Why Do Dogs Flea Bite Each Other? 7 Causes and Solutions

Dogs are fantastic pets! They offer companionship, loyalty, and love, making them the perfect buddy for people of all ages and families of all sizes. I was lucky enough to grow up with dogs and am passing down the good times to my kids with our lovable family dogs, Duke and Bella.

Besides their instinctual love, dogs can also do some really cool tricks and perform amazing tasks with proper training.

However, for even the best dog parents, pooches can be weird at times. From rolling in the dirt right after a bath to nibbling on your ears, our furry friends do odd things that can be hard to understand.

As owners, it is our responsibility to learn about our dog’s behavior. Understanding our furry friends’ behaviors will go a long way to make sure we are giving them a loving and safe home. If your dog has picked up a new weird habit, remember to take a step back and figure out why…your dog is counting on you.

So, what about dogs that keep acting like their buddy has fleas? Why do dogs flea bite each other? The quick and easy answer is that it is likely rooted in either grooming, showing affection, playing, boredom, excitement, anxiety, or poor socialization.

Why Does My Dog Flea Bite Other Dogs?

You might be surprised that I just listed so many reasons for just one strange behavior. If you need some more details I’ll go into more detail about each reason below. But, if you read that quick list and know immediately which reason(s) applies to your pooch, feel free to skip ahead to the next section.


Cats aren’t the only ones who like to stay clean, dogs do too. And when it comes to keeping clean, dogs also help each other out, especially their friends. This mutual grooming behavior is often seen between dogs who get along very well.

Mutual grooming can take the form of licking and nibbling, which helps to remove dirt and debris from fur, paws, and skin. So, if you see your dog nibbling on a buddy’s fur coat, it could be that he is just giving the other pup a good cleaning.

Showing Affection

Flea bites can also be a sign of affection! After a long day, my own two dogs sometimes share a bed and gently flea bite each other while the rest of the family gets ready to go to sleep. This seems to be their way of saying “good night” and it’s quite an adorable sight!


Playful flea bites are another common reason behind this behavior, as it’s a good way to gauge whether or not another dog is in the mood for fun. Dogs use these bites as an invitation for playtime and if their buddy accepts the invitation, then all sorts of fun rambunctiousness can ensue!


Sometimes when our canine friends aren’t getting enough mental stimulation or physical activity, they find alternate ways to entertain themselves.

Dogs have been known to get into mischief when they’re bored so it’s important that we provide them with plenty of activities that will keep them entertained and engaged throughout the day (e.g providing puzzle toys).


Pure uncontrollable excitement rather than any malicious intent can also be a cause of dogs flea biting each other.

With some dogs – especially younger ones – all the rules seem to be forgotten when they become overcome with excitement! Those over-excited pooches will start doing all sorts of crazy things. Bouncing off the walls, flea biting other dogs and even flea biting you!

As a puppy, my dog Duke might have been more prone to crazy excitement than any dog I’ve seen. When he was growing up he seemed unable to contain himself. For instance, when I’d come home from work. He would jump on me and do all sorts of other crazy things, despite knowing he wasn’t supposed to. Little did I know how much I’d miss those days!


In certain situations such as during storms or fireworks displays, being close to another dog may be used by some pups as a coping mechanism for stress or anxiety.

It’s why we sometimes see spooked dogs huddling together and licking/flea biting each other during these moments of fear or distress.

Poor Socialization

Finally, if a dog wasn’t properly socialized with other dogs during puppyhood then some dogs may continue displaying unacceptable behaviors such as flea biting another dog that doesn’t want it- even if no harm is meant by it!

All puppies should learn acceptable behaviors from both their mothers and siblings at an early age but unfortunately not every pup gets this experience which can result in issues later down the line, well into adulthood.

What If My Dog Suddenly Starts Flea Biting Other Dogs?

If your dog suddenly begins flea biting other dogs, it can be difficult to determine the cause. It’s important to take a careful look at the situation and any potential contributing factors to better understand why this might be happening.

