Insect Bites in Dogs: How to Protect Them
They may seem inoffensive, but some mosquitos can actually produce heartworms in dogs--a fatal situation. To keep your pet safe, follow today's tips to protect dogs from insect bites.
Spring and summer are the seasons when pets are most prone to bites from mosquitoes and other insects. Being aware of measures to protect dogs from insect bites will allow your dog to enjoy good health without having to give up nature. We’ll share these tips with you today, as well as specific treatments in case your dog does get a bite.
Despite their small size, insects can pose a major threat to pets that spend time outdoors. What’s more, the risk is even greater given the wide variety of existing insects and the different symptoms each one produces.
Before carrying out any veterinary recommendations, it’s best to check some certain basic aspects of hygiene:
- Proper bathing. The frequency of baths depends on several factors. These include the atmosphere, the time a dog spends outdoors, and the breed. In the same way, dogs that have thicker fur need more extensive bathing. The same is true for canines with wrinkles in their skin where dirt and grime can build up. It’s also important to inspect the pads of their feet and the area in and around their ears. These areas are especially prone to ticks.
- Home hygiene. Caring for the conditions in your pet’s environment is just as important as caring for your dog’s body. This includes both your dog’s belongings as well as the rest of your home. To prevent insect bites in dogs, keep screens in windows and doors and assure proper ventilation.
- Avoid possible focal points. Of course, it may be difficult to control your dog’s movements when you’re out in nature. Just the same, it’s important to avoid puddles, mud and other places that are excessively moist. Therefore, if you have a yard, it’s important to keep up proper maintenance, especially the areas where your dog spends the most time.
Specific measures to treat and prevent insect bites in dogs
Once you’ve guaranteed proper hygiene inside and outside of your home, it’s important to know specific care and prevention measures for each insect. The most common culprits are the following:
- Ticks. Although ticks are most common in rural areas, parks or contact with other dogs can also spread them in the city. They are easy to recognize, given their shape and size. However, extracting them requires following the right protocol. To prevent tick bites, you can use sprays, anti-parasite collars, pipettes, or other types of veterinary pharmaceuticals.
- Fleas, lice, and mites. These are the most common insects. Their presence is related to a lack of hygiene in the home and the absence of brushing to remove dust. The symptomatology is obvious, as they cause excessive itchiness in animals. Just as with ticks, collars and topical treatments are the most effective measures.
- Mosquitoes. Just as with humans, mosquito bites are more frequent during the summer and in humid environments. The most common symptoms include reddening, swelling, and rash. While mosquitoes may seem inoffensive, they can cause some of the most dangerous illnesses related to insect bites in dogs: heartworm. There are medications for this, and the doses depend on the dog’s size and exposure.
- Bees and wasps. Besides the intense pain and itching that their stings can cause, bees and wasps can be very dangerous for dogs that are allergic. When there is an allergic reaction, symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and even heart attack. Therefore, if you suspect this sort of extreme reaction in your pet, seek urgent veterinary attention.
The wide variety of insects that can affect our pets means that prevention is the best means of protection. To prevent insect bites in dogs, good hygiene and veterinary attention are fundamental.