The summer weather brings a lot of opportunities to have fun outside with your pup, but it also brings mosquitoes. When the mosquito population goes up and dogs start spending more time outdoors, the potential for mosquito bites is much higher, and that can be quite dangerous.
If you live in an area with a warm climate and a mosquito season that lasts all year, the risks can be even greater.
Luckily, there are some steps you can take to prevent your dog from being bitten by mosquitoes and things you can do to treat mosquito bites.
Here are some of the dangers of mosquito bites for dogs, some preventative measures you can take, and some ways to treat mosquito bites on dogs when you spot them. Mosquitoes can carry and spread plenty of nasty diseases to both humans and dogs. Luckily for our pups, there are a lot of human diseases that are spread through mosquito bites that are not contagious to canines.
However, there are still dangers to look out for. The following conditions can be caused by mosquito bites in dogs.
Heartworm is a potentially life-threatening parasite that can be spread by a single mosquito bite. Once the parasite’s larva enters the bloodstream, it can cause major problems in the heart, blood vessels, and lungs.
Adult worms can grow to a foot in length and live in dogs for seven years. Up to 250 can live in one dog. Make sure your dog is treated to prevent heartworm before the start of mosquito season.
Here are some symptoms of heartworm:
2. Allergic Reactions
Most dogs, like humans, will get a swollen, itchy bump at the site of a mosquito bite. However, some dogs may suffer from a more severe allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention.
If your dog shows signs of a severe allergic reaction after being bitten by a mosquito, contact your veterinarian or emergency veterinary hospital right away.
Here are some symptoms of a severe allergic reaction in dogs:
Swelling, especially of the face
Loss of appetite
Tips To Protect Your Dog From Mosquito Bites
When it comes to diseases spread by mosquitoes, the best solution is prevention.
There are many ways to reduce the chances of your dog being bitten by mosquitoes, even during the summer when you and your pup want to spend more time outside, and there are steps you can take to prevent diseases from infecting your dog if they do happen to get bitten.
Here are some tips to protect your dog from mosquito bites.
1. Update Heartworm Treatment
Whatever course of heartworm treatment you and your veterinarian have decided to provide to your dog, make sure it is up-to-date and your dog is protected. Some dog owners choose medication, while others rely on natural solutions, but whatever you prefer, make sure your dog is treated. Heartworm can kill dogs, so it is very important that you take preventative measures.
2. Stay Indoors When Possible, Especially During Peak Hours
Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, so it may be best to walk your dog at other times of day when the mosquitoes aren’t so aggressive. Keep your dog inside as much as you can, and make sure that the doors and windows are closed. If you have any screens, make sure that they are in good shape and repair or block any holes that mosquitoes may be able to get through.
3. Use Dog-Safe Insect Repellent
Do not use human insect repellent on your dog. There are several insect repellents on the market that are specifically designed for dogs. There are also some natural solutions that may work for your dog, too. Some natural insect repellents for dogs include lemon eucalyptus oil, geranium oil and soybean oil, thyme, clove oil, and neem oil.
4. Get Rid Of Standing Water
Mosquitoes breed in standing water, which includes puddles, ponds, outdoor dog bowls, and bird baths. Anywhere that rain water or irrigation water can pool and collect can be a mosquito haven. If you have any of these on your property, be aware that they are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and your dog is at much greater risk for bites.
You may want to consider reducing the number of places where water can pool on your property.
5. Grow Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
There are several plants that act as natural mosquito repellents, and planting a few on your property may reduce your dog’s chances of getting bitten.
Some plants that are known to repel mosquitoes include lavender, catnip, basil, lemon balm, peppermint, and rosemary.