How to treat newborn puppies with fleas

Updated April 17, 2017

Newborn puppies are just as prone to getting fleas as their parents are. They can get fleas from their parents while they are nursing or laying with their mother. Newborn puppies cannot use the same medicine that adult dogs are treated with due to their sensitive skin and frail health. Newborn puppies have sensitive skin that does not stand up to adult dog topical treatments.

Call your vet at the first sign of fleas on your puppies. Get a prescription medication from the vet for the mother and any other adult dogs in your household and treat the adult dogs. Do not treat your newborn puppies with this treatment.

Remove all the bedding from the puppy whelping box. Remove the puppies from the whelping box and clean it completely with bleach and water or dish soap and water. Place clean bedding into the box. Do not return the puppies to the whelping box yet if they have fleas, because this will recontaminate their bedding.

Gather all the items you will need to give your newborn puppies a bath. This will include a baby shampoo, puppy shampoo or dish soap. Make sure you have plenty of towels and some flea combs for grooming the puppies.

Bathe the newborn puppy as if you would bathe a newborn baby. Use warm water and make sure it is not too hot or too cold. Use the baby shampoo or dish soap to wash the puppy from neck to tail. Make sure to wash spots like underneath his legs and under his tail well. These are the spots that fleas usually migrate to. Use a warm facecloth or rag and wash the puppy's face with it. Check his ears carefully and pick off any fleas you find.

Rinse the puppy off and look for signs of fleas. You should see fleas floating in the water after you are done bathing the puppy. Wrap the puppy in a warm towel and towel dry her.

Comb through the puppy's fur with a flea comb. Pick out any remaining fleas and put them in a bowl of water that contains bleach. This will help kill the fleas so they do not spread. Newborn puppies do not have as much hair as adult dogs, so you may see the fleas more easily. Repeat the steps on each puppy.

Clean your entire home so the fleas will not come back. You may need to steam clean your carpets to get rid of the fleas and eggs. If the fleas do come back, you may also need to flea bomb your house. This can be done by a professional insect fumigator.


Puppies cannot use the same medication that an adult dog can use. Puppies can get sick if they are bitten by to many fleas.

Things You'll Need

  • Flea comb
  • Puppy shampoo or dish soap or baby shampoo
  • Towels
  • A cup of water with a little bleach in it
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About the Author

Angela Reinholz is a full-time freelance writer. Reinholz started writing professionally in 2007, specializing in animals and social work with some branching off into legal matters. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern New Hampshire University and an associate degree in network administration from McIntosh College, located in Dover, N.H.