Do Mosquitoes Regularly Bite Dogs?
For some reason, many dog owners are under the impression that our furry friends are safe from the dangers of many types of insects, such as mosquitoes. Unfortunately, that simply isn’t true. So, do mosquitoes bite dogs? Just like humans, mosquitoes are attracted to the blood of dogs and many other animals.
We want to make sure that you keep your family pets safe. So we’re going to explain some of the dangers of mosquito bites on dogs, along with some quick tips on what you should do if your dog has been bitten.
Dangers of Mosquito Bites on Dogs
Since summer is closing in, there’s a good reason to be concerned about mosquitoes. Like with humans, the danger to dogs depends on the severity of the bite. How the dog reacts to the bite and what the mosquito may have been carrying are also important.
We can break it down into three categories:
Most likely, your dog will simply succumb to one of two different mild symptoms of mosquito bites:
- Itching and pain — The most likely scenario is that your dog will experience itching and pain from a mosquito bite, just like a human. This will present itself as a raised welt on their skin, and they may scratch or bite at the area.
- Mild Swelling — In some cases, a dog could experience mild swelling around the area that was bitten. This will typically go away on its own and may not even be noticed, but it could require attention by a veterinarian.
If the bite is a bit more severe or your dog reacts badly, then he or she may experience one of these issues:
- Skin damage — Dogs have a tendency to scratch and lick an area when they experience itching and discomfort. If they damage the skin barrier, this could open them up to bacterial infections.
- Infection — If a dog scratches so much that the area bleeds and turns into an open wound, it could become vulnerable to environmental contaminants. If this happens, it’s time to take your dog to the vet.
Although not nearly as common, there are a few serious risks associated with mosquito bites on dogs:
- Heartworm — By far, the most serious issue related to mosquito bites for dogs is heartworm disease, which is the only way it’s transmitted. Treatment is possible, but it’s also very costly and can cause long-term damage to a dog’s heart and lungs.
- West Nile virus — Although it’s unlikely that a dog may infect a human with the West Nile virus, they can definitely contract the disease from a mosquito just like a person can. This dangerous illness is treatable but can sometimes be fatal.
- Allergic reaction — Despite being rare, some dogs may wind up having an anaphylactic or allergic reaction to a mosquito bite. If this happens, their airways can close up, and they would require immediate medical attention, or it could be fatal.
Do Mosquitoes Bite Dogs? What to Do If Your Dog Is Bitten by a Mosquito
Even if you use mosquito repellent and flea and tick collars (which can also help), remove stagnant water from your property, and spray for mosquitoes, your dog may still get bitten. If this happens, here’s what we’d suggest you do:
- Be aware — First and foremost, be aware of a mosquito’s presence. There’s a good chance you won’t even see your dog get bitten in the first place. So, if you see a sign that something’s wrong with your pet, you’ll need to put two and two together.
- Don’t panic — Seriously. Chances are, the most they’ll end up with is mild itching and scratching. That’s what happens from the vast number of bites.
- Keep an eye on them Even though you don’t want to panic, you should keep an eye on your pet, especially if you’ve seen any mosquitoes around. Take note of any strange behavior.
- Treat them yourself — If your dog only seems to have mild symptoms, then you may just want to treat them yourself. Pick up some pet skin ointment to reduce itching. If it’s severe, you might even want to put on a “cone of shame.”
- Contact a vet — Never be afraid to reach out to a vet, no matter how mild the symptoms are. A veterinarian will be able to provide you with a proper analysis and start your furry friend on the proper treatment.
Contact ProHealth Pest Control for Professional Mosquito Control
ProHealth Pest Control offers residential and commercial pest control using safer, healthier, natural methods. If you have any questions about our mosquito control methods or would like to schedule an inspection of your property, reach out to us at (727) 308-2543 today.