Steps for how to get rid of dog fleas
Before you even start, it's a good idea to get an idea of the scope of problem you are dealing with. Most people don't realize that the fleas living on and biting your dog (and you), are only about 5% of the total population of fleas in their various life stages that are in your dogs living space. This living space includes all areas that he normally frequents, including your yard, patio, basement, garage, car etc. If you fail to rid fleas in these other areas, or in the other life stages, then you are going to fail at getting rid of the fleas.
1 - Get rid of the fleas in your house - get as many fleas out of the house as possible, which means removing your dog while you are treating your house. Fleas live on and around the floors, in cracks and crevices, and on objects that your pet has been in contact with. Pick up any objects that can be washed, and launder these items using the hot cycle. This will include your pet toys, dog bedding, throw out any dog food that is in or around the dog bowl, your clothing, bedding, cushions etc. Any where it is possible for fleas to live, or lay eggs, needs to be cleaned.
Vacuum the whole house and any upholstered items REALLY WELL! Make sure to get underneath the bed. Vacuum out your car if your dog has been in the car. Then throw out the vacuum bag once you are finished, or flea eggs and larvae will hatch and re-infest. Clean your hard surface flooring with soap and water. Clean the floors in your garage, basement or patio if your dog has been in contact with those surfaces. Finally, with all animals and people out of the house, arrange to have a house flea treatment.
2 - Kill the fleas in your yard - at the same time that you have your house treated with an insecticide and IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) combination, you should have your yard and any other area your dog frequents treated as well. Fleas like heat and humidity, but don't like bright light, so make sure to get under decks and in cracks and crevices where they like to hide.
3 - Get rid of fleas on your dog - now is the time to get rid of the adult fleas on your dog. Give your dog a bath with dog shampoo, and then thoroughly dry him. Once he is dry, double check that all fleas have been killed by going over your dog with a flea comb. It's probably a good idea to throw your dog washing clothes in the laundry, just in case some fleas jumped to you for safety during the bath.
4 - Get rid of fleas for the next two weeks - this step is as important as the first three steps combined. There will be a number of flea eggs, larvae and pupae that were not caught by the initial treatment, so it is important to continue vacuuming (remember to dispose of the vacuum bag each time) and washing items that may contain these pre adult fleas over the next two weeks. If you don't do this follow-up to keep fleas at bay, you will simply have an entirely new batch of fleas to deal with in one or two weeks time.