January 22, 2016
Mosquitoes are annoying pests that can spread disease to humans, but do mosquitoes bite dogs, too?
The short answer is yes! Mosquito bites can be harmful to our furry friends, and it’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect them. Here’s everything you need to know about dogs and mosquito bites.
Do Mosquitoes Bite Dogs?
Yes, dogs can be bitten by mosquitoes just like humans. Similar to how mosquito bites affect people, dogs can also suffer from itchiness, irritation, potential infection, and disease.
Can Mosquitoes Bite Through Dog Fur?
While you might think a dog’s thick coat of fur protects them, mosquitoes can still bite through dog fur. Similar to how mosquitoes can still bite through a human’s clothing, thick fur will act as some kind of barrier, but it doesn’t make a dog completely immune to mosquito bites.
Where Do Mosquitoes Bite Dogs?
Mosquitoes can bite your dog anywhere on its body.
While mosquitoes can bite through dog fur, your pet is more vulnerable in areas without fur such as their belly, inside of their ears, and on their nose. If you notice bumps or redness and swelling on these areas after your dog has been outside, they may have been bitten by mosquitoes.
What Happens if a Mosquito Bites a Dog?
When dogs get a mosquito bite, the reaction is similar to what happens with humans. There can be redness, itchiness, and potentially swelling. If the mosquito bites are on areas without fur, such as their belly or nose, it’s easier to notice the bites.
While itchy mosquito bites are a nuisance for your dog, they also pose a threat to more serious, life-threatening risks.
The Risks of Mosquito Bites for Dogs
There are some serious risks associated with mosquito bites in dogs. Just like mosquitoes can spread diseases with humans, they pose additional threats to dogs.
Did you know that mosquitoes are the number one cause of heartworm in dogs, according to the FDA?
Mosquitoes serve as an “intermediate host” for these parasites, containing infectious worms for a short period. When a dog gets a mosquito bite, these worms are passed through to the dog. Once an infected mosquito bites a dog, it can take around six to seven months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms.
Once they grow into adult heartworms they reproduce, causing even more heartworms to be released into the dog’s bloodstream. While there aren’t noticeable symptoms at first, disease can progress to breathing problems, heart failure, lung, liver, and kidney damage, and eventually lead to death.
These heartworms can live for as long as seven years, with the number of infected worms ranging from 1 to 250!
If your dog has suffered from mosquito bites, it may have been infected with heartworms. It’s recommended to see your vet and put your dog on heartworm medication. While it’s important to kill any existing heartworm infections, it’s necessary to work on mosquito prevention methods to ensure the dog doesn’t get bitten again.
When a dog is constantly scratching or biting an itchy mosquito bite, it could lead to an open wound and possible infection.
Monitor any existing mosquito bites on your dog to make sure they don’t become infected. You can apply a paste made of baking soda and water to help relieve itching (this also helps stop mosquito bites from itching with people!).
How to Prevent Mosquitoes from Biting Your Dog
While it’s necessary to treat any existing mosquito bites and potential heartworm infections, the most important thing you can do to keep your dog from being bitten by mosquitoes is to take preventative measures to get rid of mosquitoes.
Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard with a Natural, Pet-Safe Mosquito Repellent
Mosquito Magician’s natural mosquito repellent gets rid of mosquitoes by killing adults on contact, suffocating mosquito larvae in standing water, and repelling mosquitoes from your property for up to two weeks. The best part is that it’s completely safe for your pets! No more worrying about your dog roaming the yard after toxic chemicals are sprayed — Mosquito Magician is made from natural ingredients, including lemongrass oil, garlic oil, citronella oil, and rosemary oil.
Homemade Mosquito Repellent for Dogs
Most bug repellents contain DEET, which is chemically deemed safe when used correctly. However, if it’s ingested it can be toxic to both humans and animals, making it important to keep any insect repellent containing DEET away from your furry friends.
While synthetic bug spray (AKA everything you see on the shelves at the store) can be harmful to your pets, you can use essential oils to make a safe homemade mosquito repellent for dogs. Mix the following ingredients together in a spray bottle:
- 15 drops lemon eucalyptus oil
- 2 oz witch hazel or other carrier oil (such as almond oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil)
All you need to do is shake the bottle up and spray it on your dog! You can also experiment with other essential oils, such as rosemary, lavender, basil, thyme, and peppermint, but it’s important to always dilute one drop of essential oil with 1 ml of carrier oil. So if you used 5 drops of essential oil, you’ll want to dilute it within 5 mls of a carrier oil.
What is the Best Mosquito Repellent for Dogs?
If you don’t feel like making your homemade mosquito repellent for dogs (or don’t already have a cabinet full of essential oils), there are some commercially available options. When looking for bug spray for your dog, make sure it’s completely natural and free of toxic ingredients like DEET.
Here are a few great options:
- Vet’s Best – made with Lemongrass oil, Geraniol Oil, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Wondercide Natural Flea, Tick, and Mosquito Control – made with essential oils including cedar wood, lemongrass, and sesame oil
- Flea and Tick Collar – while primarily made to repel fleas and ticks, this collar contains the same essential oils (citronella) that repel mosquitoes
- Insect Repellent Bandanna – arguably the cutest option of the bunch, this bandanna contains a permethrin formula that wards off mosquitoes and other biting insects