Fleas are no one's idea of fun - but they are an inevitable part of caring for a beautiful dog. Unfortunately, fleas are all the more troublesome when a mother dog passes them on to her puppies. Because young puppies aren't strong enough to withstand the usual flea treatment - but are also at risk of anemia if the fleas aren't removed - they require special attention and care.
First and foremost, treat the mother dog with a top flea treatment like Advantage or Frontline. If your dog is still nursing, use a special treatment for nursing dogs, like Revolution. Older puppies - eight weeks or older - can also be treated with a flea product like normal.
For puppies under six weeks of age, bathe them in warm water. In a tub or sink, immerse each puppy up to its neck, and wet its face and head with a soft, clean wash cloth. This might be done more easily with two people: one person can hold the puppy, while the other washes.
Lift your puppy out of its bath, and place on a towel. Massage in a little Dawn dishwashing detergent and soap all over its body, from the puppy's bottom to its head - the fleas will flee to high ground. Make sure to avoid getting any detergent or soap in the puppy's eyes.
After a thorough lather, rinse the puppy in clean water. Keep the puppy submerged to its neck for a few minutes if at all possible, but don't stress the poor thing unnecessarily.
While the puppy is still damp, run a flea comb over its body, and pick off the remaining ticks by hand. Dispose of the fleas by dropping them into a cup of boiling water.
Dry the puppy in a soft, warm towel. Repeat Steps 1-5 for each puppy.
The fleas on your dogs might make up as little as 5% of the flea population in your environment. After treating your dogs, you may also want to clean your house. Consult your vet if you have any further questions.
Do not treat your younger puppies with flea powders, collars or other harsh chemicals - these are too strong and harsh for vulnerable puppies.