Mosquitoes are insects that breed in standing or slow-moving water. They also dwell on weeds, bushes, and tall grasses outside your home. They thrive in tropical areas although some species have already adapted to cooler regions. These tiny insects do not only feed on humans but on birds and other animals, nectar and plant juices as well. The female blood-sucking mosquitoes are the ones that prey on humans and animals in order to obtain sufficient blood to produce eggs. So if you think you are the only one who needs a mosquito repellent to protect your skin from mosquito bites, think again. If you own a pet, your dog or cat is also a poor target for these vector agents that transmit disease-causing viruses and parasites.
Heartworm disease is a very common illness contracted from mosquitoes when microscopic heartworm larvae of a parasitic worm enters through the skin of your dog, pass through the bloodstream and infest in the right side of the heart and arteries of the lungs. Symptoms include muscle weakness, fever, lethargy, spasm, seizures, paralysis, etc. Signs of heartworm infestation may not be noticeable yet within or after a year of infection but may result to congestive heart failure and put your dog in great danger. Other parasitic worms may cause skin irritation, inflammation and allergic reaction. Usually the affected areas will develop redness, lesions, swelling, raw ulcers, and crusts.
Indoor dogs are of course less prone to mosquito bites compared to dogs living outside your home. If you cannot allow your dog inside your house, protection from mosquito bites must be one of your primary concerns for your pet. All dogs must be vaccinated against heartworm and must have a dwelling place that is free from mosquito infestation. While you can spray insect repellent like Mosquito Barrier and place mosquito netting or mosquito magnet on your dog’s abode, you can also apply a repellent on the dog’s body for direct protection.
The following are examples of mosquito repellents you can use to safeguard your precious pets.
- Pre-Strike Mosquito Repellent for Dogs. Not only good for killing mosquitoes but also repels flies, fleas, ticks, and gnats.
- K9 Advantix. This product provides protection from mosquitoes, biting flies, chewing lies, ticks, fleas and other pests. Dosage depends on the size of your dog, thus refer to the veterinarian to provide you with the proper dose.
- Farnam Flys-Off Dog Insect Repellent. Spray your dog or his area with this protection from mosquitoes that also kills flies, gnats, and other biting pests.
- Organic or Natural Remedies. Safer and less expensive, natural remedies can be made as mosquito control using essential oils such as coconut oil, castor oil, garlic oil, olive oil, critter oil, neem oil, eucalyptus, soybean oil, tea tree oil, catnip, citronella, lemongrass, pennyroyal, grapeseed extract, glycerine, etc. Commercial preparations containing these ingredients are readily available.
When choosing a mosquito repellent for dogs, avoid products with Deet – a kind of oil primarily active in most insect repellents and not recommended for pets. It is best to seek your veterinarian’s advice to ensure safety and protection for your beloved dog.