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Can Your Pet Get Human Head Lice?

Dealing with head lice in your home can be devastating because it means having to not only treat the affected person, but you have to treat the entire home. If you have pets, the last thing you want is for them to have to be treated too. Some parents also wonder if their dog or cat was the culprit behind the lice infestation that has occurred in their home.

So can your pet get human head lice?

The answer to this question is no because there are different species of lice that have different preferences. The lice that infect humans can only live on humans and not animals.

The lice that humans deal with must have human blood, otherwise, they can’t survive. If your child comes home with head lice, you don’t have to quarantine your pets. If your dog or cat jumps up on your child or they snuggle with them in bed, you don’t have anything to worry about. They won’t get lice.

A Very Contagious Issue

While lice isn’t a direct threat to a human being’s health, they have to be eliminated. While the lice themselves won’t cause a person to get ill, it’s what can occur to the bites that can be an issue. For instance, a person can scratch so much that they cause the bites to ooze or bleed. This can be cause for infection, which can become serious if not treated.

As for your dog or cat, you don’t have to worry about treating them. However, you may be wondering about whether they can carry lice since bedding, towels, linens, and furniture need to be treated after a lice outbreak. Again, the answer is no because lice aren’t after dogs or cats. They know that the animal isn’t what they want. They are instinctually attracted to the hair and blood of humans.

This means that you don’t have to use something like ClearLice’s Gallon Size Lice Treatment Shampoo on your dog, but you want to use the shampoo on your child or anyone else in the household who’s infected. It uses natural ingredients so it is completely safe.

When Your Pet Has Lice

It isn’t unusual for a pet to acquire lice. Regardless of the lice species, it is a parasitic pest. No matter what animal it invades, the situation is a very itchy one.

As mentioned earlier, lice are species-specific. What infects humans infects only humans. They won’t live off of your dog, cat, ferret, hamster, gerbil, or another furry friend. Oddly enough, pets are less likely to get lice than humans are from other humans. Even when a dog or cat is outside, they are not as likely to contract lice as a child who bumps heads with another child on the playground.

If a pet doesn’t live in poor conditions and they are healthy, they aren’t as likely to get lice as a dog or cat living in bad conditions where they are filthy and underfed. Dogs and cats need to live in sanitary conditions to avoid getting lice. If a dog gets lice, then they contract Linognathus setosus or Trichodectes canis. Cats contract one type of lice called Felicola subrostrate.

If you suspect that your pet has lice, you can take them to the veterinarian for clarification and the proper treatment. You can request a more natural treatment for your pet if it is available. Avoiding harsh chemicals when it comes to your pet is just as important as avoiding them when it comes to you and your children. You never know what is going to affect brain cells, cause nervous system issues, or other problems.

It is also important to know that if your pet has lice, human treatments aren’t necessarily the solution. While it can be tempting to use ClearLice’s shampoo to treat your dog or cat for lice, especially since the ingredients are completely natural, the truth is that dogs need specially formulated shampoo to keep from stripping their fur of its natural oils. It is always recommended to avoid using human shampoos on pets since they aren’t formulated for pets, even when classified as natural.

When Pets Have Lice

If you have a pet that has lice, you want to follow a procedure like the one you follow for humans. First, you get rid of the lice, and that is done for pets by taking them to the vet. If you don’t already have a vet, make sure he or she treats the type of pet you have. Not all vets treat exotics.

Once treatment is administered and you are getting rid of the lice on the pet, you want to clean out their cage or bedding accordingly. For dogs, this includes their crate, kennels, beds, and anywhere else they may sleep. Wash everything you can and freeze anything else for around 24 hours since lice can’t live in extremely low temperatures.

If a louse jumps on you, don’t worry. It isn’t going to bite you because you aren’t what it wants. It wants your pet, so it isn’t going to survive on you. Keep doing what you’re doing to clear your pet’s environment of the pests. It’s essentially the same thing you would do to your home if one of your children had lice.

Always Be Vigilant

It is important to be on the lookout when it comes to your pets and the humans in your house. Do lice inspections once a week to make sure the beginning of an infestation isn’t there. If you see lice, then immediately initiate treatment so you can get rid of them as soon as possible. The sooner you get rid of them, the sooner things get back to normal at home and everyone will be happy again.

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