You may, as a child, have been familiar with head lice, yet can dogs get lice? uncover out just how lice top top dogs space treated and prevented to save your pooch itch-free.

Your dog’s scratching can be more than simply a seasonal itch. You might be acquainted with head lice in humans, yet can dogs acquire lice too? Yep! Lice on dogs room slightly different from the kind of lice uncovered in humans, yet the an outcome is relatively the same: itchiness and discomfort.

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Lice on dogs are not the most usual infestation, but it can happen. Therefore what are dog lice, and how the hell did they finish up on her dog?

What space Dog Lice?


Lice room tiny flightless insects, also called a louse. They are only around 2-4 mm in size, so they space very little but still clearly shows to the naked eye. Generally tan or brown, lice are regularly mistaken for tiny fleas, yet they space a little tougher to get rid of than fleas.

Louse connect themselves come the hair, fur, or feathers of an animal. They have hooked claws that permit them come hook right into the follicle of the hair or hair, making that very challenging to detach them.

There are a pair of varieties of dog lice. Both type of lice reason itchiness and discomfort that will increase if the lice room not treated.

Chewing Louse

The an initial is referred to as a chewing louse. Despite there room two types of chewing lice because that dogs, one is hardly ever seen outside of tropic regions, therefore it’s unlikely that we’ll check out them often in Canada, yet they might be found in warmer and an ext humid parts of the US. The types of dog lice are found worldwide, and also the many likely type of lice in Canada is called Trichodectes canis.

Chewing lice frequently live on their host for up to 30 days by feeding top top the host’s dead skin cells and also skin secretions. They have the right to feed and reproduce conveniently in together a fertile environment.

Sucking Louse

The second and slightly much more intimidating kind of lice is referred to as the suck louse. This louse feeds ~ above the blood that the host. Suck lice bite the skin, burrowing your pincher-like mouths right into the skin. Their clinical name is Linognathus setosus.

These small vampires damage the skin more quickly than chewing lice, for this reason unchecked infestations deserve to quickly cause larger issues. Fortunately, this form of louse is also really uncommon in Canada. They call for a more tropical climate to thrive.

Dog Lice Life Cycle

Like fleas, lice have three life stages: eggs, nymphs, and adults. Eggs, likewise called nits, space layed and glued to the basic of the hair follicle, do them an overwhelming to detach. Lice eggs room lighter in colour, regularly white or yellow, for this reason they space usually mistaken for dandruff.

In about a week, the eggs will hatch right into nymphs. Nymphs space very small and lot harder come spot than a full-grown adult. At this stage, you can not notice them at every if it no for her dog’s reaction come this itch-causing pest.

It will certainly take one more week or two prior to the nymphs reach adult maturity. In ~ this point, castle are prepared to reproduce and start laying their eggs. Lice have the right to lay eggs daily, which means infestations the go untreated can reason an exceedingly uncomfortable and unpleasant instance for her dog.

Dog Lice VS Fleas: what’s the Difference

Both of these pests can opportunistically plant themselves on your dog and wreak destruction in comparable ways. It can be daunting to tell the difference between the two, but there room noticeable differences. Informing these two apart can aid you select the correct therapy and assist prevent these pests from returning.

There space 3 main behaviours and also attributes we have the right to look at to aid differentiate in between fleas and lice.

1. Eggs

Adult fleas and also lice are comparable in size and also colour, so at a glance, they deserve to be difficult to identify from each other. Eggs, on the other hand, are various in both appearance and also behaviour.

Flea eggs space usually pale in color and very small, despite they have the right to be spotted in swarm a small easier. However, the main reason the flea eggs aren’t frequently noticed is the the eggs are not attached to your dog, therefore they usually finish up fall off and completing their advance in bordering carpets or bedding.

Lice eggs, ~ above the other hand, are often white or yellowish. Even though they room no bigger than flea eggs, your brighter colour makes them a little easier to spot. Past colour, lice eggs room glued to individual strands of hair after they space layed so the these eggs will continue to be firmly planted on her dog.

2. Pest Debris

With any kind of pest infestation, girlfriend are much more likely to notice evidence the the bugs prior to you see the bugs themselves. This is another means to call fleas and also lice apart.

Fleas leave behind debris - poop, to it is in precise. Therefore what you will do it likely notice is small black peppery-specs dubbed flea dirt. Lice carry out not leaving behind the very same waste product, so the an initial visual cue is your eggs.

3. Mobility

Another huge difference in between the 2 pests is exactly how they move approximately your dog’s body, or in the instance of lice, nothing move. Lice room much much less mobile 보다 fleas because they must stay top top the hold to finish their life cycle.

Fleas don’t have to confine us to her dog, i beg your pardon is why dealing with fleas involves treating your home as well. Despite flightless prefer lice, fleas have the right to jump, making it less complicated for lock to spread out much faster than lice.

How Did your Dog acquire Lice?


