You may, as a son, have been acquainted via head lice, however can dogs gain lice? Find out exactly how lice on dogs are treated and prevented to store your pooch itch-complimentary.

Your dog’s scratching could be more than simply a seasonal itch. You might be familiar with head lice in humans, however deserve to dogs gain lice too? Yep! Lice on dogs are slightly various from the form of lice uncovered in people, yet the result is fairly the same: itchiness and also discomfort.

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Lice on dogs are not the the majority of prevalent infestation, however it can take place. So what are dog lice, and also how the heck did they finish up on your dog?

What are Dog Lice?


Lice are tiny flightmuch less insects, also dubbed a louse. They are only around 2-4 mm in dimension, so they are very little yet still visible to the naked eye. Generally tan or brvery own, lice are frequently mistaken for tiny frental fees, yet they are a little bit tougher to eliminate than frental fees.

Lousage affix themselves to the hair, fur, or feathers of an pet. They have hooked clegislations that allow them to hook right into the follicle of the hair or hair, making it very challenging to detach them.

There are a pair of types of dog lice. Both kinds of lice cause itchiness and also discomfort that will boost if the lice are not treated.

Chewing Louse

The first is called a chewing lousage. Though tright here are 2 species of chewing lice for dogs, one is hardly ever viewed external of tropical regions, so it’s unlikely that we’ll check out them often in Canada, but they may be found in warmer and also more humid components of the US. The species of dog lice are found international, and also the the majority of likely type of lice in Canada is referred to as Trichodectes canis.

Chewing lice typically live on their organize for as much as 30 days by feeding on the host’s dead skin cells and skin secretions. They deserve to feed and redevelop conveniently in such a fertile atmosphere.

Sucking Louse

The second and also slightly more intimidating form of lice is referred to as the sucking lousage. This louse feeds on the blood of the host. Sucking lice bite the skin, burrowing their pincher-choose mouths right into the skin. Their scientific name is Linognathus setosus.

These little bit vampires damages the skin more quickly than chewing lice, so unchecked infestations can easily reason larger issues. Fortunately, this form of louse is likewise extremely unwidespread in Canada. They require a much more tropical climate to grow.

Dog Lice Life Cycle

Like fleas, lice have actually three life stages: eggs, nymphs, and adults. Eggs, additionally referred to as nits, are layed and also glued to the base of the hair follicle, making them difficult to detach. Lice eggs are lighter in colour, frequently white or yellow, so they are normally mistaken for dandruff.

In around a week, the eggs will certainly hatch right into nymphs. Nymphs are very small and a lot harder to spot than a full-grvery own adult. At this stage, you might not notification them at all if it weren’t for your dog’s reactivity to this itch-causing pest.

It will certainly take one more week or 2 prior to the nymphs reach adult maturity. At this suggest, they are all set to recreate and begin laying their eggs. Lice deserve to lay eggs everyday, which implies infestations that go untreated have the right to cause an exceedingly uncomfortable and unpleasant situation for your dog.

Dog Lice VS Fleas: What’s the Difference

Both of these pests can opportunistically plant themselves on your dog and wreak havoc in equivalent means. It have the right to be hard to tell the distinction between the two, yet tbelow are noticeable distinctions. Telling these two apart deserve to help you select the correct therapy and also assist prevent these pests from returning.

Tright here are 3 major behaviours and qualities we have the right to look at to aid differentiate in between frental fees and also lice.

1. Eggs

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

Flea eggs are usually pale in colour and also exceptionally small, though they can be spotted in clusters a small easier. However, the main reason that flea eggs aren’t commonly noticed is that the eggs are not attached to your dog, so they generally finish up falling off and completing their advance in bordering carpets or bedding.

Lice eggs, on the other hand, are often white or yellowish. Even though they are no bigger than flea eggs, their brighter colour renders them a tiny less complicated to spot. Beyond colour, lice eggs are glued to individual strands of hair after they are layed so that these eggs will certainly stay firmly planted on your dog.

2. Pest Debris

With any kind of pest infestation, you are more most likely to notice evidence of the bugs before you check out the bugs themselves. This is an additional means to tell frental fees and lice acomponent.

Frental fees leave behind debris - poop, to be specific. So what you’ll likely alert is bit babsence peppery-specs called flea dirt. Lice do not leave behind the exact same waste product, so the first visual cue is their eggs.

3. Mobility

Anvarious other huge difference in between the two pests is exactly how they move around your dog’s body, or in the case of lice, don’t move. Lice are a lot much less mobile than fleas bereason they should remain on the host to finish their life cycle.

Frental fees don’t have to confine themselves to your dog, which is why dealing with frents involves dealing with your house too. Though flightless like lice, fleas have the right to jump, making it easier for them to spread out quicker than lice.

