Guest blog by Tammy Pitts
Mosquitoes can be just as bothersome to dogs as they are to humans. And these bugs are more than just an itchy nuisance! They can pose a serious threat to your dog’s health. Here are some tips to keep your furry friend bite-free this summer.
1. Utilize preventative medication and repellent
Do mosquitoes bite dogs? Yes, and their bites can lead to numerous complications including transmission of deadly diseases like West Nile virus and heartworm in dogs.
The best protection for your dog is to prevent the mosquitoes from biting them in the first place. Talk to your vet about choosing a dog-safe mosquito repellent. Never use mosquito sprays or repellents meant for humans on your pet. Seek advice from your vet regarding the best preventative treatments for heartworm and other harmful infections.
2. Time your walks – Avoid walks during the heat of the day
To reduce the risk of your dog becoming subject to excessive itchy and irritating bites, schedule your walks when the pesky buggers are least active, which is typically dawn or dusk. However, during the scorching summer heat, avoid walking your dog during the hottest hours of the day. Here in Fort Worth, where temperatures are soaring daily, early morning walks before the heat intensifies before dawn are ideal. Alternatively, consider indoor locations for your walks to keep your dog cool and safe from mosquitoes.
3. Eliminate Standing Water
Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a teaspoon of water. To reduce their population numbers and to protect your dog, eliminate all sources of standing water around your property. Empty and clean kiddie pools, dog water bowls, and bird baths regularly. Make sure your garden hoses are securely turned off and not leaking water. If you discover any larvae or small worms in the water around your property, take immediate action to get rid of them as they are likely mosquito hatchlings. Mosquitoes emerge from the water as fully grown adults capable of biting and spreading diseases, so the less standing water in your yard, the fewer mosquitoes you’ll have.
4. Maintain Your Property and Secure Windows
Keeping your outdoor space tidy and clean can deter mosquitoes from establishing breeding sites on your property. Regularly mow your lawn to eliminate potential hiding spots for mosquitoes in the grass. Trim overgrown shrubs or bushes – mosquitoes tend to seek refuge in tall grasses and shrubs. Additionally, make sure all windows have tightly fitting screens to prevent these pests from entering your home and feasting on both you and your pooch.
Our four-legged companions bring so much joy and happiness to our lives – and it’s our responsibility to protect them from mosquitoes and ticks, which can disrupt their outdoor romps and adventures. By implementing these simple preventative measures, you can help keep those pesky little critters from biting your buddy. As always, consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and recommendations specific to your dog.
About the Guest Blogger:
Tammy Pitts has an extensive background in journalism, media relations, social media strategy, marketing, and brand management. She resides in Michigan with her family which includes her two sons and their Goldendoodle, Max. In her free time, she loves to read, travel, and root for the Michigan State Spartans.
HSNT - Pets and People, Saving Each Other® www.hsnt.org
HSNT’s mission is to act as an advocate on behalf of all animals and to ensure their legal, moral and ethical consideration and protection; to provide for the well-being of animals who are abandoned, injured, neglected, mistreated or otherwise in need; to promote an appreciation of animals; and to instill respect for all living things.