The best part about the summer season is getting to enjoy longer days outdoors with our four-legged friends. The only downside? Mosquitoes! These pesky bugs like your pup as much as they like you, as they need mammal blood in order to breed. Mosquitoes will feast on any mammal they can find, no matter the species. To help keep Fido itch-free this summer, here are a few tricks to keep up your sleeve.
Since mosquitoes are attracted to both us and our pets, we should be able to use the same repellent right? This is actually wrong, as it can be extremely dangerous to use products designed for humans on animals. Many of our insect repellents contain DEET and other chemicals that can cause serious health issues for your pets. Luckily, there are several insect repellents designed for animals available. They come in a variety of forms and consistencies – from regular spays and aerosols to collars. Stop by your local animal needs store to find the best product for your pup.
If you’d like to go for a natural, DIY insect repellent alternative, check out the steps below:
Mix equal parts lemon juice (or lemon oil) with water, and you’re all set! Mosquitoes aren’t fans of citrus aromas and will naturally steer clear of them.
There are plenty of popular recipes that use essential oils but be sure to be cautious if you use these methods. Many of our pups have sensitive skin or other sensitivity issues, and essential oils can make these problems worse. Be sure to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil. If your pup if having an extreme reaction to the oils, stop use and consult a veterinarian.
Other ways to keep your pup safe are to keep them indoors, but make sure you bug-proof your house! Using screens on your porch, windows, and doors are a good way to keep the mosquitoes out. Be sure to seal any cracks or openings and keep doors/windows without screens closed as well.
Last but not least, keep your yards clean and groomed. This will lessen the number of mosquitoes and other insects that take up residence there. Mosquitoes are attracted to long grass, garden compost, and standing water, an equation for the perfect breeding ground. By routinely taking care of your yard, you should see a decrease in the mosquito population around your house. If you’re still having problems, try using a mosquito repellent for your yard. Also, be sure to empty any containers that collect water. By eliminating their prime breeding environment, they will move on to somewhere better suited to their needs.
Taking care and defending your pup from mosquitoes is now the easiest thing you will need to handle this summer. Not to mention, Fido will be extremely grateful to not spend his days scratching! So grab that frisbee along with your insect repellent and go have fun!