As you take your dog for a walk in the park, you can’t help but notice his thick, impenetrable fur coat. This fur protects him from the sun and keeps him warm during the winter. But there’s one question that you can’t quite seem to figure out: Can dogs get mosquito bites?
Yes, they can. And just like humans, these bites cause aggravating symptoms and sometimes devastating illness. There are many reasons why you should watch out for mosquito bites on your furry friend.
Symptoms of Mosquito Bites on Dogs
If you thought your dog’s fur provided some protection against mosquitoes, you were partially correct. Mosquitoes look for easy targets, and navigating the thick hair of a Chow-Chow isn’t worth the effort. So, where do mosquitoes bite dogs? These insects are more likely to target exposed skin. The most common places on a dog that mosquitoes bite are ears, belly, and nose. Unfortunately, your hairless chihuahua is a prime target all over.
Can Dogs Get Mosquito Bite Bumps?
Yes, they can. Mosquito bites on pets look very similar to those on us, forming raised, red welts, and, unfortunately, are often very itchy. You may notice your pet frantically scratching one particular spot. Some bites cause skin irritation or temporary hair loss. In most cases, however, your dog will recover quickly. The itching usually subsides after a few days and the welt typically resolves on its own.
Dangers of Mosquito Bites and Dogs
Are mosquito bites on dogs dangerous? Most of the time, no. A mosquito bite will simply annoy your dog for a few days. Some vets recommend applying an antihistamine ointment to help control the itch. You can also try a cold compress to provide additional relief. It probably won’t be long before your dog is back to his old self again.
However, that isn’t always the case. Mosquitoes can transmit dangerous, sometimes deadly diseases such as West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, and systemic lupus erythematosus to your dog. Thankfully, these diseases are very rare, but if you notice any concerning symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, or fever, report them to your vet right away.
Can Dogs Get Heartworms from Mosquito Bites?
Yes, and it’s quite common. It only takes a single bite by a mosquito infected with heartworm larvae for your dog to get sick. Heartworms are very dangerous. The adult worms may travel to your pet’s heart or lungs, causing blood clots, respiratory distress, or organ failure. If left untreated, heartworm disease may prove fatal.
How to Prevent Mosquitoes from Biting Your Dog
Mosquito bites are no fun for anyone, and your dog is no exception. Here are some tips to protect your pets from mosquitoes:
- Get your dog on a preventative heartworm treatment.
- Spray freshly squeezed lemon juice on your dog’s fur before heading outdoors. Be careful—citronella and certain essential oils are harmful to pets.
- Install window screens and storm doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
- Schedule a barrier spray treatment from Mosquito Joe to rid your property of mosquitoes.
- Dress your pet in a doggie shirt or jacket to deter hungry mosquitoes.
- Remove sources of standing, stagnant water from your yard.
Keeping your pets and family safe from mosquitoes starts at home. At Mosquito Joe, we offer pet-safe ways to eliminate these insects before they become a problem. Connect with us online or call 1-855-275-2563 to learn more about our barrier sprays and natural treatments.