Could your pet be allergic to flea bites? 

could your dog be allergic to fleas

Flea bite hypersensitivity is a strong reaction to the bite of the flea. It can affect many animals, including cats and dogs. If you suspect that your pet is allergic to flea bites, it’s essential to act fast to save them from this distressing condition. 

Flea bites are an uncomfortable experience for any pet, but can be even more so if they’re hypersensitive and develop flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). Studies have pointed to the allergenic proteins in flea saliva as the cause. FAD is a common skin condition, particularly in dogs. 

How to spot flea problems 

Fleas are not just seasonal; they can be a year-round problem, so you need to check your pet regularly. This usually involves sitting your pet down and using a flea comb to identify fleas or flea dirt. 

If you don’t notice any fleas, that doesn’t mean your pet hasn’t been affected by them. The saliva of just one or two fleas can make them miserable, itchy and uncomfortable for weeks. Your pet may constantly chew, lick and scratch themselves, which can lead to inflamed, infected areas of skin that are painful and sensitive. 

Odd behaviour in your cat, such as a frenzied skin attack, could signal flea allergy. They may also suddenly become hyperactive − like they’re trying to escape from something. 

Even if you’re proactive in grooming and removing fleas and flea dirt, the allergic reaction can remain long after the fleas have gone. 


Treatment can vary based on the severity of the reaction and how many fleas there are − treating the fleas will alleviate the allergic reaction, but it may take time. Your vet can also offer advice on how to keep your pet and their environment free of fleas. 

If you notice any signs of itchiness, rashes and hair loss; or just general discomfort and restlessness in your pet, make an appointment at the clinic. We can help you get to the root of the problem – whether it’s fleas or something else.