Do You Have A Dog? Veterinarians Reveal The Truth About Dog Lice!

For people who are raising dogs, I’m sure that you know what dog lice are. However, you are really aware of the dangers coming from dog lice? If those small creatures are harmful to your children or not? This post will give you information that you need to know about them. Let’s check it out!

Dog lice? What are they?

Dog lice are parasitic insects that you can find on the skin of affected dogs. They feed themselves by sucking the blood from dogs or chewing the skin of the hosts so that why you will see your dogs scratch their skin to reduce the itchy feeling. Dog lice are not as common as fleas, and they just appear if you let your dogs be in poor sanitary condition

dog lice
Dog lice picture (Source: Internet)


Dog lice symptoms

There are some popular symptoms you will see if your dogs get lice on their bodies:

– Excessive scratching and itchiness

– Hair loss

– A dry scruffy-looking coat

– Anemia: particularly happens to puppies with severe infestation

– Skin inflammation

dog lice
Dog is getting itchiness (Source: Internet)

Types of lice

There are two types of lice living on dog’s body:

– Trichodectes canis also known as a chewing louse: it chews the skin of dog but likely it does not suck the blood of dog so it does not cause anemia.

– Linognathus setosus also known as a sucking louse: it chews the skin and sucks the blood of dog it is infesting.

These types of lice can be passed from one dog to others by physically contacting or through contaminated objects

Can lice live on human body?

This is one of the most questions that even pet owners always wonder. The answer is… No! Lice are species-specific. It means that they just live on 1 host in their lifespans. There is an interesting fact that within hours, a louse will die if it is not on the body of its host. So, if your child comes back home with lice on his or her head, you can understand that he or she did not get them from a dog, he or she probably got them from some other kids from school.

How to get rid of dog lice in the house?

I believe that if you are raising a dog, definitely you do not want your furry friend to get a parasitic infection such as lice. However, if your dog unfortunately has lice on its body, it will be fine after following these following instructions.


Why you need to determine? What should you determine? Well, “determining” here means that you should check if your dog has lice or not. If you see your dog scratching its skin, it may be not caused by lice.

– Look for symptoms: Lice cause itchiness, so you need to notice if you dog excessively scratches its skin. Also, you need to notice whether your dog has anemia because lice can bite and suck the blood of your dog

– Learn how lice look: Likewise lice on human head, lice on dog body are small species that can be seen by your naked eyes. They have 6 legs equipped with claws so that they can tightly cling to hair.

– Look for lice in the dog’s coat: Use a nit comb with very fine teeth to look for lice at your dog’s follicles. Lice attach their mates to hair shafts. If you look at your dog’s hair, you will see them look like tiny dots. Also, you may see several tiny glistening specks, they are the nits or eggs that lice laid onto the hair shafts. For a long time, these nits will grow up and become new lice.

dog lice
Check if your dog has lice or not (Source: Internet)

You have to notice that: lice do not have swings, so that they cannot jump like fleas. However, of course, it is not easy to catch them because they move so slow. Therefore, examining with a nit comb is really essential to show up the lice and their nits if you dog is infected.

Treating lice

Use a nit comb: Pick a nit comb to physically remove lice and nits by brushing. This option is 100% chemical-free, but its disadvantages are that it is really time consuming and, it requires a labor intensiveness. This way is suitable for short-haired breed like Chihuahua, but not ideal for a Bernese Mountain dog.

dog lice
Use a nit comb to brush your dog’s hair (Source: Internet)

You need to comb the entire body of your dog, especially focusing on some areas like ears, neck, armpits and groin. Furthermore, lice can cling to dog’s hair so tightly, so you should brush your dog’s hair daily with the nit comb. Why? Because you cannot remove all of the lice just once. Repeat this action for several weeks, about 4 to 6 weeks, to be sure that you clear up all the lice. Besides that, you can kill the lice you removed by put them in boiling water just for a few minutes.

– Shampoo your dog: Pick a flea shampoo to wash your dog because many flea shampoos contain  pyrethroids or organophosphates so they can help to fight against lice. However, when the shampoo is dry, it will not work anymore. Moreover, no shampoo can penetrate nits, so they can hatch out within 2 to 4 weeks. That is the reason why you have to weekly shampoo for at least 6 weeks.

It is essential that you have to read the instructions on the package of product carefully to make sure that you follow correctly what manufacturers say. You need to notice how long need to stay on the skin of your dog before rising off. Too short time cannot remove the lice, but too long time can damage the skin, so please be careful when using these products to avoid lacking effectiveness.

dog lice
A flea shampoo product (Source: Internet)

– Select insecticidal products: There are no parasitic goods that are allowed to use to kill lice on dog’s body. However, there are some products which are considered to be effective. These one include some ingredients such as fipronil, permethrin, phosmet, fenthion, and selamectin that can treat lice effectively.

– Treat all the dogs in your house: If you have more than one dogs, please check and treat for all of them to prevent the infection. Be diligent to treat all the dog with them same treatment in order that you will not have to see the small insects crawling around your beautiful houses.

– Keep your dogs quarantined: Because of the high infection of lice, it is important to prevent your dogs from living together in the same place. And to avoid the nasty infection, quarantine them for 4 weeks after treatment.

– Clean all items of your dog: One thing you should notice is cleaning all of items that your dogs used. You can wash the items and bed of your dog by using hot water to protect your dog from  reinfection. Also, please remember to disinfect brush and comb after using by immersing these items in hot water during a period of 10 minutes.

– Clean your house: It is also required to clean up your house by steam cleaning. This choice is suitable for soft furnishings and carpets because adult lice are not really hard. On the other hand, nits and eggs are more stubborn. Therefore, to deal with them, you must wait until they hatch and become vulnerable lice, then use a steam cleaner again to kill them.

dog lice
A specific steam cleaner (Source: Internet)

If you do not have a steam cleaner, it is fine to use environmental spray products such as Nuvan Staykill, Acclaim, or RIP Fleas. They are produced to kill fleas, eggs and larvae. These products can be persistent for several months, so they can eliminate hatching eggs with only one treatment. Nevertheless, these ones are strong chemical products so you should not use in the room where there are birds or fish because the chemicals in these products can poison these creatures, and maybe kill them.

In addition, it is difficult to predict when nits and eggs will hatch, so you need to clean your house regularly. Keep your house and the living condition of your dog in a sanitary environment because lice just thrive in dirty conditions.

If you cannot follow these directions, you can take your dog to the vet’s so that the veterinarians there can check the condition of your dog and find the right way to treat them well. Anyway, hope that this post can help you have more suggestions to find out the measures to remove dog lice on your dog. Thanks for reading!

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