It is peak summertime. If you are a dog owner then you know what season it really is: flea/tick/mosquito season. This is the time of the year when you become wary of letting your dog be outside. While mosquito bites tend to be an annoying nuisance these pesky bugs can also carry deadly consequences and even transmit diseases like heart worm and West Nile. While you can treat your lawn and home for mosquitos it can still be a challenge to keep your dog safe and bite-free all summer.
DON’T use human insect repellent on your dog
Just like most products meant for humans, bug spray is great for us, but they’re toxic for our furry friends. The main ingredient in most drugstore bug sprays is DEET. When exposed to dogs is can cause vomiting, seizures, and skin irritation.
When you are applying bug spray to yourself, it is important that you don’t allow your dog to lick your skin, and if they do, contact your vet immediately.
DO buy insect-repellent products made for dogs
Like we mentioned above, bug sprays made for humans tend to be toxic for dogs. You will want to stick to products that are made just for dogs. This allows you some peace of mind because you will know that they’re safe to use. Luckily this shouldn’t be hard to find as most flea and tick products are formulated to repel mosquitoes as well.
DON’T ignore natural remedies
In recent years more and more people are leaning away from using harsh chemicals, and this often trickles down to how they care for their pets. So if you’re not comfortable using chemicals on yourself then you are in luck because there are actually a lot of natural remedies for mosquito prevention. Don’t worry about their effectiveness because these remedies work just as well as the harsh chemical ones.
So here are some natural remedies:
- Lemon eucalyptus oil is an effective repellent that keeps mosquitoes (and possibly other people) at bay with its repugnant smell
- When mixed together Geranium oil and soybean oil can also be used as a repellent. You can usually find products with these ingredients in health food stores, but you can also mix these oils together yourself and make your own D.I.Y. bug spray.
DO avoid leaving stagnant water around your home
Like humans mosquitoes need water to live. One of the best ways to keep adult mosquitoes from breeding is by restricting their access to water. Water is their breeding ground and in order to keep them out of your yard and home you need to eliminate their access to water.
In order to prevent them from breeding you will need to eliminate any standing water around your home. This includes even the smallest puddle of water behind your air conditioner or the dish of three-day-old water under your plants. If you keep a water dish outside for your dog then you will want to consider emptying their water bowl at night or when you know that they won’t be drinking it.
DON’T walk your dog during peak mosquito times
Mosquitoes have their own time of the day when they’re the most active much like humans in rush hour traffic. These times are typically at dusk and dawn. You will want to avoid walking your dog during these hours because they’ll be less likely to be bitten.
DO fix any broken window screens in your home
Mosquitoes tend to get into the home through open windows or broken window screens. If you wake up with new bites on your arms, then this might be a sign that your windows might not be protecting you and your dog as much as you think.
You should be wary of any holes or tears in screens that might be letting bugs in. Also don’t forget to fill in the gaps between your air conditioner and the window frame.
If you follow all these tips and then you are likely to have a healthy, bite-free dog all summer long.