Here’s What You Need To Know About Mosquito Repellent for Dogs

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By: Simran Mudaliar Updated: October 5, 2020

mosquito repellant for dogs

Mosquito repellent for dogs! Yes, even dogs need it! Those pesky bugs are such a nuisance to us, aren’t they? They can be quite irritating, buzzing around us. Worst of all, their bites are just a huge itch disaster!

But, did you know that mosquitos can even bother your dog? In fact, mosquitos are soo troublesome for dogs, that they cause serious diseases such as West Nile Vitus and Heartworm! So, in this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about mosquito repellent for dogs, and how you can protect your pooch.

Those Pesky Mosquitoes! Why Mosquito Repellent for Dogs is Important

Mosquitos, Fleas, and Ticks can all be dangerous parasites that your dog will be exposed to in their lifetime.

mosquito repellant for dog

Mosquitos, in particular, can be quite a nuisance for pet owners as these pesky bugs can cause diseases such as West Nile Virus, Heartworm, Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus, Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis Virus and Tularemia in animals. But, of all these diseases, only a few can significantly affect your dog’s health!

West Nile and Heartworms

Heartworm: Heartworm in dogs is a well-known epidemic in the veterinary world. When an infected mosquito bites a dog, they transmit a parasitic larva known as Dirofilariasis, which is a type of roundworm. Over the course of 6 months, these larvae begin to mature into adults. During this process, these mature worms begin migrating and impacting the heart and it’s major blood vessels.

If caught early, heartworm in dogs can be easily treatable. However, if ignored, then heartworm can be fatal to your dog.

West Nile Virus: Mosquitoes become infected with West Nile Virus when they feed on the blood of infected birds. They then pass the virus to dogs and other animals by biting them. It is highly unlikely that ticks or fleas can infect dogs with West Nile Virus.

Dogs seem to be more resistant to West Nile Virus than humans and other animals, but some do fall sick to the virus which causes inflammation of the brain.

Some of the symptoms of West Nile Virus in dogs are changes in behavior (sudden lack of appetite or depression), and in posture (uncontrollable tremors and constant circling). Convulsions are also a sign of West Nile Virus.

Deaths in dogs infected by the West Nile Virus are uncommon, but there are ways to prevent infection of your puppy. Using mosquito repellent for dogs is an effective course of action.

Mosquito Repellent Ingredients to Avoid

Synthetic mosquito repellents for dogs can have awful side-effects on your puppy’s health. It is best to stay away from repellents that contain DEET and Picaridin. Because dogs like to lick their owners, make sure you’re not wearing

The Dangers of DEET

While DEET causes no harm to humans when the concentration is lower than 30%, it is very harmful to pets.

DEET is toxic to dogs, causing them to vomit, diarrhea, or even have seizures. This ingredient attacks dogs’ central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract, triggering all these terrible problems to our much-loved puppies.

Essential Oils: Natural Mosquito Repellent for Dogs

Natural mosquito repellent for dogs is safer than synthetic ones. Essential oils are completely safe for dogs when diluted, unlike synthetic repellents that can cause nasty side effects. They offer prolonged protection from mosquitoes, and in some cases can even last longer than traditional synthetic products against mosquitoes.

Are Essential Oils Safe for Dogs?

Essential oils are safe for most dogs.

As a general rule of thumb, it is important to remember that dogs have very sensitive noses. So, essential oils should ALWAYS be diluted before it is applied to your dog.

We do not recommend that pet owners apply essential oils on young puppies or dogs with allergies and sensitive stomachs. 

6 Mosquito Repelling Essential Oils for Dogs Taking the Natural Approach

We have listed the six best natural mosquito repellent for dogs out there, and they are easy to find in most stores or to be made at home. These essential oils are:

  • lemon eucalyptus oil
  • geranium oil
  • soybean oil
  • citronella
  • fennel oil
  • thyme oil

Several studies have found that these oils are highly effective in the protection against mosquitoes

Bitten. Not Smitten. Some Soothing Essential oils for Itching Dogs

It can be painful to watch your pup scratch themselves over and over again. Constant scratching can cause infections, which are not desirable at all. Luckily, you can relieve your dog’s itchiness by applying essential oils to their skin.

Some of the best essential oils for reducing skin irritation are lavender, chamomile, and peppermint. Depending on which oil you’re using you can apply it topically (on the spot where the dog is scratching), orally, or using a diffuser.

Make sure that you’re using high-quality essential oils, and that they have been properly diluted prior to application. These oils are bound to make your puppy’s lifeless hard when mosquito and allergy season arrive in full swing.

Check out our Essential Oils guide here!

4 Facts You Didn’t know about The Insects That Roam Around Your Pet

  1.  Lyme disease is a major disease caused by ticks! Dogs exposed to deer ticks are at risk of developing Lyme disease. If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause progressive kidney disease in dogs. This is fatal!
  2. Don’t leave your dog untreated! Those pesky female fleas can lay, and produce over 600 eggs in just a single month! Now, just imagine how itchy your pooch must feel!
  3. Those pesky ticks can also affect you! For example, According to the CDC Lyme disease can affect humans who have been exposed to the bacterium known as Borrelia burgdorferi. The early stages of Lyme disease involve the formation of skin rash, fatigue, fevers and swollen lymph nodes.
  4. Did you know that only female mosquitos bite humans and pets! These mosquitos are actually attracted to the carbon dioxide, lactic acid and natural skin oils you and your pet will give off.

Do it Yourself! How to Make the Best Mosquito Repellent for Dogs

how to make mosquito repellant for dog

Witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, essential oils, neem oil and lemon eucalyptus oil. These are going to be your power ingredients when you want to make a mosquito repellent spray. Now, let us see how you can create a DIY mosquito repellent for dogs spray at home!

