If we recollect some of the most irritating things happening in our life, mosquito bites at night would surely top the chart! Just as mosquitoes bite humans, they can even bite pets. In India, mosquito bites for us are only an unexpected inconvenience, but for our furry friends, these blood-sucking mosquito bites can be dangerous. If you live in an area with a warm climate and a mosquito season lasting all year, the risks of mosquito bites can be more significant.
Fortunately, you can take some steps to prevent your pets from mosquito attacks and heal mosquito bites quickly.
This article will take you through the dangers of mosquito bites for your pets and the preventive actions you can take to heal those bites.
Dangers of Mosquito Bites for Pets
Mosquito bites can spread quite a few fatal infections and diseases among pets. They cause irritation to the pet’s skin and lead to allergic reactions.
Heartworm – Heartworms can be spread by a single mosquito bite. When a parasitic worm named Dirofilaria immitis bites the dog, it can lead to heartworm. Heartworm can infect your pet’s heart and lungs. Weight loss, difficulty in breathing, fatigue, and excessive coughing can be some of the few symptoms of heartworm in pets. During your routine pet visits, you can check for heartworm and take medical steps to kill adult heartworms inside your dog’s stomach.
Skin Allergies–Just like humans, pets get an itchy, swollen mark at the site of a mosquito bite. Because of an itching sensation, pets scratch this bite, thereby damaging their skin, causing redness and swelling and even developing a bacterial infection. If you notice severe swelling or hives on your dog’s skin, it would make sense to get in touch with your veterinarian for further medical assistance.
Tips to Protect Your Pet from Mosquitoes
Here are some efforts that you can take in your day-to-day life to prevent your pet from mosquito bites.
Spray a Natural Repellent on Your Pet’s Coat- A natural insect repellent contains ingredients like neem oil, peppermint and lemon oil that are effective in stopping mosquitoes from biting your pet. These ingredients naturally repel mosquitoes. Only apply this repellent on a pet’s coat and not directly on their eyes and ears. You can consult your vet to know the particular spray repellent to use on your pet.
Get Rid of the Standing Water- Puddles, ponds, and outdoor dog bowls are some common standing water sources that can be found in the yard or on the building premises. All these sources are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Get rid of the standing water in your yard or if you live in a building, avoid taking your pet in the garden or near the stagnant water as they may be vulnerable to mosquito bites.
Stay Indoors During the Dawn & Dusk- Mosquitoes are the most active during the early morning and early night. Hence, you should avoid walking your pet during dawn and dusk. During that time, you can engage your pet with some mind-stimulating indoor games. Even when your pet is at home, close all the doors and windows during that time to avoid the entry of mosquitoes.
Check Your Doors & Windows- Mosquitoes enter your home through open spaces found in your windows. You need to fill those gaps between air conditioners and window sills. If the screen on your window is broken or the door has a tear, immediately repair or replace that if possible.
Light Pet-Friendly Candles- Lighting candles outside can keep the mosquitoes at bay and add an aromatic touch to your house. The scent of the essential oil used in the candle naturally repels mosquitoes. As you already know, pets, especially dogs, are curious animals. Hence, be careful when you do this. Keep the candle within your sight and at a place that is not reachable for your pet.
Grow Plants That Are Mosquito-Repellent & Pet Friendly- Some plants like peppermint, lavender and rosemary repel mosquitoes. If gardening is your hobby, you will enjoy growing these plants in your balcony! While these plants keep mosquitoes away, the best thing about these plants is that they are pet-friendly. Even if your pets accidentally chew these plants, it won’t affect their health in a negative way.
Much-Needed Aloe Vera & Ice Massage- Despite the efforts, if those pesky mosquitoes still bite your pet, it’s time to treat those bites. Aloe Vera and ice have cooling properties that can soothe mosquito bites on your pet’s skin. Massage the mosquito site with ice for cooling relief and to minimize the swelling. If your pet does not allow ice massage, you can use a natural aloe vera paste.
Regular Medication- At times, it’s just impossible to prevent mosquito bites entirely. Hence, as a pet parent, it’s important to prevent the worst-case scenario. What’s the worst-case scenario? Heartworm disease happens because of a mosquito bite. Heartworm is a fatal disease in dogs. Hence, you can give your dog a heartworm medication treatment to keep him protected. While you can take all the preventive measures to prevent mosquito attacks,
In India, mosquitoes are literally all around in every season. By following these small steps, you can reduce your pet’s exposure to mosquitoes and keep them healthy and stress-free.