7 Little Black Bugs on Dogs Not Fleas! Effective Guide

If you’re a dog owner, you may have noticed little black bugs on your furry friend’s coat and wondered what they are.

While fleas are a common pest that can infest dogs, other types of small black bugs can also take up residence on your pet’s skin and fur.

These little black bugs on dogs, not fleas can be a nuisance for both you and your dog, and it’s important to identify them correctly so that you can take appropriate action.

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of little black bugs that can affect dogs, including chiggers, flea beetles, dog lice, ticks, Cheyletiella mites, moss mites, and springtails.

We’ll also discuss effective methods for getting rid of these intruders and preventing future infestations.

So, if you’re dealing with little black bugs on your dog that aren’t fleas, read on to learn more.

Little Black Bugs on Dogs Not Fleas | Identifying the Intruders

Little Black Bugs on Dogs Not Fleas


  • Chiggers, also known as harvest mites, are tiny arachnids that can cause quite a bit of discomfort for pets.
  • These minuscule creatures are reddish-brown or black and are commonly found in grassy areas during the warm seasons.
  • Chiggers do not burrow into the skin but instead attach themselves to the dog’s hair follicles, where they feed on skin cells.
  • The presence of chiggers can cause intense itching, red welts, and scabs, which are often concentrated in areas such as the lower abdomen, armpits, and groin.

Flea Beetles

  • Flea beetles, despite their name, are not fleas but can sometimes be mistaken for them due to their small size and jumping abilities.
  • These little black bugs measure approximately 1/16 inch in length and have enlarged hind legs that allow them to hop around.
  • While they primarily feed on plants, they can occasionally latch onto dogs and cause mild irritation and discomfort.
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Dog Lice

  • Dog lice are wingless insects that feed on your pet’s blood, causing discomfort and irritation.
  • Dog lice are usually found close to the skin, particularly around the neck, tail base, and groin area.
  • If your dog is infested with lice, you may notice excessive scratching, hair loss, and the presence of lice eggs, known as nits, attached to the hair shafts.
Little Black Bugs on Dogs Not Fleas


  • Ticks, while commonly associated with larger creatures like deer, can also affect dogs.
  • These little black bugs are not insects but rather arachnids, closely related to spiders.
  • They survive by attaching themselves to the host’s skin and feeding on their blood.
  • Dogs that spend time outdoors, especially in wooded or grassy areas, are more susceptible to tick infestations.
  • Checking your dog regularly for ticks is important, as these parasites can transmit dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease.
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Cheyletiella Mites

  • Cheyletiella mites, often referred to as walking dandruff, are microscopic insects that can cause considerable discomfort for dogs.
  • Cheyletiella mites derive their peculiar name from the dandruff-like appearance they create on the dog’s skin.
  • These little black bugs are usually visible to the naked eye and can be seen crawling on the skin’s surface.
  • They are highly contagious and can spread between dogs through close contact.
  • Infested dogs may exhibit symptoms such as itching, flaky skin, and even hair loss.
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Moss Mites

  • Moss mites, also known as liver mites or gall mites, are tiny arthropods that are found in damp environments.
  • While they primarily infest plants and moss, they can occasionally be found on dogs that frequent areas with heavy moss growth.
  • These little black bugs are usually harmless to dogs and do not cause any significant health issues.
  • However, their presence may be a sign of an underlying moisture problem in your dog’s environment.
  • If you suspect moss mites are affecting your dog, it is best to address the moisture issue.


  • Springtails are small, wingless insects that are commonly found in moist soil or decaying organic matter.
  • They are called springtails because of their unique ability to jump significant distances by using a specialized appendage called a furcula.
  • These little black bugs are harmless to dogs and do not bite or sting.
  • If you notice springtails on your dog, it is typically an indication of an environment that supports their presence, such as damp or moldy areas.
Being able to correctly identify these little black bugs on your dog will help you take the necessary steps to protect your dog's health and provide them with relief.
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How to Get Rid of Little Black Bugs on Dogs

When faced with little black bugs on your dogs, it’s important to take prompt action to eliminate them and ensure the well-being of your dog.

Here are some effective methods to get rid of these pests.

little black bugs on dogs not fleas :How to Get Rid of Little Black Bugs on Dogs

Give Your Dog a Bath

  • Giving your dog a bath is a simple yet crucial step in treating little black bug infestations.
  • Pay close attention to the areas where the bugs are most prevalent, such as the neck, back, and tail.
  • Gently massage the shampoo into your dog’s fur, creating a rich lather, and rinse thoroughly.
  • This process helps to physically remove the bugs from your dog’s coat.

Use Flea and Tick Treatments

  • They contain active ingredients that repel and kill the bugs, providing relief for your dog.
  • Regular application of these treatments helps to break the bug’s life cycle and prevent re-infestations.

Clean Your Dog’s Environment

  • To effectively eliminate little black bugs, it’s important to clean and sanitize your dog’s environment.
  • Wash your dog’s bedding, blankets, and any fabric items they come into contact with in hot water.
  • Thoroughly vacuum carpets, upholstery, and floors to remove any bugs or eggs.
  • Additionally, regularly clean and disinfect your dog’s toys, food bowls, and grooming tools to prevent re-infestation.

