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How to Keep Flies Away From My Dog (6 Proven Methods)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

fly on a leaf

With summer quickly approaching, you may have already noticed one or two extra flies buzzing around your favorite pooch and home. Even though flies are small critters, they can do a lot of damage to your dog’s peace of mind and health. This makes it imperative to keep flies away from your dog.

Luckily, there are a few easy ways that you can protect your dog from pesky flies and their painful bites. Most importantly, keeping your dog, yard, and home clean will do a lot of the work, but you may need to go a couple of extra steps to get rid of more serious fly invaders.

Let’s learn the proven methods for keeping flies away from your dog.

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Why Are There Flies on My Dog?

Before we learn about the six proven methods to keep flies away from your dog, it’s important to understand why flies like dogs in the first place. Knowing this fact can help you better combat the pesky critters when they come looking for your favorite dog.

Most commonly, regular house flies bite dogs whenever their coat are matted or unclean because it provides the perfect food source and breeding ground. More so, illness, diarrhea, and skin conditions can also attract flies because that is the perfect condition for laying eggs.

Certain types of flies may bite dogs to draw blood. Female horseflies, for example, need blood in order to produce eggs, making your pet one of the best options for their snack.

Dangers Associated With Fly Bites

Fly bites are painful, especially from a horsefly. Beyond the initial nuisance and pain, fly bites can be dangerous to your dog’s health. Most commonly, your dog can experience infection or infestation whenever the fly bites or lays eggs in its coat. Beyond these two dangers, flies are notably less dangerous than other insects, like mosquitoes.

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The 6 Proven Methods to Keep Flies Off Dogs

Now that we have learned why flies like dogs, let’s learn six ways to keep these pesky critters away from your furry family member.

1. Keep Your Dog Clean

The easiest way to prevent flies from biting your dog is to keep your dog clean. Regular cleanings can go a long way. Make sure to use dog-approved shampoo every time you wash their coat. In between washings, brush your dog’s coat to eliminate mats and grime buildup. This will prevent dirt, mud, or skin buildup, which are all common food sources for flies.

Bubble Bath a lovely dog chow chow
Image Credit: 135pixels, Shutterstock

2. Clean Your Dog’s Waste

Another really effective and easy way to prevent flies from coming near your dog is to make sure all of your dog’s waste is cleaned up in your yard. Flies and other critters especially are drawn to waste for a food source and laying eggs. This can lead to a full-blown infestation.

Clean up the waste regularly to prevent flies from being attracted to your house in the first place. This will keep the flies away at large, helping to prevent them from biting your dog.

3. Keep Your Home Clean

Beyond keeping your dog and yard clean, make sure to keep your home clean too. Though it’s impossible to prevent flies from being attracted to your yard, you can deter them from coming into your home by keeping it clean.

Most importantly, make sure to take the trash out regularly and don’t let food sit out. This includes little pieces of food in your sink. Similarly, wash dishes as soon as possible because the smell can attract flies to the inside of your home.

The girl does the cleaning with a vacuum cleaner
Image Credit: sipcrew, Shutterstock

4. Place Petroleum Jelly Around Target Spots

Even if you are adamant about keeping your dog, yard, and home clean, flies may still be attracted to your dog, especially if you live in a moist or swampy environment. To further protect your dog from insect bites, place petroleum jelly around the spots that flies target the most.

Flies most often like to bite at your dog’s ears and other thin skin. Place petroleum jelly around these areas to act as a deterrent. Flies are unable to bite through petroleum jelly, which is why it deters them from biting your dog.

5. Create an At-Home Fly Repellent

If you have so many flies that you would have to essentially cover your entire dog in petroleum jelly to protect it, create an at-home fly repellent instead. There are a lot of natural at-home repellent recipes you can use that are safe for your dog but deter flies.

One of the most effective fly repellents includes equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water. Simply put equal parts of the ingredients into a spray bottle. Then, spray the solution over your dog to deter flies from attacking. Repeat as often as necessary.

Apple cider vinegar and water
Image By: ThamKC, Shutterstock

6. Use Fly Catchers in Your Home

Lastly, you can use flycatchers in your home to help kill flies. It’s best to place the catchers around areas where flies are drawn for food sources. For example, place them around a trash can, sink, or some other area they are prone to visit. You may also want to put them beside doors and other entryways into your home.

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When to Call a Professional

In the summer, flies may be, and likely are, a common and unavoidable occurrence. In most cases, you should be able to combat the flies yourself. However, you may need to call a professional after flies have infested your home and yard. Calling a professional will ensure that the flies are terminated, helping to keep you and your dog safe.

You should primarily call a professional whenever you cannot get rid of the flies yourself. This is especially true if you cannot find the breeding ground for the flies. Most often, it will be around your dog’s waste. If that doesn’t seem to be the location, call a professional to locate it for you and get rid of the problem.

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Final Thoughts

Flies are a nuisance that can’t just be ignored.  Not only are they annoying, but their bites can be painful and lead to infection or infestation for your dog. It’s important to keep your dog, yard, and home clean to remove food sources from the flies. Doing these three simple things will largely eradicate the problem.

If you cannot get rid of the flies yourself, you need to call a professional. Though it will cost more money, a professional will be able to locate their breeding ground, terminate the issue, and keep your dog safe long term.

Featured Image Credit: mika mamy, Pixabay

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