Some common explanations for sudden flea biting behavior include slowly warming up to a new dog friend or some other new stimulus that may be causing distress. 

For instance, if you notice your pup keeps playing happily with the same other pooch at the park or getting friendlier with a new dog addition to your family, it may be that they’re getting more comfortable with one another and beginning to engage in playtime activities like flea biting as a demonstration of affection.

On the other hand, if there is something new in your canine buddy’s environment that is making him anxious, such as a strange noise or an unfamiliar person, then that could lead to increased stress levels. Which, as I explained above, might be a cause for your good boy to engage in flea biting as an act of self-soothing or a coping mechanism.

Is It Okay For My Dog To Flea Bite My Other Dog?

If your dog is flea biting other dogs then you probably want to know when it’s okay for your dog to do so. After all, you want your dog and the other dog to get along in a healthy way and not hurt each other.

Generally speaking, dogs flea biting each other is fine if they are playing and having fun, grooming, showing affection, or comforting each other. In fact, flea biting can be an enjoyable way for two dogs to interact with each other as long as both of them appear content and relaxed while one or both engage in it. 

On the other hand, if one of your dogs seems stressed or anxious while the flea biting is happening, then this might be a sign that something more serious is occurring. Your pet may be using flea biting as a way to deal with their feelings in an unhealthy manner and this shouldn’t be encouraged.

If you think that your pup is exhibiting flea-biting behavior because of an underlying problem then make sure to address that problem directly so that your good boy can overcome any issues he may have.

How Do I Stop A Dog From Flea Biting Other Dogs?

If you’ve determined that your dog needs to quit flea biting other dogs, it can feel like a daunting task for both you and your good boy.

That’s why it’s important to remember that, as with any canine behavior change, understanding why your dog is engaging in this behavior is key to effectively addressing the issue. 

Obviously then, the first step you should take when dealing with this problem is to determine why your dog is flea biting in the first place.

If your dog is acting out from anxiety or from some outside stimulus, this means you’ll need to find the triggers or stressors which are causing it.

Then, if possible, remove any sources of stress or anxiety which could be causing the flea biting and ensure that your pup gets plenty of healthy playtimes. 

Keep in mind that the basic commands that your dog already knows such as ‘No’ and ‘Off’ are applicable during flea biting as well. Be sure to consistently use these commands so as not to confuse your pet. And do so in a firm manner rather than getting angry or yelling.

If the situation allows for it, physically separating the two dogs is an effective way of preventing further flea biting. Note: I don’t mean pulling the dogs apart when they are engaging with each other, I mean keeping the dogs in separate rooms or areas in situations that you know will lead to unwanted flea biting.

With patience and consistency, you will soon have the problem under control and have a better understanding of what triggers or situations can lead to flea biting in the future.

Remember that positive reinforcement when good behavior is shown should always be used too – by creating a positive association with good behavior, your pup will learn quickly what is expected from him!

Summary: Why Does My Dog Flea Bite Other Dogs?

In conclusion, there are a few possible explanations for why dogs might flea bite each other. From mutual grooming to showing affection or simply out of excitement, it seems that this behavior is mostly harmless and is often done out of love and friendship.

Aside from being an affectionate gesture between furry friends, flea biting can also show up during moments of fear or distress – such as when anxiety-inducing events like thunderstorms occur.

In these situations, it may be beneficial for owners to help calm their dog so that he feels safe and supported.

Finally, if the behavior is due to a lack of proper socialization, owners should be sure to provide their pooch with ample opportunities to interact with other animals in a safe and friendly environment.

Additionally, providing them with plenty of stimulation such as puzzle toys and physical activity can help prevent boredom from leading to mischievous activities.

All in all, understanding why your dog engages in this behavior can help you better manage it and provide your four-legged friend with the best possible care.

Finally, positive reinforcement training is the most helpful in teaching our furry friends the behaviors that are acceptable when interacting with us or other animals.

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