Why Do Dogs Flea-Bite Each Other? [9 Reasons You Must Know]

Why Do Dogs Flea Bite Each Other

When dogs bite each other’s fleas, it can look adorable and friendly. Have you ever wondered why they do this?

Here’s why dogs might bite each other’s fleas:

Dogs may bite each other’s fleas as a form of grooming, submissiveness, sociability, a way of showing affection, pack mentality, anxiety, stress, boredom, or dominance. Getting rid of fleas, mosquitoes and addressing psychological issues, building their confidence, and other solutions may be helpful in abnormal circumstances.

Although this behavior may seem sociable, it’s important to remember that both normal and abnormal circumstances can influence it. As a responsible owner, it’s important to be aware of all possible reasons for this behavior.

Reasons why dogs flea bite each other

Here, we gonna discuss 9 possible reasons for its behavior, and your case may be one or a combination of several.

As I mentioned earlier, there is nothing to worry about in case of ordinary reasons. However, you gotta watch out for abnormalities.

1. Because they groom each other.

Most dogs would like to groom each other by flea biting or nibbling in places challenging to a dog to reach alone, such as ears, head, the upper part of the neck.

They basically do this by pulling their teeth through the hair of another dog, and they do this by reciprocally helping each other while showing affection mixed with trust.

Regarding the fact that why do dogs wanna reciprocally help each other in terms of grooming or flea biting, that’s just a comforting ritual and calming for both dogs.

In addition, that behavior can be explained as an instinct inherited from their wolf ancestors.

However, this flea biting behavior is quite similar to unwanted behavior which most dog parents won’t realize. That behavior is some dogs are accustomed to biting other dogs’ legs that must be corrected right away.

2. Submissiveness.

A dog might flea bite on another dog as a result of submissiveness, which isn’t good. Often it shows signs of lack of self-confidence of the nibbling dog.

Check if that dog (The dog nibbling on the other dog) often pees on itself by laying on its back. If your answer is “YES,” the possibilities are, your dog is submissive to another dog(s).

If we go back to their ancestors, they were lived as packs where each pack has an Alpha-male dog or simply the "Pack leader" the one who ruled their territory and the its lower members, the lower ranking canines used to flea bite on the alpha dog as a way of showing its submissiveness and the respect. 

So, those behaviors still remain among dogs.

3. Dogs flea bite each other due to sociability.

Think about how you greet a new person when you first meet them. So, when it comes to dogs, flea biting is also one of the ways that dogs greet each other.

In fact, this is kind of testing the water to get a better idea about its visitor while showing respect and acceptance.

4. A way of showing affection.

Even my dogs do this at the dog parks whenever they meet other dogs, especially their long-time bosom friends.

They basically flea-bite each other. To be honest, that’s not a bite at all. What they do is they usually put their front teeth on the spots that seem itchy and need scratching.

Then, they start biting like kind of a rapid gnawing movement while vibrating its checks and mouth.

5. A normal behavior for dogs, espeially among puppies.

Flea biting or nibbling on each other is completely normal among canines, and there is nothing to worry about.

When it comes to a mama dog and her litter, she will often do this kind of biting just to comfort her puppies. When a dog flea bites another dog, that’s a crystal clear indication of their close bond.

6. Pack mentality.

As we discussed for an earlier reason, pack mentality can vastly influence this behavior.

Inside a pack, all the pack members are would like to care about each other in almost every circumstance. This isn’t just a flea bite, but it is combined with affection, caring, and a close bond.

This reason is also completely normal, so there is nothing to panic about.

7. Psychological issues.

Although this isn’t scientifically proven, dog people, including me, can figure out that dogs do flea bite each other as a result of psychological issues, especially separation anxiety or stress.

So, dogs find this soothing to each other, and they continue to do that.

However, psychological issues aren’t something we cannot easily neglect or escape, means you must solve those issues prior to things get worse and worse.

