Can Dogs Get Human Lice?


You can not get lice from your dog, nor can your dog get this parasite from you.

If your child has head lice, you may question if the family dog is at risk of capturing them or if the kids caught the lice from the cat. A lice parasite infection is called pediculosis, no matter what lice impact species of animal.

Lice Can not Be Spread from Human to Pet

Lice are species-specific, which suggests there are various types of lice for each animal species that they depend on.

Human lice require human blood to make it through; dog lice require dog blood and so on. Therefore, if your child gets back from school with a diagnosis of head lice, your dog, cat or other pets in the home are not at danger of capturing the lice or hatching eggs. Conversely, while lice are not typical in dogs and felines, the types of lice that reside in dogs and cats are not able to live on people.

Lice in Humans

While not an immediate threat to health, human head lice is contagious and not an indication of bad individual hygiene. If your child has been diagnosed with lice, please see your doctor for treatment and approaches for getting rid of the eggs (nits) from the hair, scalp, bed linen, and clothes. Both non-prescription and prescription medications are readily available for treatment of lice invasions.

Lice in Dogs and Cats

Dogs and cats occasionally get lice, though lice are not frequently detected parasites in family pets. They are most often discovered in animals that reside in conditions without correct sanitation. Extra risk factors consist of bad nutrition and poor overall health. Senior dogs and very young dogs are most at danger of lice infestation. The two kinds of lice that affect dogs are Trichodectes canis and Linognathus setosus. Cats get only one type of lice: Felicola subrostrata.

What Are Dog Lice?

Dog lice are small, flat, wingless six-legged pests that live in the hair and feathers of mammals and birds. Strong hook-like claws at the end of each leg allow them to hang on to the hair shafts. The claws are tailored to the particular size of the host’s hair shaft or plumes, which is why lice are species specific. They make it through on skin particles, sebaceous secretions, feathers, or the blood of the host animal.

These parasites tend to thrive mostly on debilitated dogs that are old, run-down, malnourished or poorly cared for.

Lice lives on dogs

There are two types of lice:

  • Chewing lice endure by eating skin particles and surface area secretions. Two types of chewing lice impact dogs and wild canids — Trichodectes canis and Heterodoxus spiniger. H. spiniger is discovered primarily in tropical regions and is uncommon in North America. A blunt, flat head identifies these.
  • Drawing lice requirement blood to make it through. The types of sucking lice that impact dogs are called Linognathus setosus. Unlike the chewing lice, these have a sharply pointed mouthpiece.

Other types of animals are susceptible to other types of lice, but its particular species of lice infect each type of animal. If a stray insect from another species finds its method onto a dog, cat or person, it will not stay there.

Pet lice fall into two classifications: blood sucking and chewing. Chewing lice reside on the dead skin of your pets. They trigger inflammation, which causes your pet to scratch. They can bring diseases and transmit tapeworms to your pets. The blood-sucking lice do just that — such blood. Pets with lice will scratch and bite a lot. If left without treatment, lice can cause fur loss.

If you presume that your pet has lice or other ectoparasites, see your veterinarian for a definitive medical diagnosis. Lice are much easier to treat than other parasites such as fleas, and your veterinarian will have the ability to recommend the best-medicated hair shampoo, spray, or spot-on treatment for your pet to get rid of the lice. If your pet has lice, isolate the animal from other pets of the very same types in your home to prevent the spread of lice. You’ll probably require to treat your other pets out of care anyhow. Replace bedding, brushes, and combs used by the affected pet and clean carpets, and furnishings where your dog sits.


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