  • Add 10-12 ounces of witch hazel in a spray bottle
  • Add a few drops of different essential oils! Lemon eucalyptus oil is a must!
  • Add a few spoons of Apple cider vinegar
  • Add 5-7 ounces of distilled water

Give it a good shake, and spray it evenly across your dogs’ coat! As an added bonus, try supplementing diatomaceous earth on your dog’s coat or in their diet.

Insect Repellent Spray bottle is your Pet’s New Best Friend

Now don’t think that you need to simply feed your pet medicinal insect repellents. Spray bottles can become your pets new best friend! All you need is a few household ingredients to create your own bug repellent spray. But, to the owners who don’t have time for DIY projects- don’t worry! we’ve got you covered!

Bug Soother is an affordable, all-natural bug repellent that’s free from deet! It not only smells lovely, but it is also safe for the use of pets and children!

Best Mosquito Repellent for Dogs

Mosquito repellents for dogs are not hard to find! In fact, there are many pawesome bug repellents out there that can not only keep mosquitos off but also ticks and fleas.

K9 Advantix for Dogs

Pros: Protects your dog from ectoparasites such as mosquitos, biting flies, chewing lice, mosquitos, and ticks! Its active ingredient is imidacloprid, pyriproxyfen, and permethrin.

Cons: It is not safe for the use of cats and can be costly.

Verdict: K9 Advantix does indeed work well to kill and repel mosquitos.


Pros:  BioSpot can kill and repel mosquitos, fleas, ticks, biting lice and flies, mites and lice. The biggest pro about BioSpot is that it can come as a Flea & Tick Carpet Spray, Home Spray, Shampoo, Spot-on treatment, and Collar. The product claims to kill and repel mosquitos for up to one month.

Cons: According to some reviews, people claim that the product may potentially not last as long as they claim it does. Additionally, customers are not too fond of the applicator and packaging.

Verdict: Regardless of critical reviews, BioSpot is indeed a good mosquito repellent that will protect your beloved dog from mosquito bites.

Vectra 3D

Pros: Vectra 3D is a fast acting and long-lasting mosquito repellent. Vectra3D can kill and repel mosquitos, fleas, ticks, biting lice and flies, mites and lice.

Cons: It cannot be used on cats and can be pricey!

Verdict: Easy to use, works well and protects your dog for up to one month.

Best Natural Mosquito Repellent for Dogs

Sometimes pet owners can choose to use natural mosquito repellents that can provide just as much protection for your dog. It’s important to remember, that regardless of what you use, no one product- natural or man-made, will provide 100% protection against mosquitos.

Natural insect repellents are a great way of keeping mosquito control at bay! Here I have listed a few natural mosquito repellents you can consider for your dogs and cats.

FAQs on Mosquito Repellent for Dogs

You ask and we answer! Mosquito repellent for dogs top FAQ is answered by us, to ensure no question is left unanswered.

Can I use Off on my Dog?

No, Off bug spray is designed to repel bugs off humans! It contains a harmful ingredient known as DEET which is toxic to dogs. If you’ve used Off Spray on your dog, then you need to contact your veterinarian ASAP.

What can I use to keep mosquitos away from my dog?

When you combine natural home remedies with modern-medicine remedies, then you can use everything listed in this article to keep mosquitos off your pet. Try using a combination of essential oils on your dog, along with geranium, citronella candles and drugs such as K9 Advantix II.

Its been shown that herbs such as basil, rosemary, lemon thyme and lemongrass all keep mosquitos away from your home!

Heartworm treatment or mosquito repellent for dogs. What should I use?

Use both! Heartworm medication is used to prevent heartworm in dogs, should your dog get bitten by mosquitos. Mosquito repellent is used as an extra precaution! Remember, no one medication will protect your pet 100% so if a mosquito repellent were to fail, then at least your dog will still be protected against heartworm.

Other Ways to Keep the Bugs at Bay

Mosquito traps are another way you can keep bugs off your pet. But, there are even better natural repellents that will keep mosquito bites to a minimum.

Plant some of These Herbs

Plants are powerful, natural bug repellent that will keep insects such as mosquitos, flea, tick, and flies away from your pet and your home! So what are these powerful natural mosquito repellents?

  1. Basil for Pizza and Basil for mosquitos!
  2. Lemongrass and its mighty chemicals!
  3. Mint for mosquitos and mint for your summer cocktails!
  4. Rosemary: It smells awesome and also protects your pet!

Buy a Mosquito Repellent Plant Safe for Dogs

If you’re wondering what lovely plants you can plant to not only beautify your garden but to also repel mosquitos- then this is the list for you! Here are the top ornamental flowers you should buy:

  1. Alliums:  This awesome flower repels pesky bugs like carrot flies, cabbage worms, slugs and aphids
  2. Lavender: It is fragrant and beautiful to admire. Lavender has such a lovely smell but this is what insects like mosquitos hate!
  3. Marigolds: A lovely ornamental flower that repels mosquitos while looking awesome in your garden.
  4. Catnip: Yes, you heard it right! Catnip is a lot more effective than DEET! It’s not only safe around your house, but it keeps mosquitos out and cats in!

Light Some Citronella Candles

Citronella is a chemical that is derived from the citronella grass. These chemicals when infused with candle wax, can be a great way to keep mosquitos off! But, just remember, citronella may smell lovely for us, but for your dog, it may be quite bothersome.

Make sure your home is fully ventilated with citronella candles are being lit. Additionally, make sure your dog does not chew or ingest pieces of these candles as it is very toxic when ingested!

Now All the Dogs (and Cats!) Can Be Rid of Those Mosquito Bites!

Keep those mosquitos away from your dog and cat. Use a combination of natural home remedies, sprays, plants and medication to protect your beloved pet.

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