Flea biting on another dog or itself is one of the exhibiting symptoms among many other symptoms of psychological issues.

8. Dogs flea bite each other due to boredom.

Often dogs tend to show behavior due to boredom. Even though a dog might have another dog to play with, that time might be sleepy and idle.

A dog might do this to another dog in order to provide soothing to another dog and back and forth.

In such a situation, you have something to think about regarding whether they get enough exercise combined with mental stimulation.

9. Dominance.

A dog might flea bite or nibble on another dog to show its dominance, which isn’t that good if you have two or more dogs and one dog rule the other dogs.

What to do if dogs flea bite each other?

Now you know all the possible reasons why does a dog does this. It seems there is nothing to worry about for the majority of them.

However, in a case where a dog exhibits this behavior exceedingly, there is something abnormal going on behind the scenes. So, you should go through the possible reasons and observe the relevant cause(s) for this behavior, then look for solutions accordingly.

1. Get rid of fleas.

If you own multiple dogs that are used to flea bite each other, and they do that because they find it soothing and as a way of grooming, chances are the dogs actually have fleas. (Some dogs used to whine when doing this)

So, look at the skin through fur by a parting away and observe whether they have fleas. If they do, meet your vet immediately and seek advice.

Moreover, it’s much more important to follow best practices to keep them from getting fleas rather than meeting the vet and treating them every time they get fleas.

Here are several best practices you must follow to keep your dogs away from getting fleas. That means, no more flea biting!

♦ Always try to keep your clean. 
♦ Clean your dog's bedding regularly.
♦ Keep your yard mowed and shrubs trimed back.
♦ Use a flea comb to brush the dog whenever you return home after a dog walk or a playing session.
♦ Think twice prior allowing your dog to play and hang around with other dogs.
♦ Regular grooming is must. 
♦ Apply oral flea treatmetns.
♦ Treat for fleas year around. 
♦ Do regular flea checs.

Here is why do some dogs won’t let remove ticks.

2. Building confidence.

As discussed earlier, a dog might be submissive to another dog due to a lack of confidence. Flea biting is one of the ways of showing submissiveness.

Regarding what you can do about this, work on improving the confidence in your dog.

Here are some of the ways the suggestions to try out.

  • Agility training.
  • Provide a proper basic obediancne training.
  • Teach new tricks.
  • Provide a good Socialization.
  • Let the dog explore outdoors and hang around in his terms.
  • Inform everyone in the house to use exact same commands with the dog.
  • Don’t yell at the dog.

3. Keep them away from psychological issues.

When a dog is prone to psychological issues like separation anxiety and stress, that could lead to many other abnormal behaviors, including heavy barking, chewing on shoes, flea biting each other, nibbling, and many more.

Since prevention is better than cure, you gotta figure out how to adopt dogs while keeping them from prone to psychological issues.

Here are several tactics that are worth considering.

  • First thing first. Don’t skip regular veterinary checkups.
  • Meet their excercise requirements.
  • Provide a proper mental stimulation.
  • Always feed them healthy foods.
  • Living space should be dog friendly in order to avoid confussions.
  • Turn on dog calming music when you are away from home.
  • Set aside some time to play a little bit.
  • Spend some quility time together.
  • Go on long walks.
  • Provide chew toys or puzzle toys to keep them busy.

Things to be aware of.

It seems like now you are entirely aware of the possible reasons why do dogs flea bite each other. However, there are several things you should be aware of.

Early socialization: Submissiveness can be a result of a lack of socialization training. Consider providing quality early socialization training.

Psychological issues: Providing good attention and caring regarding psychological problems is a must to keep the dog mentally healthy and prevent many other unwanted circumstances from happening.

Regarding fleas: Don’t attempt to try flea medications by yourself. Always chat with your vet prior to take action.


Have you ever wondered why do dogs flea bite each other? In general, This behavior can be the result of 9 different reasons. So, In this article, we’ve discussed the possible causes for this pretty much adorable trait. Hope you found this helpful.


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