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If you and your dog spend a lot of time outdoors you know that keeping away pesky mosquitoes (and bugs in general) can be very frustrating.
And, to complicate matters further, there are often harmful chemicals in most repellent products.
DEET (diethyltoluamide) and synthetic Picaridin are particularly problematic for pets.
Synthetic Repellents Are Too Dangerous For Dogs
Most of these bug sprays, if licked, could easily make your animal sick!
Just like with sunscreens, it is obviously important to avoid exposing your pet to nasty chemicals (more on the consequences later).
At the same time, you want to prevent your dog from getting a transmittable heartworm disease, the West Nile virus, and whatever else is harmful out in the wild.
Well, there’s good news!
Safe, and equally effective, alternatives to regular bug repellents do exist. Mosquitoes, ticks, flies and most other insects can be kept away with the right pet-friendly product.
2 Recommended Bug Sprays
What you want to look for are repellents that contain essential oils instead of harsh conventional chemicals.
One we can recommend is a DEET-free natural bug repellent. It will not only repel mosquitoes, but all sorts of other insects as well.
Another safe option is Wondercide Flea, Tick and Mosquito Control.
The formula is 100% natural with key ingredients being cedar and lemongrass oil. You just spritz your dog prior to outings. It is that easy!
A Homemade Citrus Solution
Perhaps you’d like a homemade, minimal cost repellent remedy?
Just do this:
Boil any kind of leftover citrus peels!
Then, let the water cool down and you’ve got yourself a great mosquito deterrent that is safe for dogs.
Toxicity & Serious Side Effects
The key takeaway when seeking a sound spray solution is this:
DEET (scientific name N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is totally toxic.
According to a toxicology brief published by the ASPCA, “clinical signs of DEET toxicosis in dogs and cats include hypersalivation, vomiting (most common side effect), diarrhea, tremors, excitation, ataxia, and seizures.”
Loss of appetite, skin reactions and harm to a canine’s central nervous system are documented effects as well.
Smell Can Be Very Misleading
Some owners mistakenly believe that odorless, or pleasantly scented, mosquito repellents are harmless.
This, unfortunately, is not the case.
Picaridin is favored for this reason because it does not smell as bad as DEET.
Picaridin is Highly Questionable
But, the thing is, laboratory testing on Picaridin is currently insufficient.
Conclusive evidence does not yet exist regarding adverse effects it may or may not have on dogs.
Play it safe. Err on the side of caution and assume that this type of repellent is not safe enough (at least until more data becomes available).
The Bottom Line
When it comes to your pet dog, conventional human-formulated mosquito/bug repellents can do more harm than good.
These types of sprays are not intended to be ingested. Too risky!
Luckily, protecting your buddy from mosquitoes doesn’t have to be dangerous.
Here is your best course of action:
Simply get a mosquito repellent that is safe for dogs. Do that and no more worrying about licking of active ingredients!
Otherwise, you must very closely scrutinize product labels.