Use a Flea Comb

  • Comb through your dog’s coat using a fine-toothed comb, focusing on areas where the bugs tend to hide.
  • Start at the head and work your way down, combing in the direction of hair growth.
  • After each stroke, inspect the comb for bugs and dip it in soapy water to drown them.
  • Repeat this process regularly to reduce the bug population on your dog.

Seek Advice from Your Veterinarian

  • If you’re unsure about the best course of action or if the infestation persists despite your efforts, it’s always a good idea to seek advice from your veterinarian.
  • They have the expertise and knowledge to provide you with specific guidance tailored to your dog’s needs.
  • Your veterinarian can assess the severity of the infestation and recommend appropriate measures to address the issue effectively.

Oral Medications

In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe oral medications to combat little black bug infestations on dogs.

These medications are designed to target the bugs from within your dog’s body, preventing their reproduction and ultimately eliminating them.

Oral medications can be a highly effective treatment option, especially for certain types of parasites like fleas and ticks.

It is important to strictly follow your veterinarian’s instructions regarding the dosage and administration of the medication to ensure safety and effectiveness.

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How to Prevent Little Black Bugs on Dogs

Prevention is always better than dealing with an infestation. By taking proactive measures, you can help protect your dog from little black bugs.

Here are some practical steps you can take.

little black bugs on dogs not fleas
: How to Prevent Little Black Bugs on Dogs

Regular Grooming

  • Regular grooming plays a crucial role in preventing little black bugs on dogs.
  • Brush your dog’s coat frequently to remove any loose fur, debris, or potential hitchhikers.
  • This not only keeps their coat clean but also helps you identify any signs of infestation early on.
  • Additionally, grooming allows you to check for ticks, fleas, or other insects that may be present on your dog’s skin.

Maintain a Clean Environment

  • Maintaining a clean environment for your dog is essential in preventing little black bugs.
  • Regularly clean your home and yard to remove any potential breeding grounds for bugs.
  • Vacuum carpets, upholstery, and corners where bugs may hide.
  • Wash your dog’s bedding and toys regularly in hot water to kill any insects or eggs.
  • Keeping a clean environment minimizes the chances of bugs finding their way onto your dog.

Avoid High-Risk Areas

  • Certain areas may pose a higher risk of encountering little black bugs.
  • Avoiding these areas can help reduce the likelihood of infestation.
  • Stay away from tall grass, wooded areas, and places known to have a high prevalence of bugs.
  • When taking your dog for walks or outdoor activities, stick to well-maintained paths or open areas.
  • By minimizing exposure to bug-prone environments, you can lower the risk of your dog bringing them home.

Regular Veterinary Check-ups

  • Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for your dog’s overall health and can also aid in preventing little black bug infestations.
  • During these visits, your veterinarian can perform thorough examinations, including checking for any signs of bugs or parasites.
  • They can also provide preventive treatments and offer valuable advice tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

Dietary Supplements

  • Some dietary supplements can help improve your dog’s overall skin and coat health, making them less attractive to bugs.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, can promote healthy skin and help maintain a strong immune system.
  • Consult with your veterinarian about suitable dietary supplements for your dog and incorporate them into their regular diet.
By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of little black bug infestations on your dogs. 

Taking proactive steps and maintaining a clean and healthy environment for your furry friend can ensure their well-being and keep those pesky bugs away.
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Final Thoughts

Now that you know what those tiny little black bugs on your dog are, you can take the right steps to keep your furry friend healthy and free from these pesky pests.

And yes, they’re not fleas, so it’s important to identify the type of bug you’re dealing with to determine the best course of treatment.

By following the preventive measures and treatments we’ve discussed, you can keep your dog healthy, happy, and free from little black bugs.


What are the tiny black bugs on my dog?

The tiny black bugs on your dog could be various types of pests, such as chiggers, flea beetles, dog lice, ticks, cheyletiella mites, moss mites, or springtails.

What are the tiny bugs that jump not fleas?

The tiny bugs that jump and are not fleas could be flea beetles or springtails. These pests have the ability to jump and may be mistaken for fleas.

Can I use home remedies to treat little black bugs on my dog?

While there are some home remedies available, it is generally recommended to consult with a veterinarian for proper treatment of little black bugs on your dog.

Home remedies may not be as effective as veterinary-approved treatments and could potentially harm your dog.

Are little black bugs on dogs contagious to humans?

Some little black bugs on dogs can be contagious to humans, such as certain types of mites.

How often should I check my dog for little black bugs?

It is recommended to check your dog regularly for any signs of little black bugs, especially if they spend time outdoors or in high-risk environments.

Should I be concerned if my dog only has a few little black bugs?

Even if your dog only has a few little black bugs, it is still important to address the issue promptly.

A small infestation can quickly escalate, causing discomfort for your dog and potentially leading to more significant problems.

Resources – (for further reading)

Oklahoma State University – Chiggers, Jiggers, Harvest Mites, or Red Bugs

MSD Veterinary Manual – Lice of Dogs – Dog Owners

University of Minnesota – Flea beetles

VCA Animal Hospitals – Cheyletiellosis in Dogs

I'm Ernest M Noah, the founder of BugsTips.com. I have years of experience as an exterminator in Texas and Idaho, and I'm passionate about educating people on how to deal with pest problems effectively and safely.