A bichon frise has a full, dense coat that gives fleas a perfect hiding place. To pull the fleas out of his coat without giving him a bath, use a flea comb, a type of metal comb with very closely spaced teeth that grabs the fleas instead of passing over them.
Brush your dog’s coat out completely. Your bichon’s coat can get snarled easily and if you don’t remove all the tangles before you start, you won’t be able to effectively comb through his coat with the flea comb, since it has teeth that are very close together.
Place a bowl of soapy water where you can easily reach it while working on your dog. Fleas can escape from plain water, but adding soap breaks the surface tension on the water so that dropping the pests into the bowl successfully drowns them.
Work the flea comb through your dog’s coat one section at a time. Be sure the comb gets all the way down to his skin, since that’s where the fleas hide. If the comb doesn’t touch his skin as you comb, it will miss most of the fleas.
Pull the comb up and out of your dog’s coat at the end of each stroke. It will bring out any fleas that you’ve hit with it. They may be stuck between the teeth of the comb or they may just be sitting on top of the teeth.
Shake the comb gently over the soapy water, so that the fleas fall into the water and drown. If the fleas don’t fall off right away, it may help to tap the comb on the edge of the container. If you prefer, dip the comb into the water, though if you do you’ll end up getting some of the soapy water on your dog every time you put the wet comb back through his hair.
Repeat the process until you’ve combed all sections of your dog. Pay particular attention to the areas around his face and ears, on his neck and on his back right by his tail.
- If you don’t have much of a flea problem, combing can be enough to keep the number of fleas on your dog manageable.
- Combing may knock some of the fleas off of your dog, so either have him stand on something you can quickly throw into the wash or take him outside into an area he doesn’t frequent.
- Using a flea comb without other controls provides minimal flea control. Use the comb to get an idea of the level of infestation your dog has, but don’t count on it to keep him free of the little varmints. Combine combing with other flea treatments, such as spot controls applied to his skin or diatomaceous earth sprinkled in and around his sleeping area, for best results.