We’ve all been there, worrying about the rest of our household getting lice once one member has it. But what about our pets? Can they get head lice too? If head lice spread so easily from person to person what is to stop them from spreading to your beloved animals? That leaves the long-asked question: can your pets get head lice?
The good news is the answer to this question is, no! Animals cannot get human head lice. Head lice are a species specific to humans and prefer the conditions found on human heads. They need human blood to survive and thus will not attach themselves to your pets. However, there are lice that do prefer your pets over humans.
There are two kinds of lice that can infest your pets. Blood suckling lice and chewing lice. The first understandably so, will attach and suck blood for your pet. The second will live on your pet and feed off their dead skin cells. Both can cause skin irritation and itching but chewing lice can also carry disease and tapeworms. If you are noticing your pet itching often or a skin rash, it may be time to check for tiny lice on their coat.
The best option for treating lice in pets is to consult your local veterinarian. They will probably check for fleas first and then move onto checking for lice. Your treatment will probably include something like a medicated shampoo, spray, or spot treatment. You’ll want to treat it similar to fleas and thoroughly clean your home. Including pet bedding, floors, furniture, and any areas your pet frequents.