How Did Your Dog Get Lice?


Lice spcheck out from organize to host and are generally species-specific, so your dog likely acquired lice from one more dog. Lice flourish in unhealthy and balanced atmospheres, meaning that lice commonly strike weakened, sick, old, or dirty dogs.

Lice are even more common in stray dogs, dogs living in negative conditions, or those with jeopardized immune systems. The skin in every one of these instances will certainly have the many debris and secretions to feed the lice.

Can Dogs Get Lice From Humans

As we declared earlier, a lot of lice are species-particular, interpretation the kind of lice that connect themselves to dogs is a various species than feast on people. Fortunately, this suggests that if you or your youngsters gain head lice, you don’t have to concern about passing it to your pooch, or vice versa.

Additionally, you don’t need to issue around your dog obtaining lice from any type of pets exterior the Canis genus, which suggests canines. Common dog lice in North America infect wolves, coyotes, and also foxes but won’t pursue cats, rodents, or birds.

This also indicates that the treatments for the two are different. So please, don’t use lice shampoo for humans on your dog, as some of the ingredients can be harmful or toxic.

How to Tell If Your Dog Has Lice


Identifying lice is the first action in treatment. Since some of the symptoms of dog lice are so similar to various other pests and even other skin problems, lice are regularly misdetermined. It’s essential to recognize lice symptoms on dogs, yet you also must understand what lice look prefer at each stage to help you spot these pesky bugs in the act.

Symptoms of Lice on Dogs

Like fleas and ticks, lice irritate your dog’s skin and also coat, so you will regularly notice the symptoms of these pests prior to you see the pests themselves. Here are a few things that might result from a dog lice infestation:

Dry, Cull Coat

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


It"s organic for dogs to scrape, but extreme scratching is the first authorize that tright here may be a pest living on your dog. Itchiness is a prevalent symptom of many skin and coat, pests, and even allergies or digestive troubles. If your dog is itchier than normal, then it’s a good principle to carry out a physical examination through a flea comb prior to trying more general skin and also coat options.

Behavioural Changes

Being itchy all the time would drive you a tiny nutty as well. If your dog is handling lice, he can be a small more grumpy, restmuch less, or anxious. These symptoms are often missed, yet when combined with other symptoms, they can be a great indicator that your dog has actually some undesirable guests.


Lice eggs are frequently mistaken for dandruff, which is why it often gets mistreated, permitting the problem to gain worse. Even though nits are a lot smaller sized than full-grown lice, they are still visible. You might view what looks like white sand sprinkled on your dog’s hair.

One basic means to see if you are looking at dandruff or lice is to brush them out via a flea comb. If the white specs stay put, then they are most likely lice eggs. If they come out via the comb, it’s even more most likely dandruff.

Fur Loss

Though you might check out bald patches or hair thinning on dogs with lice, the lice themselves are not responsible, however fairly your dog’s scratching and also extreme grooming to attempt to curb the itch and discomfort. Bald patches show that your dog is concentrating on an area that is resulting in discomfort, which means it’s finest to start trying to find lice in the bordering hair.

Hot Spots

Anvarious other second symptom of lice, your dog’s scratching, licking, and also biting, can result in open sores that obtain infected. These are referred to as hot spots. They are commonly small circular rashes that are red, inflamed, and periodically have actually pus or scabs. Hot spots should be treated separately from the lice as they won’t sindicate go ameans after the lice have been eliminated.

Tape Worms

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

Dog Lice Treatment


All best, so you spotted the indications and found irrefutable proof of lice on your dog. So what have the right to you execute to remove these peskies intruders? Indeed, lice aren’t the a lot of widespread pest in dogs, however just favor any kind of other infeterminal, it’s ideal to get rid of the bugs as conveniently as possible.

What Kills Dog Lice

The great news is that dealing with lice in dogs is not discomparable to treating frents or ticks. Topical therapies that kill frental fees or inhilittle egg development also work-related for lice.

Insecticides supplied in flea and also tick therapies will targain the pest’s nervous system, killing both adolescent and adult fleas, ticks, and various other invasive pests quickly and efficiently. Active ingredients to look for include:


Take note - Many insecticides are safe to use externally and in little doses, yet they can be dangerous if used improperly. Permethrin is a synthetic and focused develop of pyrethrin and also is not recommfinished for cats.

This implies that you have to be careful of the form of treatment you usage on your dog if you also have a cat in your home. Cats tfinish to groom their doggy friends, so also if you just use the dog pest treatment on your dog, it is possible that your cat could be exposed.

The various other half of flea and also tick therapies are expansion inhibitors. These ingredients will certainly speak the eggs from developing and hatching. Without expansion inhibitors, flea and tick medications will certainly only be a short-lived reprieve, and the infestation and also discomfort will certainly come back as soon as the eggs hatch. Here are a few ingredients you can view.


