HomeNewsApr 11, Mosquito Bites on Dogs: Dangers and Prevention Tips

    Apr 11, Mosquito Bites on Dogs: Dangers and Prevention Tips

    Mosquito Bites on Dogs  by Karen Thompson  Updated: 04-11-2023

    are extremely active during spring and summer. And, since they are not
    only extremely aggravating but also can transmit diseases with some
    serious health risks, we have to make sure that we protect ourselves
    from these pesky insects.

    Mosquito Bites on DogsMosquito Bites on Dogs

    But, humans are not the only mosquito targets, they bite animals, too.
    If we have the means and abilities to keep ourselves safe from
    mosquitoes, animals don’t have that luxury, which means that we are
    responsible for providing mosquito protection to our pets.

    Why Worry About Mosquito Bites?

    What’s a little mosquito bite?  It stays red and itches for awhile
    and then goes away.  It ‘d be good if that were all there is to it, but
    there is more cause for concern.

    For most people, a little bite
    causes a minimal loss of blood, but the saliva of the mosquito is what
    is responsible for the itchy rash that often develops. The real problem
    occurs because many of the species of mosquitoes carry diseases.  

    With a
    bite, they can infect people with deadly diseases such as Malaria,
    Chikungunya, Yellow Fever, West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, and Zika.
    American Mosquito Control Association  (AMCA) has more information on
    human diseases, if interested. 

    These diseases may all seem like tropical diseases, but as we have seen
    with Zika, these conditions are slowly making their way into more
    temperate regions due to global warming.

    What Does this Mean for Our Dogs?

    Dogs don’t get many of the mosquito-borne diseases that affect
    people, but they can be infected with West Nile virus but normally do
    not develop clinical symptoms.  

    The most common disease that affects
    dogs (and cats too) is heartworm disease. We can control this disease
    through yearly heartworm tests and placing dogs on a regiment of
    heartworm preventative.

    The risk of heartworm is greatest in the
    summer months in northern latitudes, but in the U.S. south, mosquitos
    are active all year long.  Your vet will let you know how long you must
    give heartworm medication and advise you to which product works best.

    Even if your dog does not get a disease from a mosquito bite, they can
    still experience the same itching and irritation that people feel.  Dogs
    can get bitten anywhere on their body, but the majority of bites occur
    around areas where there is little or no hair such as ears, nose,  and
    paw pads.

    Constant scratching, redness or red welts similar to those of
    humans all happen to dogs as well. Typically mosquito bites on dogs are
    not treated, but if the dog is visually miserable, your vet may be able
    to prescribe something for the itching.  If you can see the bite, you
    can apply a small amount of Benadryl cream on the bite.

    Protecting Our Dogs and Us from Mosquitoes

    It is important to protect both and your pets from coming into
    contact with these insect vectors.  We rely on repellents and creating a
    mosquito-free environment to keep us well.

    Of course, nowadays,
    there are many mosquito repellents available, many of which are designed
    specifically for animals. However, most of the store-bought repellent
    products contain chemical ingredients such as DEET, which still isn’t
    the best neither for our pets or the environment.

    So let’s see what the
    natural alternatives to keeping your pet mosquito bite-free are.

    Mosquito Bites on Dogs:  Prevention

    Homemade Mosquito Repellents

    Firstly, you can create your own pet insect repellent using either
    lemon, garlic or a blend of different essential oils as mosquitoes are
    deterred by the sharp smell of these ingredients.  

    Just make sure that
    if you use essential oils, that they can be used safely on the type of
    animals you have.  Lemon Eucalyptus, Tea tree oil,  and Lavender are
    three essential oils that will repel mosquitoes and are safe to use on

    Tea Tree Oil

    One tsp per 1 cup of water.  

    Mix and
    pour into a spray bottle.  Spray on your dog.  

    This will also protect
    them from other insects such as fleas.

    If you prefer already mixed products, these can be purchased on Amazon and work safely and effectively on dogs.

    Avoid Peak Hours

    There are specific times of the day when mosquitoes are the most active. They are the hours of the day when the sun isn’t out yet or has gone down already, but it is still warm enough for mosquitoes to begin their attacks, so the early morning hours and late afternoons.

    Therefore, don’t take your pet out for a walk and don’t let them out in the backyard during these times, as there is going to be a significantly larger amount of mosquitoes around to bite your dog or cat.

    But if that isn’t possible, make sure that both you and your pet has some form of mosquito protection on, so you can repel at least some mosquitoes.

    Keep your Backyard Clean

    Mosquitoes hide from the summer heat
    in the grass and compost. So keeping your backyard clean and grass cut
    is also a good way how to protect your yard from various insects,
    minimize the number of mosquitoes in your outdoor space,  and help your
    pets avoid mosquito bites.

    On top of that, by eliminating mosquito
    hiding spots, you will also make your yard less favorable to the
    insects, and you might even see a decrease in a number of mosquitoes
    that live in your garden.

    Get Rid of All Standing Water

    Since mosquitoes breed only in
    standing water, there is going to be a significantly larger amount of
    mosquitoes wherever there is stagnant water around.

    So, again, by
    eliminating every and any still water from your backyard as well as
    getting rid of all water accumulating containers and spots, you can
    drastically minimize mosquito numbers, which, in return, will help to
    keep your pet safe from mosquitoes.

    Introduce Mosquito Screens

    Also, it is a good idea to make
    your home a refuge from insects for your pets, because this way they
    will know that at least indoors they won’t be bothered by mosquitoes.

    You can do that by introducing window and door screens and mosquito
    nets, which will keep mosquitoes from coming into your house and will
    help turn the inside of your home into a mosquito-free zone.

    If you use a doggie door, assure that when not in use, it provides sealed protection from the outdoors.

    Mosquito Repellent Plants

    Lastly, there are many plants
    which are natural mosquito repellents and therefore will also keep
    mosquitoes away. Among the most popular are citronella, lavender,
    marigolds, peppermint, and rosemary. 

    You can either plant them in
    your backyard, garden or even in your house on your windowsills. And
    they, too, will help you fight the never-ending fight against

    Learn how to deal with mosquito bites on dogsLearn how to deal with mosquito bites on dogs: Tips you can use now.

    Karen Thompson is the owner of, a mosquito control advice blog, which will help you keep the mosquitoes away from you and your loved ones. The road to a mosquito-free life isn’t easy, but it can be less hard if you know what to do.

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