gets the former, you will probably find nits all over his hair. Just like in humans, lice are oviparous and reproduce themselves through nits. Female lice lay about 4 eggs a day, so they do it pretty fast.

Prevention is key. Check your pup for lice regularly and make sure not to share combs or brushes with other dogs. Besides, you can use Mokai’s antiseptic line of shampoo, spray, and wipes to provide deep cleansing while stopping the itching and helping control irritation.

Can dogs get lice from people? And viceversa?

Lice are species-specific. This means they don’t transfer from one species to another. Besides, each kind of lice needs a certain temperature to thrive. So, dogs get lice from dogs. If your dog is infested, don’t panic: he won’t be passing his lice on to you.

However, dog lice are very similar to human lice, and they look pretty much the same. A louse is about 2 to 4 mm in length, and nits are even smaller than that. They can easily be mistaken with dirt, dandruff, or flakes. Hence, they can be difficult to notice until an advanced infestation.


As we’ve mentioned before, lice can cause very similar symptoms to other parasites. However, the main difference is that they are not disease carriers, as it’s the case with fleas and ticks.

  • Itchiness
  • Dry or rough coat
  • Hair loss
  • Small skin wounds (caused by the lice bites)
can dogs get lice

Even though lice are pretty distressing and irritating, they don’t represent a serious hazard to dogs’ health, considering they don’t spread diseases. However, in puppies, lice can cause anemia, so you need to be careful and check for infestations often.

Lice treatment is effective and harmless. It can usually be treated at home and includes dog collars, pesticides, and flea combs to remove the nits. However, if the infestation continues, you should consult with your nearest vet.

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