For any dog parent, protecting your dog from any harm is a top priority. One of the risks to your dog is poisonous insects. Insects that are harmful to your dog include mosquitoes, fleas, spiders, wasps, bees, ants, and ticks. Fortunately, you can keep your furry friend from coming into contact with insects.
“How?” you ask. Follow the following five guidelines on how to keep your dog safe from bugs.
1. Make your yard unfriendly to insects
First, check for insect habitats in your yard. These include anthills, beehives, and wasp nests. Remove these habitats, or at the very least keep your dog away from the yard.
Drain any stagnant water, as it acts as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. You will find standing water in holes in your yard and other low-lying areas, flower pots, trash cans, and even drainage pipes.
Fill up holes, level your yard to avoid low-lying areas, and poke drainage holes in plant pots and trash cans.
Also, your swimming pool, if not regularly cleaned and chlorinated, can become a mosquito large mosquito breeding spot.
While you are ridding your yard of insects, do not remove birds, lizards, and bats. These animals eat insects. In fact, you should encourage them to stay in your yard to reduce insects. Flowers will attract birds, while a bat house will invite bats.
2. Shield your home from insects
How insect-proof is your house? Your doors and windows need screens to reduce the entry of insects. If you already have screens, make sure they do not have holes. You can fix holes using something as simple and readily available as duct tape.
Light attracts all sorts of insects. Therefore, avoid unnecessarily putting on the light at the entryway to your home. You can achieve that by using motion sensor lights at your exterior doors. With such lights, not only will you reduce the entry of insects, but also save electricity.
Clutter provides a place to hide for insects. Spiders, particularly, are experts in hiding in clutter. Therefore, you should declutter both the interior and exterior of your home. Regularly vacuuming of your home is one of the most effective ways to avoid pests, especially crawling insects.
3. Ensure your dog does not come into contact with insects
Poisonous insects such as bees and mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn (between 4 and 8 a.m. and p.m). Keeping your dog indoors reduces the chances of coming in contact with these insects.
Additionally, keep your dog from areas prone to insect infestation. For instance, spiders like to hide in the attic, basement, garage, and other dark areas.
Also, discourage your dog from hunting rodents. Rodents are a den for all kinds of pests, including fleas, mites, and lice. An easy way to keep your dog away from rodents is by trapping them or using other methods of eradicating them.
4. Clean your dog’s bedding regularly
When was the last time you washed your dog’s bedding? Fleas and other blood-sucking insects hide and thrive in bedding. So your efforts to rid your dog of fleas are futile if you do not clean the bedding.
Extend good hygiene to anywhere your dog spends lots of time, like a kennel or crate. Speaking of dog crates, do you know how to choose a suitable crate for your dog? Check out this great review of best dog crate for small dogs.
Also, form a habit of shaking the bedding daily — preferably at night before your dog goes to sleep. Insects, especially spiders, like to hide between the folds of soft fabric.
5. Use pet-friendly insect repellent
Even after following all the guidelines above, some insects will find a way to sneak into the house. Therefore, you need insect repellent as the last line of defense.
Like most dog owners, you are probably thinking: “Oh, that’s easy. I already have the repellent I apply on my skin.” You couldn’t be more wrong. Some chemicals labeled for human use are not necessarily safe for pets. That fact holds even when you have a product labeled “100% natural.”
Similarly, a pest-control product for a cat is not necessarily safe on your canine friend. That’s because different animals have different biological makeups.
For advice on dog-friendly pest and insect control products, consult your veterinarian. Aside from safe products, your vet will also provide the right dosage.
While at the vet’s office, remember to get heartworm medication for your dog. Your dog should take this medication once a month to keep heartworms at bay. This medication is particularly necessary if your home is mosquito-infested. Mosquitoes also spread other lethal dog diseases, such as canine lupus, the West Nile Virus, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Undeniably, poisonous insects pose a threat to your dog. You need to go on the defense before it is too late. Some of these insects, such as mosquitoes and fleas, are not poisonous in a literal sense. But they spread fatal infections and diseases.