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by Suzie Cyrenne May 11, 2022 9 min read
It’s very important that you have a mosquito repellent for dogs handy during the warmer seasons since these are the times when your canine family member is highly vulnerable to mosquito bites.
Besides making your dog go through a lot of itching and discomfort, mosquito bites may also be a source of pathogens that can set off various diseases once they get inside your beloved pet’s system.
With holistic medicine as our guide, we’ve put together this checklist of the best natural mosquito repellents for dogs that you can use to keep mosquito bites at bay. As a bonus, we’re also revealing our favorite home remedy for mosquito bites as you go along.
And don’t forget that we’re naturally with you and your pet, every step of the way, too!
How about we start things off by determining exactly why mosquitoes bite dogs?
Just to make things clear, it is only the female mosquitoes that bite dogs. They do this so that they can have a sufficient amount of protein in their bodies to produce eggs. Unless they gather enough blood, these mosquitoes won’t be able to reproduce.
Now we’ve got that covered, let’s talk about the possible factors why your canine family member attracts mosquitoes.
Believe it or not, there are several factors that could make your canine family member a mosquito magnet. We’ll discuss each one briefly below:
Mosquitoes choose their targets visually and they tend to be enticed with dogs that have darker colored coats. If your dog sports a dark coat, it is highly likely that he will be prone to mosquito bites during the warmer seasons.
Your dog’s skin is very abundant with bacteria, especially in and around the groin area, the armpits, and the ears. Sometimes the number of these bacteria shoot up unexpectedly due to the presence of dog skin problems like mange, ringworm, and allergies.
And once this really dense population of bacteria combines with sweat, they become really “fragrant” to mosquitoes.
Did you know that apart from zeroing in on their targets visually, mosquitoes also scope them out using carbon dioxide emission? See, the more your canine family member exhales, the easier it will be for these biting insects to spot him.
It has been theorized that this is the reason why mosquitoes tend to buzz around the head and ears. Moreover, since larger dogs are inclined to exhale higher amounts of carbon dioxide, they are more prone to mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes have the ability to detect compounds in dog sweat like ammonia and lactic acid, which they also use as “markers” to spot their targets. If your dog just had a long walk or played a vigorous game of fetch, he’ll be more conspicuous to these biting insects.
Additionally, it has also been speculated that the extra amount of heat emitted by a sweaty dog attracts mosquitoes.
If you’re noticing that your canine family member is attracting a lot of mosquitoes, chances are his blood type is a key factor.
See, there is a specific protein in your dog’s red blood cells called Dog Erythrocyte Antigen (DEA) that plays a crucial role in determining his blood type. Some variants of this protein are more enticing to mosquitoes and they usually swarm to dogs that have this particular DEA.
Do you have a female dog that seems to be a mosquito magnet? There is a possibility that she may be pregnant. Besides having a warmer temperature compared to other female dogs, a pregnant dog also tends to exhale more carbon dioxide due to the ongoing hormonal changes in her body.
Next on our list are the signs to look out for if your dog has been bitten by a mosquito…
Here are the common indicators that your canine family member was just bitten by a mosquito:
Now we’ve got that covered, let’s talk about the natural mosquito repellents for dogs that you can use…
Before you go for “conventional” mosquito repellents for dogs, there are actually natural home remedies that you can use to fix this problem, which we’ve gathered from our online research.
Below are the all-natural mosquito repellents for dogs that you should consider having in your dog care home kit:
According to the Iowa State University Horticulture and Home Pest News, the leaves of the lemon balm plant contain an organic chemical known as citronellal as well as other oils that have a repulsive effect to mosquitoes.
To use lemon balm as a natural mosquito repellent for dogs, vigorously crush up a few leaves in your hand to activate the citronellal and rub them all over your canine family member’s body.
Make sure you give extra attention to the ears, nose, head, limbs, and the belly, which are the most common spots for mosquito bites.
Current Biology reports that catnip is abundant in a chemical irritant receptor called TRPA1, which gives mosquitoes a painful sensation when they get in contact with the same. Research shows that TRPA1 has a somewhat choking effect on mosquitoes.
To use catnip as a natural mosquito repellent for dogs, squeeze a few leaves until the juices come out. Directly apply these juices on the most vulnerable parts of the dog’s body against mosquito bites.
A study published in Neliti reveals that extracts derived from the flowers of the rosemary herb helped drive off Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Additionally, combining the essential oils derived from rosemary flowers with a gel made from N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) significantly increased its efficacy in keeping mosquitoes at bay.
To use rosemary as a natural mosquito repellent for dogs, pound a few rosemary leaves and flowers using a mortar and pestle until they reach a paste-like consistency. Directly apply this paste on your canine family member’s ears, nose, head, limbs, and belly.
IOPScience reports that basil contains various compounds such as triterpenoids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, and alkaloids that do not just repel mosquitoes, but also act as an organic mosquito larvicide, particularly to the Aedes aegypti larvae.
