Naturally Safe Mosquito Repellent For Dogs
Scratch-free tips on keeps those pesky mosquitoes away from your dog
Though summer is a wonderful time to spend outdoors, there are certain drawbacks that come along with the nice weather. One of the most annoying parts of summer is the return of mosquitoes. You may not realize it because his body is protected by a thick coat of fur, but mosquitoes can be just as much a nuisance to your dog as they are to you. In addition to biting your dog, mosquitoes can also carry dangerous diseases, particularly heartworm. If you want to protect your dog from mosquitoes this summer, consider some of these dog-safe mosquito repellent products and tips.
Natural Lemon Mosquito Repellent
While you may be able to find commercial mosquito repellents that are marketed for dogs, there are always risks involved when using commercial bug sprays around your pet. If you prefer to avoid those risks entirely, you can create your own dog-friendly mosquito repellent with lemons and water. Lemon is a natural insect repellent due to its strong scent – though this scent annoys mosquitoes, it will leave your dog smelling fresh. To create your own mosquito repellent, follow the steps below:
- Cut a fresh lemon in half and rub the fruit into your dog’s fur.
- Avoid getting any lemon juice in your dog’s nose, ears or eyes and be careful around open wounds and cuts.
As an alternative, you can also create a mosquito-repelling spray for your dog:
- Cut six lemons in half and place them in a large pot.
- Add 1 quart (4 cups) of water and bring the liquid to a boil.
- Remove from heat and let the lemon steep in the hot water for 2 hours then let it cool to room temperature.
- Strain the liquid to remove the lemons and any pulp.
- Pour the liquid into a spray bottle and spritz it liberally over your dog’s fur, avoiding his face.
- Spray your hand with liquid and apply it carefully to your dog’s face, avoiding the eyes.
- Repeat the application every 2 to 3 hours if your dog will be outside all day.
Preventing Exposure to Mosquitoes
If you are taking your dog somewhere he is likely to be exposed to mosquitoes, the mosquito repellent options listed above will be helpful to have on hand. In your yard at home, however, there are a few things you might want to do to reduce the number of mosquitoes that congregate there. Follow these tips to ensure that your yard is not attractive to mosquitoes:
- Remove anything from your yard that might collect water – mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so if there isn’t any available in your yard they are unlikely to gather there
- Clean out your gutters to remove debris that might collect and clog the downspouts, causing water to collect in the gutters
- Change the water in your bird bath often (at least once a week) to prevent it from becoming a mosquito breeding ground
- Water your lawn and garden in the morning so that it dries throughout the day and water does not collect
- Treat ornamental ponds with biorational larvicides to prevent mosquitoes from using them to breed – these products will not harm your plants or fish
In addition to taking these precautions, you should also avoid taking your dog outside during peak mosquito hours – dawn, dusk and early evening. Make sure to keep doors and windows in your house closed (or use a tight-fitting screen) to prevent mosquito from entering your home. These precautions, combined with natural mosquito repellents should be adequate to protect your dog from mosquitoes all summer long.