Have you noticed Max and Fido scratching more than usual? Are you tired of hearing their collar jingle as they dig at an itch for the hundredth time today while also feeling bad that you can’t stop the itch? Guess what? The same mosquitoes that leave us with itchy welts are often the same pests that bite our pets too.
Here at The Natural Patch Co., we make products for your family, and we know that our pets are definitely members of the family! While we don’t necessarily make our own K9 products, we want to know how we can help you keep your furry friends safe from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.
Did you know that there are over 3,500 types of mosquitoes? That’s right! Thankfully, not many of those are attracted to human blood. But what about our fur-children? Many of us consider our dogs as part of our family unit, so it’s only natural to want to protect them as well.
Are there mosquito repellents that you can apply to your dog? Can you use bug spray on dogs? Are mosquito repellents toxic to dogs?
Read on to learn more!
Are Mosquito Repellents Toxic to Dogs?
This isn’t a super straightforward answer, unfortunately. Remember, unlike you or your children, your dog is going to groom themselves using their tongue. This means that whatever you apply to their fur is going to be ingested. That’s an extremely important thing to keep in mind as you look at mosquito repellents.
Products intended for topical application on humans that contain chemicals such as DEET and Picaridin have been troubling the minds of parents everywhere. These chemicals are harsh and not something we want to apply to our children.
Some are concerned that the chemical can be irritating to the skin, and it’s definitely not something you want to risk your child getting into their eyes or mouth. That being said, how do these chemicals affect our K9 friends? Can you apply DEET to your dog?
Dogs and DEET: A Dangerous Duo
Guess what? It turns out the answer is a resounding “NO” from the ASPCA. Dogs actually have pretty extreme reactions to the chemicals. Reaction from eye and skin irritation to life-threatening seizures have been observed in furry companions that were directly or indirectly exposed to the product.
Picaridin hasn’t been studied quite as in-depth as DEET when it comes to application and reactions to dogs. Still, the ASPCA lumps it in with the products you shouldn’t apply to your animals because they’re likely harmful if ingested.
You might be thinking, “what about natural products - those are always safer, right?”. Nope! Essential oils act differently for dogs than they do for people. In fact, some of the most popular natural mosquito-repelling essential oils for people to use are actually toxic to pets.
This might come as a surprise, but oils such as Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lavender, and Citronella have been shown to produce toxic results when applied to pets… Yikes! Now, as with most oils, you do have to take into consideration how they are exposed.
Direct application of essential oils is always a big no-no, according to the Animal Humane Society. But, if you do your research, you can learn what oils ARE safe and effective at repelling mosquitoes.
Is There Mosquito Repellent for Dogs?
Knowing that your little buddy Spot might be suffering from mosquito bites is enough to make you scratch your own heads for a solution. Thankfully, we have done some searching for you to find some options you can use on your pet!
The answer is yes! There are mosquito repellents for dogs. In fact, there are actually a TON of products out there that you can purchase or even make yourself.
We found that there are actually several different types of mosquito repellents that you can use on your pet. The main categories were monthly applications, wearable repellents, and natural repellents.
Do you already apply a monthly flea and tick medication to your dog?
That product might already be preventing mosquito bites on your pet. If the one yours is using does not, you can explore some other options with your vet so you can switch to one that does.
This is a once-and-done type of mosquito repellent. Simply apply this product to the nape of your dog’s neck once per month, and you’ll be able to relax knowing that your pet is a walking mosquito repeller for up to 30 days!
Sometimes, though, these monthly application products don’t work as well as they’re advertised, or you simply live in a heavily infested area with ruthless mosquitoes that don’t seem affected by the monthly products that you’re applying to your pets. In this case, you may want to double up on protection.
Just like there are wearable repellents like our BuzzPatch for kids (and even grown-ups), there are wearable repellents for your family pet too! These products come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and contain different types of repellent technology.
There are collars that you can put on your K9 pal that help repel mosquitoes and keep them bite-free. These are usually super simple to slip on. However, you might want to watch the ingredient list if you have small children.
Some of these products come with a warning that these products shouldn’t be used with little ones in the house. Since many of these collars shouldn’t be ingested and young ones are more likely to put items in their mouths.
Some of these collars contain powerful ingredients that function similarly to the monthly application repellents by delivering a constant dose of the repellent to the dog’s skin around the neck.
Natural Mosquito Protection
However, if you’re a fan of natural products, you’ll be happy to learn that there are collars with blends of natural essential oils that are safe for dogs. These are great options for families that are hesitant to use strong chemicals around their kids and fur kids alike.
In addition to collars, there are also vests and clothing items that you can put on your dog. Some of these, again, are going to have some strong chemicals. There are even a few out there that contain Picaridin, even though the ASPCA recommends against using it on your pet… oof.
It’s always good to make sure you’re doing your research and reading all ingredients on the products you use on your pets and your family.
This is why we make sure you can clearly see that we only use natural mosquito repellents in our products. We’re passionate about providing a transparent and natural product for you and your kids, and we know you care about your pet’s exposure to harsh chemicals too.
That’s why we’ve included this final section!
Read on to learn about the natural ways you can repel mosquitoes from your family’s furry companion.
Natural Mosquito Repellents for Dogs
We mentioned earlier that a lot of the essential oil repellents that we use on our own bodies and even our children aren’t safe for dogs. That’s because their bodies process these oils differently.
BUT that doesn’t mean you have to turn to chemicals and pesticides. There are essential oils that CAN be used on dogs, but exercise caution around essential oils and dogs.
The Animal Humane Society gives a great list of oils that are safe for dogs, but mosquitoes hate. These oils include basil, catnip, lemon balm, geranium, soybean, and rosemary. You can dilute these oils and apply them directly to your pet with peace of mind!
In addition, mosquitoes also hate the smell of citrus! While some people will slice up citrus fruit and apply that directly to their pets on particularly buggy afternoons, we think that sounds a little…sticky.
Dog hair plus fruit juice?
Sounds like we’ll be cleaning pet hair off the kids and the house for the next few days. Not to mention the fingerprints and residue that’s sure to be left everywhere. From little fingers petting their best bud and then touching the windows, couches, cabinets, and more… mess.
No, thank you. Instead, you can dilute these juices into a bottle with some water and spray on your pet that way.
Help Your Dog Stay Itch Free!
Now that you’re familiar with the different products you can purchase to keep those pesky mosquitoes off your pet, you can make sure the WHOLE family is enjoying their time outside!
Make sure you grab some BuzzPatch stickers for you and your kids while you’re at it too! That way, everyone can repel the mosquitoes, and you can enjoy an itch-free adventure in the great outdoors.