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Can Dogs Get Lice?


Yes, dogs get lice. It is a different lice than humans get, and much easier to treat. The good thing is that the dog lice are not transferable to humans. These lice are species specific therefore you, your children, and your cat can’t get lice from your canine companion. A person with lice (of human form) can’t pass these to their dog. Dog lice are almost motionless, whereas, human lice crawl fast. The human form of lice likes clean hair and the coat of dog is not clean enough for the human form of lice to live on.

  • Symptoms of Dog Lice

Some symptoms seen in the infested dogs include:

  • Excessive scratching and itchiness
  • A dry scruffy-looking coat
  • Hair loss, most often around the neck, ears, groin, shoulders, and rectal area
  • Anemia, particularly in small dogs and particularly with severe infestation
  • Causes of Dog Lice

Mainly two species of lice infest dogs. These lice species are:

  1. Trichodectes Canis– It is also known as a chewing louse because it chews the skin of the dog it is infesting
  2. Linognathus Setosus– It is a sucking louse and it sucks the blood of the dog instead of chewing its skin

These lice can be directly passed from one canine to another through contact with contaminated objects such as dog bedding or grooming kits, or direct contact.

  • Diagnosis of Dog Lice

Diagnosis of lice can be easily made by visually observing these or their eggs in the hair of dog. Adult lice are six-legged, flat insects with no wings. Their eggs can be seen attached to the dog’s hair shafts and appear as small white dots.

  • Treatment for Dog Lice

There are a wide variety of shampoos, as well as insecticidal powders and sprays that are effective in killing lice. Some good products that can give permanent relief from the lice are:

It is necessary to treat your canine companion more than once in order to kill the developing nits (eggs) as they hatch. In case the fur of your dog is badly matted, it may be necessary to shave it to be assured of getting to the deeper lice and their eggs. In order to prevent re-infection of lice, you should dispose of or wash all of the beddings of your dog, as well as you should thoroughly clean all of the places where your dog spends time.

Proper grooming is essential for lice free dog coatPurchase advance grooming kits for your dog

Some items that can’t be washed down or laundered may be sealed tightly in the plastic bags for a few weeks. In addition to this, you should disinfect all the grooming kits or utensils and anything else your dog comes into contact with regularly, such as crates, and all of the furniture, carpets, rugs and hard flooring.


Shikha Sharma believes that Mother Earth is our mutual abode, where all creatures have an equal right to live with dignity. This belief is clearly reflected in her wonderful writing pieces that revolve around animals and their well-being. She is the blog editor of Pets World.

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