Andy Rooney said, “The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” And most of us can’t deny that, especially those who have pet dogs in their homes. But do these dog-loving people notice that the poor pet fights the same battles as we do, i.e., pesky mosquitoes?
Many of you might even reckon that mosquitoes don’t bite dogs, but the reality states quite the opposite. Many mosquitoes have a fondness for dog’s blood and since our poor dogs can’t complain, they suffer in silence as their hairs hide away all the bites. Itching, lack of proper sleep, and infections are just some of the side-effects. But, it’s important to notice that some of these mosquito bites can also prove to be fatal for your dog’s health. Let’s dive in and see how.
WHY DO MOSQUITOES BITE DOGS?
Mosquitoes are drawn towards dogs for similar reasons they are drawn towards our pity selves. They have receptors that can detect carbon dioxide from our breath. Dogs exhale carbon dioxide, possess skin odours, and body heat the way we do. The ears of dogs have a few hairs on the inside, drawing the mosquitoes to their ears and leaving a bunch of love bites. Also, dogs have very little hair around their groin, again making that area an easy target. Dogs usually display symptoms after sustaining mosquito bites, which may include scratching in the absence of fleas, constant rubbing the nose and ears against the flooring, red scars similar to mosquito bites, declining energy levels, no appetite and rejection to playing.
HOW CAN MOSQUITO BITES PROVE TO BE FATAL?
The mosquito bites can cause the following illnesses to your beloved pet:
Heartworm is a life-endangering parasite that can be transmitted by a single mosquito bite. Once the larva of the parasite enters the flowing blood, it can easily rupture the heart, blood vessels, and lungs. Heartworm prevention treatment is suggested to prevent such illnesses.
West Nile Virus
The West Nile virus is seen to affect dogs mildly, unlike humans. But the symptoms can be quite severe for those with weak immunity, like puppies, seniors, and dogs who already suffer from a medical condition or receive immunosuppressant drugs.
Most dogs also get swollen and constant itching due to the mosquito bites. Some dogs suffer from a more severe allergy that requires immediate medical attention, and a veterinarian must be contacted for aiding them.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) are two rare diseases that might affect your dog. Specific prevention measures must be taken into consideration especially for dogs with compromised immune systems, including puppies, seniors, and dogs with medical conditions.
PREVENTIVE MOSQUITO TREATMENTS
Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Pouring some Microbe-Lift Mosquito Control Liquid to standing water can kill the larvae. Clean the gutters out, drain off excess water from flower pots, and make sure that your surroundings are free of stagnant water. Keep your dogs indoors and make sure to plant mosquito repellent plants such as Tulsi or Basil near the openings of the house like doors and windows.
NATURAL MOSQUITO REPELLENTS FOR DOGS:
If you are not a big fan of chemicals, you might consider natural mosquito repellents. Following are a few natural mosquito repellents, although it’s a good idea to check with your vet before trying them:
Apple Cider Vinegar
People use apple cider vinegar for treating all sorts of illnesses. Some even apply it on their skin to reduce itchiness and inflammation. Mix up vinegar to water in equals and empty the contents in a spray bottle. Apply it to your dog’s neck, face, torso, tail, and coat. Avoid the eyes, nose, mouth, and any open, sore spots, and let it dry.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
The most effective natural mosquito repellent for both humans and pets is Lemon Eucalyptus oil. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Repellent provided 120.1 minutes of mosquito protection.
It is a popular natural mosquito repellent. The oils from the plant are used to make lotions, sprays, and candles. The spray is effective, but the candles cannot be used as a stand-alone repellent.
Small research found that spray mosquito repellent containing 5% fennel oil was 84% effective, whereas, a repellent cream with 8% fennel oil was 70% effective.
The essential oil of thyme has a greater repellency than a commercial DEET repellent. Research suggests that a spray made with 2% alpha terpinene is a promising natural mosquito repellent. But don’t try to make thyme oil-repellent at home as it is strong-smelling.
Another popular theory is that ingesting garlic can provide protection against mosquitoes. Peel and chop the garlic about 15 minutes before feeding, then add it to your dog’s food. Start feeding garlic one month before the start of mosquito season.
It repels mosquitoes and has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. Neem can also be used on open sores and wounds. You can put a few drops of neem oil on your dog’s specific areas and use it every day in mosquito season.
Cinnamon oil can kill mosquito larvae and can repel mosquitoes and prevent their bites. You can use it after dilution as a spray.
Cedar oil is a great non-toxic option to keep mosquitoes off your dog. It can kill mosquitoes, their eggs, and their larvae. Once it comes in contact with the mosquitoes, it pulls the water out of them, neutralizes body fluids, and interferes with their respiratory system. There are various commercially available effective products with the formulation of 10% – 20% cedar oil, which can be used as a spray on your dog before he goes outside.
Caution: Do not use essential oils of wintergreen, pennyroyal, or clove (or any products that contain these oils) on your dog. These oils are dangerous for your dog and should not be used for any reason.