Lice spread out from host to host and are normally species-specific, so her dog likely got lice from another dog. Lice prosper in unhealthy environments, definition that lice usually strike weakened, sick, old, or dirty dogs.

Lice are much more common in stray dogs, dog living in poor conditions, or those with compromised immune systems. The skin in all of these cases will have the most debris and also secretions to feeding the lice.

Can Dogs gain Lice from Humans

As we proclaimed earlier, most lice space species-specific, meaning the form of lice that connect themselves to dog is a different types than feast top top humans. Fortunately, this way that if girlfriend or your youngsters get head lice, girlfriend don’t have to worry about passing that to your pooch, or evil versa.

Additionally, you don’t need to worry about your dog gaining lice from any animals outside the Canis genus, which means canines. Common dog lice in north America epidemic wolves, coyotes, and foxes however won’t pursue cats, rodents, or birds.

This also way that the therapies for the two room different. So please, don’t usage lice shampoo for people on your dog, as few of the ingredients might be harmful or toxic.

How to Tell If your Dog has actually Lice


Identifying lice is the an initial step in treatment. Because some of the symptom of dog lice are so similar to other pests and also even other skin conditions, lice are often misidentified. It’s important to determine lice symptom on dogs, but you likewise need to recognize what lice look like at each stage to aid you spot these pesky bugs in the act.

Symptoms that Lice ~ above Dogs

Like fleas and ticks, lice irritate your dog’s skin and coat, therefore you will certainly often an alert the symptoms of this pests before you watch the pests themselves. Right here are a few things that may an outcome from a dog lice infestation:

Dry, Cull Coat

Because usual chewing lice feed on skin cells and other skin secretions, they deserve to leave her dog’s skin and coat feeling dry and also scruffy. In addition, the longer the lice feast on her dog’s secretions, the much more depleted they will certainly leave her dog’s herbal oils that condition his skin and also coat.


It"s organic for dog to scratch, but excessive scratching is the an initial sign the there may be a pest living on your dog. Itchiness is a common symptom of numerous skin and also coat, pests, and even allergies or cradle problems. If her dog is itchier than normal, then it’s a great idea to perform a physics examination v a flea comb prior to trying much more general skin and coat solutions.

Behavioural Changes

Being itchy all the moment would drive you a small nutty too. If her dog is dealing with lice, he could be a little an ext grumpy, restless, or anxious. These symptoms are frequently missed, but when linked with other symptoms, they could be a good indicator the your dog has actually some undesirable guests.


Lice egg are generally mistaken for dandruff, i beg your pardon is why it often gets mistreated, enabling the problem to obtain worse. Also though nits are much smaller than full-grown lice, they are still visible. You might see what looks prefer white sand sprinkled on her dog’s fur.

One easy method to view if you room looking in ~ dandruff or lice is to brush lock out with a flea comb. If the white specs remain put, then they are most likely lice eggs. If they come out v the comb, it’s more likely dandruff.

Fur Loss

Though you may see fully patches or fur thinning on dogs v lice, the lice themselves space not responsible, yet rather her dog’s scratching and also excessive organize to try to curb the itch and discomfort. Outright patches indicate that your dog is focusing on one area the is causing discomfort, which means it’s finest to start in search of lice in the bordering hair.

Hot Spots

Another an additional symptom that lice, your dog’s scratching, licking, and also biting, can lead to open up sores that acquire infected. These are referred to as hot spots. They are typically tiny circular rashes that room red, inflamed, and sometimes have actually pus or scabs. Hot spots need to be treated individually from the lice as they won’t simply go away after the lice have actually been eliminated.

Tape Worms

Much like various other pests, lice can lug tapeworms that deserve to transfer to your pet. This happens once your pet ingests the hold - in this case, lice - and the tapeworm sets up shop in your dog’s digestive system.

Dog Lice Treatment


All right, so friend spotted the signs and also found irrefutable proof of lice on your dog. Therefore what can you perform to eliminate these pesky intruders? Indeed, lice no the most usual pest in dogs, yet just like any other infestation, it’s best to eliminate the bugs as easily as possible.

What death Dog Lice

The good news is that treating lice in dog is not dissimilar to treating fleas or ticks. Topical treatments that kill fleas or inhibit egg advancement also job-related for lice.

Insecticides supplied in flea and also tick treatments will target the pest’s concerned system, killing both adolescent and adult fleas, ticks, and also other invasive pests quickly and also efficiently. Energetic ingredients to look because that include:


Take note - most insecticides are safe to use externally and also in little doses, however they have the right to be attention if used improperly. Permethrin is a synthetic and also concentrated form of pyrethrin and also is no recommended because that cats.

This method that you have to be mindful of the type of treatment you use on your dog if you also have a cat in your home. Cats often tend to groom their doggy friends, so also if you just use the dog pest therapy on your dog, the is possible that her cat can be exposed.

