If you are a dog owner, chances are they are far more than a pet – you consider them family. That’s why you do everything you can to protect them from many of the same scenarios and dangers as you would for your human loved ones.
This means you’re probably aware of the various pests that can affect your dog’s health, such as fleas and ticks. But did you know that mosquitoes also pose a risk to your furry friend? In this article, we’ll discuss the effects of mosquito bites on dogs and the steps you can take to protect your pet.
How Mosquitoes Affect Dogs
Mosquitos don’t only bite humans, dogs are also fair game. After a mosquito bite, your dog will experience the same discomfort as you would due to the itching and swelling but that’s not the only concern. Some mosquitoes carry diseases that can pose serious health risks to dogs.
Common Diseases Dogs Can Contract from Mosquito Bites
The two most common diseases that dogs can contract from a mosquito bite are Heartworm and West Nile Virus.
Heartworm – Heartworm is one of the most dangerous diseases that dogs can contract from mosquito bites. This is a potentially deadly disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted into the dog’s system through mosquito bites. If left untreated, heartworm disease can cause severe damage to a dog’s heart and other vital organs.
West Nile Virus – Though more common in birds and humans, West Nile Virus can also affect dogs by causing a range of problems from mild fever to more serious neurological issues. The good news is that West Nile Virus in dogs is rare. The tricky part is that most dogs show no symptoms, so if you suspect something make sure to see your veterinarian.
Symptoms of Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Dogs
The symptoms of mosquito-borne diseases in dogs can vary depending on the specific disease.
Signs of heartworm can include a mild persistent cough, fatigue, decreased appetite, and weight loss.
If you notice that your dog is experiencing depression, decreased appetite, circling, difficulty walking, muscle weakness, spasms, seizures, or fever, it may be due to West Nile Virus.
No matter what the cause, should you notice these symptoms or any changes in your dog’s behavior or health please seek prompt medical attention.
Preventing Mosquito Bites in Dogs
There are several options to protect your dog from mosquito bites. One important step is to use vet-approved, pet-friendly insect repellents. There are also special products designed for dogs, such as mosquito repellent dog collars and topical preventative treatments.
You can also alter your interaction with the outdoors during mosquito season. Avoid taking your dog out during peak mosquito activity times, usually at dawn and dusk. Also, try to keep your dog away from areas with standing or stagnant water, which are common mosquito breeding grounds.
Role of Professional Mosquito Control in Protecting Pets
Mosquito bite prevention for your pets involves the same steps and tactics you would take to protect yourself.
Getting the assistance of a professional mosquito control service is one way to ensure your backyard and landscape are as mosquito-free as possible.
With the Moyer Mosquito program, mosquito populations are reduced significantly due to resistant-proof treatments targeting all stages of the mosquito life cycle from larvae to adults. Our team of experts starts with a thorough inspection to identify breeding sites, then application of the treatment and regular follow-up for ongoing control.
By taking precautionary steps now, you can rest easy knowing that you’re doing everything you can to provide a safe and comfortable environment for your four-legged family members.
Get started with a consultation. Call 215.309.8598 or visit emoyer.com/mosquito.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Mosquito Bites and Dogs
Can mosquito bites cause allergies in dogs?
Yes, just like humans, some dogs can have allergic reactions to mosquito bites. Symptoms might include excessive itching, redness, swelling, even leading to hives.
Are certain dog breeds more susceptible to mosquito bites?
All dogs can be bitten by mosquitoes, but dogs with thinner coats may be more at risk as their skin is more accessible.
Are mosquitoes more attracted to dogs than humans?
Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, heat, and certain molecules found in sweat. Both dogs and humans emit these, so they are equal opportunity targets for mosquitoes.
How can I safely remove a mosquito from my dog without hurting it?
If a mosquito lands on your dog, try to shoo it away gently. Avoid hitting it directly as this could hurt your dog.
Can mosquito bites lead to infection in dogs?
Yes, if a dog scratches or bites the itchy area of the mosquito bite, it could cause a wound that might get infected.
Are there any natural remedies to soothe mosquito bites in dogs?
Yes, some natural remedies – like a paste made from baking soda and water – can help soothe mosquito bites on your dog. However, always consult your veterinarian before applying any home remedies to your dog’s skin.
What should I do if I think my dog is showing symptoms of a mosquito-borne disease?
If you suspect your dog is experiencing symptoms from a mosquito-borne disease, consult your veterinarian immediately. They can diagnose the condition and start appropriate treatment.
Can I use human mosquito repellent on my dog?
Human mosquito repellents, especially those containing DEET, should not be used on dogs. DEET can be toxic to dogs if ingested, and dogs are likely to lick their fur and ingest the repellent. Always use a dog-safe product, and consult with your veterinarian for the best options.