Sand flea bites in dogs
We are still at that beautiful time of the year when we can take our dogs to the beach and lay all day in the sand, relaxed and chilled. There is nothing like spending a summer day on the beach, right?
However, there is a cloud to every silver lining… If you take your dog to the beach often or you live nearby, there is a good chance you are familiar with sand fleas.
Can dogs get bite by sand fleas?
Taking our dogs for a beach day requires some planning we are all familiar with. Taking sunscreen, water, food, and compostable dog poop bags, among others. However, there is a new essential item you must add to the list: Flea control.
Sand fleas bite both dogs and humans. The sand flea bites are similar to normal flea bites, and you can spot them on your dog’s skin as tiny black dots. They live on beaches, desert areas, and marshes, and they are often found in the U.S., and on the Atlantic coast of Africa. They can grow up to an inch in length, and their colors vary among black, grey, or greenish.
If untreated, sand fleas can cause:
- Rash (small clusters of bumps)
- Incessantly scratching
They are often confused with mosquitoes, sand flies, and chigoes (their bites are acute and cause severe pain). But actually, they are not even fleas. They are very small crustaceans that can be mistaken for flies.
How to avoid sand fleas?
Even though these fleas live in the sand, there is a good chance you can avoid them if you visit the beach around midday. Sand fleas like to go out at night, and they stay hidden during the day. Besides, sand fleas won’t live in your house, since they feed themselves with seaweed. Thus, it’s very likely you’ll find them when there is seaweed onshore.
If your dog has been bitten by a sand flea, don’t panic. Keep in mind that they are similar to regular flea bites and you won’t be taking them home with you. However, here are some home remedies you can try to make your pup feel better.
Ice cubes: you can apply small chunks of ice to avoid swelling.
Aloe vera and tea bags: thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action, aloe vera is one of the best remedies to fight allergies, flea bites, and infections.
- Vinegar: mixed with water, this solution will help you prevent infections.