On the hunt for the best mosquito repellent for dogs? Of course you are – any dog lover who’s witnessed their best friend getting helplessly molested by mosquitoes wants a solution. Fast.
But what’s a good mosquito repellent for dogs? Can you simply use the one that you and your family use? Do you spray your dog from head to tail?
All good questions. Let’s dive into the nitty gritty of choosing – and using – mosquito repellents for dogs.
Can Dogs Get Mosquito Bites?
Your furry friend is covered in fur. So is he susceptible to the annoyance of mosquito bites?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
Although your dog’s fur may offer some protection against mosquito bites, he’s still vulnerable where his fur doesn’t reach, i.e. the belly, ears and nose. Not to mention if you’ve got relatively hairless dogs – they definitely need shielding.
Especially since mosquito bites are more than just an itchy nuisance. Whereas we mostly worry about mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and malaria, the biggest concern when it comes to dogs is heartworm. Heartworm is a parasite that mosquitoes can spread from one animal to another and it can cause serious heart and lung infection in dogs.
Nobody wants that. Particularly when there are so many options to protect our furry friends from mosquitoes.
Can You Put Mosquito Spray on Dogs?
You probably have a can or two mosquito repellent for yourself and your family. Can you simply douse Mister Woof in the stuff?
Well, it depends.
Your bug spray might work great for you, but dogs aren’t able to tolerate many of the mosquito repellents we use.
For example, DEET, the active ingredient in most drugstore bug sprays, is toxic for your dog and can cause vomiting, seizures, and skin irritation.
Not only should you never spray your dog down with DEET-containing bug spray, you should also be careful to not let him lick your skin after you’ve had a DEET shower.
If you’re not sure you can guarantee this, you might want to opt for a natural mosquito repellent for yourself. They’re effective, safe and you can get cozy with your furry friend without worrying about poisoning him.
Plus, many of these natural mosquito repellents for humans can safely be used on your dog. So what are the best ones? Let’s dive in.
What’s the Best Mosquito Repellent for Dogs?
Unlike us, dogs can’t really protect themselves from mosquito bites. It’s not like they can swat them away or get the satisfaction of smacking a mosquito. So it’s up to us to provide the protection.
And the best way to make sure our furry friends are safe and bite-free? Use a dog safe mosquito repellent. Here are your best options.
Natural Mosquito Spray for Dogs
Natural mosquito repellents aren’t just great and non-toxic for you and your family. They’re also great repellent options for dogs. And when it comes to natural mosquito sprays for dogs, you’ve got options galore.
Nantucket Spider Natural Bug Repellent for Dogs
Nantucket Spider’s Natural Bug Repellent for Dogs is probably our favorite – it contains no chemicals, no DEET, no pesticides. And it works.
Plus, you can use it on both your dog and yourself. The smell is also not overwhelming, which makes it a good spray to dab onto your dog’s most mosquito-vulnerable areas like his ears and belly.
Vet’s Best Mosquito Repellent
Vet’s Best Mosquito Repellent is a great non-toxic mosquito spray for dogs and cats. It’s formulated with natural oils like lemongrass and geraniol so it smells sort of like a very strong lemonade.
And it works – not just for mosquitoes, but ticks and flies also can’t seem to stand the scent.
Wondercide Flea & Tick Spray
Last but not least, another great option that’s formulated to repel fleas, ticks and mosquitoes is Wondercide’s Natural Repellent. This natural mosquito repellent for dogs also contains no DEET, no pesticides and is made with food-grade ingredients so it’s safe for children and pets, even puppies. Smells lovely, too.
Homemade Mosquito Repellent for Dogs
One thing you may have noticed while shopping for a natural mosquito repellent for dogs is that they tend to contain fairly simple formulas comprised of a handful of essential oils.
If you’re wondering whether that means you can make your own, we’re going to say a resounding yes.
The only two things you need to be mindful of when it comes to making a homemade mosquito repellent for dogs is:
- Dilution. For dilution, we recommend a 0.5% to 1% dilution for dogs. That translates to only 3 to 6 drops to an ounce of witch hazel. If your dog is older, more sensitive or very small, play it safe and keep the dilution closer to 0.5%.
- Safety of essential oils. Not all essential oils are considered safe for dogs. Consult this list for which ones to use and which to skip.
And when you’re ready, you can whip up your very own homemade mosquito repellent for dogs. Here is a recipe for you to start with:
- 2 oz witch hazel
- 6 drops lavender essential oil
- 3 drops citronella essential oil
- 3 drops catnip essential oil
Mix it all in a spray bottle. Shake well and use.
Mosquito Repellent Clothing for Dogs
If your dog hates having anything rubbed or sprayed onto him, is constantly trying to lick it off, or has sensitive skin – you’ll want to go with a non-topical option.
Humans aren’t the only ones who can benefit from mosquito repellent clothing – they got this brilliant stuff for dogs as well!
In case you’re wondering, mosquito repellent clothes are clothes that’ve been treated with an invisible, odorless Insect Shield that’s so tightly bonded to the fabric fibers that it effectively discourages mosquitoes – as well as ticks, ants, flies, and other annoyances – from getting too close to you (or your dog).
The active ingredient in Insect Shield is permethrin, which is found in many flea products so you get the additional benefit of keeping fleas off your pet as well.
Oh, and did we mention the little shirts are quite cute? They come in a variety of styles and colors so shop around!
Flea Treatments for Dogs
Last but not least, did you know that many flea treatments for dogs double as mosquito repellent protection?
For example, Frontline’s Spot On Treatments don’t just kill fleas and ticks – they also repel mosquitoes from your dog.
Ditto for Adams Flea & Tick Collars – these repel mosquitoes for up to six months per collar. Plus, they have the advantage of being waterproof so you don’t have to worry about re-application even if your dog gets wet.
If you’re already using these products for flea control, you may not have to worry about finding another mosquito repellent for dogs at all.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites on Dogs
One of the best ways to prevent mosquito bites on dogs is to regularly apply a good, safe mosquito repellent whenever you’re headed out.
But on top of that, there are some extra steps you can take to keep mosquitoes away from your dog, like…
- Keep your dogs indoors during peak mosquito rush hours. Avoid walking your dog in the early mornings and early evenings since this is when mosquitoes are most active.
- Clear any and all standing water around your home. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water and these eggs can hatch in as little as one inch of water! The good news is that killing mosquito larvae before an infestation happens is really easy. It takes 5 minutes and it’ll protect both you and your dog from hordes of blood suckers.
- Secure the entrances to your house. This means fixing any holes in window screens and closing up any openings between the air conditioner and the window frame. You can also go a step further and place a few anti mosquito plants near your windows and doors.