The other fifty percent of flea and tick therapies are expansion inhibitors. This ingredients will avoid the eggs from developing and also hatching. Without expansion inhibitors, flea and tick drugs will only be a short-lived reprieve, and the infestation and discomfort will certainly come ago once the egg hatch. Here are a few ingredients you can see.


Does Dog Shampoo get rid of Dog Lice

Bathing your dog might knock a few of the lice loose but might not be a permanent solution to your dog’s lice problem. Plenty of medicated shampoos can assist to minimize the itch temporarily, yet without one insecticide or other pest-killing ingredient, continual dog shampoo will be ineffective.

A good flea and also tick shampoo, like this one native Zodiac, will certainly contain the same or comparable ingredients to the subject treatments, so a rapid flea bath can aid get rid the lice. However, shampoos frequently require much more than one treatment to guarantee that all lice and eggs have actually been eliminated.

Dog Lice Treatment house Remedies

Sometimes every the chemicals can seem scary, particularly if you have a multiple pets household and are concerned about cross-contamination. The good news is the natural options can help get rid the lice top top dogs.

Keep in mind, prefer most herbal alternatives, these options may not job-related as effectively as several of the harsher chemistry options. This doesn’t typical they i will not ~ work; the just method you have to be much more diligent in your therapy to certain you eliminate the infestations.

Here room two commodities that you deserve to use come delouse her itchy doggo naturally:

Diatomaceous Earth

This white powder deserve to be applied topically to her pet to death hatched lice. The fine white flour is soft in structure to you and your dog, however to a 2mm bug, diatomaceous earth is sharp enough to puncture the external layer the the lices’ body, which pipeline them unable to retain moisture. In time, they dehydrate and also die off.

This is a very safe means to eliminate infestations, however this organic remedy does have actually its downsides. First, diatomaceous earth can’t kill eggs, therefore you have to reapply the flour to eliminate lice as they hatch. Additionally, the lice need to come in direct contact with the powder, so you have to thoroughly coat her dog to ensure that you don’t miss lice that might be hiding in her dog’s nooks and crannies.

Lastly, dusting your dog in powder is messy. Not just will her dog be dusty, yet he’ll likely leave a trace in your home. The flour will need to be reapplied after getting wet too.

Diatomaceous planet has numerous applications. Uncover out an ext about Diatomaceous earth for Dogs.

Coconut Oil

Omg, carry out we love coconut oil, yet can it really eliminate lice? The answer is a hard probably. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has actually antiparasitic properties that deserve to be effective versus lice and also fleas. Coconut oil deserve to be used topically to address hatched fleas and to aid soothe itchy skin and also irritation.

Its antibacterial properties can additionally be effective in treating hot spots or sores that have actually resulted from her dog’s extreme scratching, licking, and also biting. Finest of all, coconut oil is for sure to ingest, so girlfriend don’t need to be concerned about your dog licking areas that girlfriend have used coconut oil to.

According to a examine done on human head lice, coconut oil to be 80% efficient at killing the lice. It had actually the greatest success prices of any kind of natural treatments.

Check the end Benefits that Coconut Oil because that Dogs for more info around using coconut to defend your dog.


How to prevent Dog Lice

Like any kind of pests, avoidance is constantly easier than treatment. Fortunately, lice are not super usual in trained dogs. Still, it’s crucial to understand what procedures you have the right to take come limit her dog’s exposure and make his human body an undesirable environment for lice to affix themselves.

The very first and most essential factor in avoiding lice infestations is maintaining your dog healthy and also clean. Dogs living in filthy environments, prefer strays, and also sick dogs, space the most most likely to entice lice.

Keep your pet healthy and balanced by feeding a high-quality diet and having regular vet checks done. If her dog is showing any type of signs that illness, friend should contact your vet immediately.

Additionally, since lice happen from canine to canine, the is best to save your dog from communicating with strays or wildlife that may be transporting these pests.

Flea and Tick treatments for Dog Lice

One the the most reliable lice repellants techniques for dogs is the same treatment supplied to death the pests. These treatments space usually both insect killers and prevention techniques when supplied properly. Below are some of our height flea and tick treatments that can aid to stop lice and other insect infestations.


Each dose of these commodities provides defense for one month at a time, permitting you to go about your daily activities knowing the your dog is defended from any pests that might be lurking.

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Natural Lice Repellant for Dogs

Other preventative approaches involve making use of pest driving away ingredients. Bug repellents because that humans have the right to be really harmful to dogs, for this reason stick to bug repellants designed for dogs, or make your very own using natural pest repellant ingredients.

These won’t necessarily death lice or other pests, however they will make the setting of her dog’s body less desirable and also reduce the danger of infestation. Right here are a few insect fending off ingredients that can help tell lice come buzz off:

CitronellaLemonLavenderTea Tree OilApple Cider Vinegar

Has her dog ever had the misfortune of gaining lice? permit us know your story, tips, and successes in the comment below!