How To Prevent Mosquito Bites on Dogs
Dog owners know how much time and effort it takes to keep their furry loved ones happy and healthy. And it is more than just giving them proper nutrition and ensuring they get enough exercise—it also includes knowing how to prevent mosquito bites on dogs. Many owners may not realize the risks mosquitoes can pose to their pets.
To help protect your furry family member from mosquitoes, here’s an in-depth guide with everything you need to know. You will learn to spot bites and how to keep mosquito populations low. We also have some tips for cat owners.
The best way to keep your pets safe from mosquito bites is to limit the growth of the mosquito population on your property. It is best to contact a pest control specialist who can implement mosquito control measures.
How to Spot Mosquito Bites on Dogs
Mosquito bites are just as annoying to dogs as they are to humans. Dog hair doesn’t do much to deter these pests. A mosquito’s proboscis has no trouble going through a thick layer of fur. These bites can become itchy and irritated and cause the following symptoms:
- Red welts on the skin
- Continuous scratching
- Rubbing nose or ears against a rough surface
Mosquito bites on dogs can also cause systemic illness. Here are some signs to watch out for:
- Difficulty breathing
- Lack of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Although rare, mosquito bites can also cause an allergic reaction in dogs. An anaphylactic shock can cause the following symptoms:
- Breathing problems
Mosquito bites can have more severe consequences than redness and itchy lumps. They can carry life-threatening diseases.
Heartworm disease can be hard to spot in your dog because it takes time to develop. A heartworm infection starts when a mosquito bite leaves behind a heartworm larva. It will grow, travel through the dog’s bloodstream and take root in the heart and pulmonary arteries. It will eventually become big enough to constrict blood flow and make the dog’s heart work much harder. It can be fatal if left untreated.
Some signs of heartworm in dogs include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after regular activity, decreased appetite and weight loss.
West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis
While pets can be infected with West Nile Virus and eastern equine encephalitis, it is very rare. And, fortunately, most pets who are infected with these viruses are able to make a full recovery.
The symptoms of West Nile Virus are usually mild for pets. Some possible signs that your dog has West Nile Virus are spasms, seizures, weakness and loss of appetite. Eastern equine encephalitis is another mosquito-borne virus that can affect dogs. When a dog contracts eastern equine encephalitis, the dog can develop a fever, lose its appetite and become lethargic.
How to Protect Your Dog From Mosquito Bites
It’s impossible to watch your dog 24/7, shooing away mosquitoes that may come near them. But you can lower the chances of them getting bitten. If you’re asking how to prevent mosquito bites on dogs, here are some steps you can take.
Remove Standing Water
Mosquitoes breed in standing water. And they don’t need a lot of it to lay eggs. Even a quarter of an inch is enough for them. Regularly check the items in your home and garden that can accumulate water. That can be flower pots, buckets, old tires and coffee mugs. If you can, move these items to a dry place or regularly dump out any water that collects in them.
Plan Your Walks
While different species of mosquitoes are active at different times, peak mosquito hours are usually between dusk and dawn. It is best to time your walks with your dog outside this time frame to protect them and yourself from bites. If you give your dog outside time in the yard or patio, you can time it while it is bright and sunny.
Use Pet-Friendly Mosquito Repellent
You can boost your dog’s protection with a pet-friendly mosquito repellent. Some flea and tick treatments also work on mosquitoes. However, dogs have various sensitivity levels and will react differently to products. It’s best to consult your dog’s veterinarian before applying repellent.
Use Fans Around the House
Mosquitoes are lousy fliers and stand no chance against a fan. Having a few around the house will keep them from landing on their targets. Also, mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide humans and dogs exhale. Fans will help blow the air around, making it hard for mosquitoes to detect carbon dioxide. Air conditioners work in the same way.
Install Window and Door Screens
Screens are highly effective against mosquitoes. The fine mesh will keep these pesky insects away while letting air flow in. But they’ll only work if you install them on all windows and screens and keep them shut. Also, you must repair or replace them if you notice any holes.
Contact the Experts
Is the mosquito population in your home or garden getting hard to manage? If so, it is time to contact a pest control specialist. They have the qualifications and expertise to reduce the number of these pests. They will come to your home, assess the level of infestation and provide you with a mosquito control plan. That way, you and your furry companion can be more comfortable outside.
What Blood Type Do Mosquitoes Like?
There seems to be something special with Type O blood. Not only is it the universal donor, but it also might be mosquitoes’ favorite blood type.
There was a study in 2004 that compared the different blood types. Researchers discovered that Asian tiger mosquitoes have a strong preference for Type O over Type A blood. The most recent study was in 2019. Researchers placed different blood types in separate feeders. They observed that most yellow fever mosquitoes wanted to feed on Type O blood.
However, these studies aren’t comprehensive. Many other possible factors can make a person more attractive to mosquitoes. In addition, these insects need blood to produce eggs. They’re unlikely to discriminate between blood types when searching for someone to bite.
Here are other things that can draw mosquitoes:
- Carbon Dioxide: Whenever you exhale, you leave a trail of carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes are attracted to this and will use it to find their way to you.
- Body Odor: If mosquitoes bite you more than others, they might find your smell particularly attractive. Genetics and the compounds and bacteria on your skin can affect your body odor and make you more desirable to these pests.
- Heat: Female mosquitoes tend to gravitate toward heat sources. Because our bodies give off heat, that makes us automatic targets.
Mosquitoes also tend to prefer pregnant women. That may be because they have a higher body temperature and give off more carbon dioxide.
Regardless of your blood type, it’s smart to implement measures to reduce mosquito populations. Contact a pest control specialist to make your property a more enjoyable place to be.
Do Mosquitoes Bite Cats?
Unfortunately, cats aren’t safe from mosquito bites either. They are as susceptible to them as humans and dogs. Mosquitoes tend to target cats’ noses and ears because there is less fur in those areas. Limiting the mosquito population around your home is the best way to protect your cat from mosquito bites and the diseases these pests carry.
You can make your home and garden uninviting to them by dumping out any collected water where mosquitoes can lay eggs. You can also deter them by installing window and door screens. Turning on your home’s fans or air conditioning can help, too. But the best plan of action is to get the help of a pest control specialist. They have the tools and expertise to keep mosquito populations low. They can also help if your cat has been dealing with other pests, like fleas.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know how to prevent mosquito bites on dogs and cats, you know actionable steps you can take to make them more comfortable.
But for the most effective solutions, contact a pest control specialist. They will use their expertise to assess the infestation and implement a plan to keep mosquito populations low.
Chem-free Can Reduce Mosquito Populations on Your Property
Mosquitoes can make you miserable. If you’re ready to limit the number of mosquitoes buzzing around your property, contact Chem-free Pest Control. We offer holistic methods of pest control that have your family in mind. This way, you can feel comfortable at home again.