To use basil as a natural mosquito repellent for dogs, crush up a few leaves in your hand to release its essential oils and rub them all over your pet’s body. You can even rub the crushed up basil leaves on areas where there are nicks and cuts since they also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the essential oil extracted from lavender was seen to be very potent in repelling adult common house mosquitoes (Culex pipiens). Some compounds in lavender essential oil, particularly linalool and terpineol, were also found to have antifungal and antibacterial effects.
To use lavender as a natural mosquito repellent for dogs, bruise a few lavender flowers using a mortar and pestle to activate their essential oils. Mix in a few drops of water or sunflower oil to dilute it. Gently massage the mixture on your canine family member’s body. Make sure you put a very small bit on his temples since lavender also has a calming effect on dogs.
As revealed by ScienceDirect, the essential oil of peppermint contains an abundant amount of menthol that has an unpleasant effect on mosquitoes.
Moreover, when tested on mosquito larvae, particularly those from Culex quinquefasciatus, Anopheles stephensi, and Aedes aegypti, it was found that the essential oil extracted from peppermint also acted as a potent larvicide.
To use peppermint as a natural mosquito repellent for dogs, crush up a few leaves using a mortar and pestle and add a few drops of sunflower oil. You can also use water for this application. Make sure you don’t apply the leaves directly on your dog’s skin because the menthol in them can be toxic to your dog in large quantities.
BMC reports that citronella contains compounds such as phenolics, terpenoids, and alkaloids that disrupt the normal function of mosquito odor receptors and antennae. It is also theorized that these compounds may also have a toxic effect on mosquitoes.
To use citronella as a natural mosquito repellent for dogs, simply have a pot of this plant in the area where you think mosquitoes are present. However, it is crucial that you prevent your canine family member from nipping on the leaves since they can be toxic if ingested in large amounts.
And now here’s our favorite home remedy for mosquito bites on dogs…
Natural ANTI-MOSQUITO product is a natural homeopathic formula to maintain your dog’s well-being during the high mosquito season. It is also designed to help support your canine family member’s skin so it will remain healthy.
ANTI-MOSQUITO features all-natural and high-quality ingredients such as Caladium seguinum, Abelmoschus, Ledum, and Apis, which are known for their insect-repelling and skin-soothing properties.
To use ANTI-MOSQUITO in preventing mosquito bites, give 1 spray every day for 7-10 days in water or directly in the mouth before the high mosquito season. As for reducing the effects of stings or bites, give 1 spray every day for 7-10 days in water or directly in the mouth.
When it comes to maintaining results during the high season, continue giving 2 to 3 sprays of ANTI-MOSQUITO a week in water or directly in the mouth after 10 days. If you are no longer in the high mosquito season, you can stop administering this product until the next mosquito season.
Next up, let’s find out if mosquito bites can hurt your dog…
The short answer is yes.
See, when a mosquito bites your canine family member, he could experience anything from persistent itching to skin irritation depending on how many times he was bitten. It is even possible that your dog could be prone to hives and swelling if it was his first time bitten by mosquitoes or if his body has an allergic reaction to mosquito bites.
Next, let’s determine if mosquito bites can make your dog sick…
Yes, mosquito bites can make your canine family member prone to various diseases and health issues. Apart from itching and irritation of the skin, mosquito bites can also be sources of pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can set off a number of serious illnesses.
This is because mosquitoes can get these pathogens from rodents and other infected animals.
Examples of these illnesses include tularemia, Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, West Nile virus, systemic lupus erythematosus, as well as dog heartworm, which can be fatal if not given immediate and proper care and attention.
So how long do mosquito bites last on dogs?
Mosquito bites on dogs typically last for two to three days. However, this timeline can be longer in some dogs if they experience an allergic reaction to the mosquito bites. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that mosquito bites are at their itchiest when they are still fresh.
Next, let’s tackle a question that may have passed your mind once or twice already: can mosquitoes still bite dogs with thick fur?
Yes, unlike what a lot of people mistakenly believe, dogs sporting thick coats or fur are still vulnerable to mosquito bites. A mosquito’s proboscis—or the special part of its mouth that it uses to suck up blood—can still reach a dog’s skin even if he has thick fur.
While having a thick coat or fur can somewhat delay a mosquito from immediately piercing a dog’s skin, it can still extend its proboscis to bite and suck up blood.
This is the biggest reason why you should have a reliable dog mosquito bite home remedy like Zumalka’s ANTI-MOSQUITO product to ensure that your canine family member stays safe from these illnesses.
If you’re looking to find out more how to keep your dog as healthy and happy as can be, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE HEALTH ADVISOR GUIDANCE. Besides providing you with useful pet health tips and recommendations, our Natural Health Advisors will also guide you through the products and treatment options that best fit your animal's health needs.
HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA
Suzie Cyrenne co-founded Zumalka over five years ago, and has worked in naturopathic pet medicine for more than six. Day-to-day, she works as the lead manager for the Zumalka staff and specializes in training the team to have thorough knowledge of pet health and the company’s extensive line of naturopathic remedies.
Suzie has gained a lot of experience from years spent in the pet health field and she earned her degree in Homeopathy at the School of Classical Homeopathy in Quebec, Canada, (a partner of the European Academy of Natural Medicine (AEMN) in France).
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