More than a quarter of a million dogs are allergic to fleas

Table of Contents



What is a flea allergy?

What is Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)?

How to treat Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD):

How to prevent fleas:

Do fleas cause your pooch more hassle than just a bit of itching and scratching? Well if so, it’s a high chance they are having an allergic reaction. According to ESCCAP, (European Scientific Counsel Companion Parasites) just over 265,000 dogs are allergic to fleas*. Don’t panic though, we have all the information you need to gear up and fight those fleas, just keep reading!


Before you dive into the flea world, if you need a crash course on fleas, knowing how to spot them and key signs of an infestation - check out our guide here and then come back to read all the juicy info below.

What is a flea allergy?

As flea bites can cause discomfort to all animals, it’s probably best we get to the nitty gritty of what it means to be allergic to fleas. If your dog is just scratching after being bit and rolling around to get rid of the fleas - it is likely they are not allergic. However, if your pet has signs of alopecia, broken hairs, papules or excessive biting, licking and scratching the skin then they could be allergic to fleas. This allergic reaction is called Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD).

What is Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)?

Flea Allergy Dermatitis is your pet’s immune system overreacting to the flea saliva (from the flea bite) and causing intense scratching. FAD is common in both dogs and cats but their symptoms can show up in different ways. Dogs with FAD tend to scratch, bite and lick their backs, tails, and legs. This can result in redness and inflammation in these areas, with possibly patches of hair loss. Cats with FAD scratch their upper body, at their ears, head, neck, and back. This tends to lead to deep wounds in their skin, especially behind the ears. Symptoms often last around 2 weeks, if you suspect your pet is suffering, contact a vet. 

How to treat Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD):

If your pet is showing signs of FAD, book an appointment with your vet. They can prescribe your pooch anti-inflammatory medication to treat the problem straight away. With this, your vet might also recommend a natural and safe shampoo that helps reduce infection from any scratching and open wounds. 

The best way to treat FAD proactively, is to prevent those pesky fleas from biting your dog in the first place. Spot on treatments that you apply routinely can allow complete and strict flea control by preventing fleas from attacking your pet regularly. The Itch Flea treatment for Dogs kills adult fleas within 24 hours and halts all other flea life stages in their tracks (plus it also kills ticks and lice). Through the Itch subscription service, your dog can receive monthly flea treatment through the post to ensure FAD never flares up!

How to prevent fleas:

We got you if you need to treat fleas on your pet, but wouldn't it be nice to say NO to having fleas in the first place? Here's our tips on how to prevent fleas:

  • Use preventative treatments

    Spot on treatments or oral medication can prevent fleas from jumping on your pets whatever the weather.

  • Regular grooming

    Brushing your dog at least once a week helps to keep your them clean and healthy but also gives you chance to spot any fleas early on.

  • Cleaning

    Wash your dog’s bedding, blankets, and any fabric items they use in water at least 60°C to eliminate flea eggs and larvae.

  • Limited exposure to infested areas

    If you let your dog anywhere that fleas may be present, such as a garage or basement, consider limiting their access or regularly treating these areas for fleas with a repellent spray like the Itch Flea Home Spray.

  • Monitor outdoor activity

    When you take your pooch on a walk, be vigilant about where they roam. Try to avoid areas with known flea infestations, and always check your pet for fleas after you’ve been outside!

Where we got the facts from:

* ESCCAP, 2016,

Get rid of fleas, ticks AND lice... and stop them coming back!

Fleas, ticks and lice can be a nightmare, but with the right approach, you can take control and rid your pets and home of these bothersome pests. Remember that parasites can be persistent, so patience and regular treatment will be your best friends! By addressing both your pet and their environment, you can ensure a flea-free and comfortable living space for both your furry companion and your family.



Fancy some more?

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