Mosquitoes and Dogs: Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment
Over one million dogs were diagnosed with heartworms in 2019 — a severe disease often spread by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are commonly considered the most dangerous animal globally for their disease-carrying capabilities.
Your canine companion doesn’t want a mosquito bite more than you do. Even without the danger of disease, those itchy bites are annoying enough.
Though mosquitoes and dogs can be scary, we have some tips to help. Read our guide below to treat dog mosquito bites and prevent more bites.
Mosquito Bite Symptoms in Dogs
Mosquito bites are harder to recognize on dogs than on humans. You often can’t see the irritated area around the bite because of their thick fur, and dogs can’t tell you when they’re suffering.
Here are common signs of mosquito bites on dogs:
- Red welts
- Aggressive licking or chewing
- Excessive scratching
- Rubbing against hard surfaces
If your dog seems irritated by a specific spot, gently brush their fur back to look for a bite. Some of these signs are also symptoms of other issues, so physical bite marks are the easiest way to identify the cause.
If you can’t identify a clear cause for the symptoms, you should contact your dog’s vet for a professional opinion.
Dogs don’t usually need treatment for mosquito bites. You may want to treat your dog’s symptoms, and you’ll want to treat any diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.
For bites that are bothering your dog, you can ask your dog’s vet for a treatment to reduce the itching.
There are also over-the-counter treatment options and natural alternatives to treat itching.
Make sure that any treatment you use is safe for your dog. For itch ointment, test it on a small area of your dog’s skin and wait at least 15 minutes. If your dog doesn’t develop any rashes or other allergic symptoms, it should be safe to use on all their bites.
Mosquito-borne diseases will need to be treated depending on the type. Heartworm, the most common mosquito-borne illness for dogs, should be diagnosed and treated by a vet.
The vet will usually prescribe long-term heartworm medication to treat the infection. This arsenic-based medication is given over the course of several months in many small doses.
You can use an insect repellent made specifically for dogs to prevent future mosquito bites. It’s always good practice to ask your vet about the safest and most effective brands.
Don’t use bug spray made for humans. They often contain ingredients that are toxic for dogs.
Another preventative measure is mosquito control. You can use pest control services to help guide you further in prevention if you suspect a mosquito problem in your area.
The Pest Control Solution for Mosquitoes and Dogs
Watch out for the many dangers of mosquitoes and dogs. If you see signs of mosquito bites on your dog, treat them and take the steps above to keep your dog safe.
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