On warm summer evenings, you might be tempted to enjoy some quality time with your dog outdoors. However, your outside oasis may quickly turn into a nightmare thanks to bloodsucking mosquitoes.
While bug bites are an itchy nuisance to us, they pose a bigger risk to our canine companions. Dogs can develop allergic reactions or even contract harmful diseases and parasites, including the West Nile virus.
To keep your dog safe from mosquitoes while he’s outside, here are six steps you can take to keep these bugs at bay.
The 6 Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away from Your Dog
1. Natural Pest Spray
Many pesticide sprays contain dangerous chemicals that are toxic to pets. Try spraying down your yard with an all-natural, dog-friendly pest spray. Look for sprays that only contain plant-based ingredients, such as cedar oil. Apply it to your deck, garden, and yard to repel and kill mosquitoes.
2. Remove Stagnant Water
Standing water, including water in your dog’s dish, puddles, and birdbaths, can attract mosquitoes. Clear out any sources of stagnant water before venturing outside.
3. DIY Bug Spray
You can effortlessly (and affordably) mix up your own dog-friendly bug spray right at home. Simply get a glass spray bottle and add 15 drops of lemon eucalyptus oil and two ounces of witch hazel. Shake up the mixture, and spray it all over yourself and your pet, avoiding the eyes, mouth, and nose.
You can also try real vanilla extract, peppermint essential oil, or lavender.
4. A Collar Mosquito Repellent
Get your furry friend ready for the yard by attaching a small natural bug repellent pack onto his collar. These dog-friendly mosquito repellent pouches contain no harmful chemicals or pesticides and last up to one year.
Feeding your dog garlic may make his breath super stinky, but it will also keep mosquitoes away. Only feed your pup organic, fresh, and clean whole clove garlic in moderation. If he’s under 10 pounds, feed him about 1/8 clove of garlic. For a bigger breed, offer your dog one garlic clove.
Be sure to peel, chop, and rinse the garlic under running water before feeding it to your dog.
6. Grow Some Plants
Give your green thumb some good use and start growing mosquito-repelling plants! Plants such as rosemary, catnip, peppermint, lemon balm, and lavender will keep mosquitoes away from your patio, yard, and garden. These plants are perfectly safe for dogs, so you don’t have to fret if your pet chews on them.
Even if you take the proper precautions, your dog can still get bitten by mosquitoes. If your dog gets bitten, keep an eye out for fatigue, coughing, weight loss, trouble breathing, a bulging chest, or collapse. If your dog exhibits any of these conditions, take him to the vet right away.
If your dog doesn’t show any signs of distress, use a dog-friendly ointment to alleviate itching. Severe itching can be treated with steroids provided by your vet. You can also use baking soda and water or oatmeal and water mixtures to treat the itching.
Always keep your pet’s shots and vaccines up to date to ensure he’s safe from viruses and bacteria.