Does Dog Shampoo Get Rid of Dog Lice

Bathing your dog may knock a few of the lice loose but may not be a long-term solution to your dog’s lice problem. Many type of medicated shampoos can help to mitigate the itch temporarily, but without an insecticide or other pest-killing ingredient, consistent dog shampoo will certainly be inreliable.

A excellent flea and also tick shampoo, favor this one from Zodiac, will certainly contain the very same or similar ingredients to the topical treatments, so a quick flea bath can assist eliminate lice. However before, shampoos often call for even more than one therapy to guarantee that all lice and eggs have been got rid of.

Dog Lice Treatment Home Remedies

Sometimes all the chemicals can seem scary, specifically if you have actually a multiple pet family members and also are involved around cross-contamination. The good news is that herbal alternatives deserve to assist get rid of lice on dogs.

Keep in mind, favor a lot of natural options, these alternatives might not work as successfully as some of the harsher chemical alternatives. This doesn’t expect they won’t work; it simply suggests you have to be more diligent in your therapy to encertain you remove the infestations.

Here are two assets that you deserve to usage to delouse your itchy doggo naturally:

Diatomaceous Earth

This white powder deserve to be applied topically to your pet to kill hatched lice. The fine white powder is silky in texture to you and also your dog, however to a 2mm bug, diatomaceous earth is sharp sufficient to puncture the external layer of the lices’ body, which leaves them unable to retain moisture. Over time, they dehydprice and also die off.

This is a really safe means to remove infestations, yet this organic remedy does have its downsides. First, diatomaceous earth can’t kill eggs, so you have to reapply the powder to eliminate lice as they hatch. In addition, the lice have to come in straight contact via the powder, so you need to thoaround coat your dog to ensure that you don’t miss out on lice that might be hiding in your dog’s nooks and also crannies.

Lastly, dusting your dog in powder is messy. Not just will your dog be dusty, yet he’ll likely leave a trail in your house. The powder will certainly should be reapplied after obtaining wet also.

Diatomaceous earth has many kind of applications. Find out even more about Diatomaceous Planet for Dogs.

Coconut Oil

Omg, do we love coconut oil, yet have the right to it really remove lice? The answer is a solid probably. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has actually antiparasitic properties that deserve to be reliable against lice and frental fees. Coconut oil have the right to be used topically to deal with hatched frents and also to help soothe itchy skin and irritation.

Its antibacterial properties can additionally be effective in treating hot spots or sores that have actually resulted from your dog’s extreme scratching, licking, and also biting. Best of all, coconut oil is safe to ingest, so you don’t have to be concerned around your dog licking locations that you have used coconut oil to.

According to a examine done on human head lice, coconut oil was 80% reliable at killing the lice. It had actually the greatest success rates of any type of herbal treatments.

Check out Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs for more info about utilizing coconut to defend your dog.


How to Prevent Dog Lice

Like any type of pests, avoidance is constantly easier than treatment. Fortunately, lice are not super prevalent in trained dogs. Still, it’s crucial to recognize what measures you deserve to take to limit your dog’s exposure and make his body an undesirable setting for lice to attach themselves.

The initially and also a lot of necessary aspect in staying clear of lice infestations is keeping your dog healthy and balanced and clean. Dogs living in filthy settings, choose strays, and sick dogs, are the many likely to tempt lice.

Keep your pet healthy by feeding a high-high quality diet and also having constant vet checks done. If your dog is reflecting any kind of indications of illness, you have to call your vet automatically.

Additionally, bereason lice pass from canine to canine, it is ideal to keep your dog from communicating with strays or wildlife that may be transporting these pests.

Flea and also Tick Treatments for Dog Lice

One of the the majority of reliable lice repellants approaches for dogs is the very same therapy supplied to kill the pests. These treatments are usually both pest killers and avoidance methods when offered correctly. Here are some of our top flea and also tick treatments that deserve to assist to prevent lice and also other pest infestations.


Each dose of these commodities provides protection for one month at a time, allowing you to go around your everyday tasks understanding that your dog is defended from any kind of pests that may be lurking.

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Natural Lice Repellant for Dogs

Other preventative approaches involve using pest driving away ingredients. Bug repellents for people have the right to be very harmful to dogs, so stick to bug repellants designed for dogs, or make your very own utilizing natural pest repellant ingredients.

These won’t necessarily kill lice or other pests, yet they will make the atmosphere of your dog’s body less desirable and also reduce the risk of infeterminal. Here are a few insect driving away ingredients that can assist tell lice to buzz off:

CitronellaLemonLavenderTea Tree OilApple Cider Vinegar

Has your dog ever before had actually the misfortune of obtaining lice? Let us understand your story, tips, and also successes in the comments below!