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The Best Fly Repellents for Dogs

Every dog owner understands how important it is for their dog to spend time exploring the great outdoors. Unfortunately, along with the enjoyable weather that the warmer months bring, a plethora of biting insects that like to feed on your poor pup also arrive.

Flies in particular are an especially persistent critter that likes to bite your dog in their most sensitive spots, feed on their blood, and even lay eggs in the open wounds that they create or find on your canine companion. The best way to prevent this from happening is to use a high-quality and safe fly repellent on your dog. Below, we've reviewed some of the best fly repellents for dogs currently available.

The Top Rated Ointment Option:
SWAT Fly Ointment by Farnam

This is an effective fly repelling ointment ideal to use on dogs. Because it is an ointment, it will stay in place to protect your dog from flies and some other biting insects for longer periods of time than a topical spray that can be easily rubbed or sweated off.

Sale
Farnam Swat Fly Repellent (6 oz)
431 Reviews
Farnam Swat Fly Repellent (6 oz)
  • Protects Against Biting and...
  • Repels house, stable, face and...
  • Effective for hours
  • Use on horses, ponies and dogs
  • Contains Pyrethrins, Piperonyl...

Out of all of the many different varieties of fly repellents that are available, SWAT Fly Ointment by Farnam has the highest overall customer review rating in addition to having the highest number of positive customer reviews, with more than 350 positive reviews written by satisfied customers who use this product on their pets. This fly repellant is also very affordable, costing only ~$10.00 for a 7 oz. container of the ointment (prices may vary depending on when and where this product is purchased).

Ingredients: 20% Pyrethrins, 0.50% Piperonyl Butoxide 0.50%, 1.00% Di-n-propyl Isocinchomeronate, and 98.30% other ingredients such as petroleum distillates.

Key Features:

  • Safe to use on dogs.
  • Can be applied daily.
  • Ideal for use on sensitive and difficult to reach areas.
  • Is safe to use around abrasions, sores, and open wounds.
  • Stays on dogs and continues to work effectively for many hours.
  • It is an ointment, that has a lotion or cream-like consistency that stays on dogs well.
  • Protects against biting flies and nuisance flies, including house flies, stable flies, face flies, and horn flies.
  • Available in a clear formula, and also in a pink formula that can be used by individuals who would like to see where the ointment has already been applied. 

PROS:

  • Safe to use on dogs.
  • Can be applied daily.
  • Ideal for use on sensitive and difficult to reach areas.
  • Because it is an ointment it will stay on dogs for longer.
  • Effectively protects dogs from being eaten alive by a variety of different flies and other biting insects.
  • Quite a few users report that this product is also very effective at keeping biting ear gnats away from their animals.
  • Many users report that this ointment works better, and lasts longer than any other topical fly deterring spray that they have used in the past.
  • Hundreds of satisfied customers report that this ointment is incredibly effective, and works better for them than any other product they have used for this purpose.
  • Many users report that in addition to effectively keeping flies and other biting insects off of their dogs, the ointment also helps to heal any existing wounds or bug bites.

CONS:

  • A few users reported that this ointment did not work well for keeping flies off their dogs.
  • A couple of users reported being fearful of this product being toxic to dogs due to the ingredients and the warnings listed on this product, especially if dogs lick one another, or themselves, it might not be the best option.
  • A few users reported that they dislike having to smear this difficult to wash off product on their dogs, with their own hands (instead of using a spray formula), but stated that using gloves to apply the ointment solves this issue.
  • Several users reported that the ointment has a strong menthol smell that their dogs do not like, so the dogs will either, run away when the owner grabs the ointment, and/or will rub their heads in the dirt after the ointment is applied, in order to cover up the smell, (but the ointment is still effective this way).

 

Top Rated Spray Option:
Ovitrol Plus Flea, Tick, and Bot Fly Spray by Vet-Kem

This pest control spray is great for people who want to protect their dogs from a wide-variety of harmful critters, all at once, and not just flies. Ovitrol repels and kills adult fleas and flea eggs / larvae, in addition to ticks, lice, mosquitos, gnats, and horse bot flies.

Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea, Tick and Bot Spray for...
296 Reviews
Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea, Tick and Bot Spray for...
  • Controls fleas, flea larvae,...
  • Quickly kills adult fleas
  • For use on Dogs, Cat and...

Ovitrol Plus Flea, Tick, and Bot Fly Spray by Vet-Kem is safe to use on all dogs and has hundreds of positive customer reviews on Amazon and a higher than average overall customer star rating. This product comes in a 16 oz. spray bottle formula and is priced right around $20.00 per bottle (prices may vary depending on when and where this product is purchased).

Ingredients: 27% (S) Methoprene, 0.20% Pyrethrins, 0.37% Piperonyl Butoxide,
0.62% N-octyl Bicycloheptene Dicarboximide, 98.54% Other Ingredients.

Key Features:

  • Safe to use on dogs.
  • Kills bot fly eggs and flea eggs.
  • Rapid action formula only needs to be applied once per week.
  • Protects dogs from fleas, flea larvae, ticks, lice, mosquitos, gnats, and horse bot flies.
  • Quickly kills adult fleas and their larvae, and keeps them away for up to two months.

PROS:

  • Safe to use on dogs.
  • Only needs to be applied to dogs one time each week.
  • Repels and protects dogs from a wide variety of flying and biting insects.
  • Users report that this formula is gentle enough to be used on dog’s that have sensitive skin and skin allergies.
  • Bot fly eggs and flea eggs are killed and prevented from hatching in your dog’s skin and fur with use of this product.
  • Quite a few users report that this spray effectively repels flies and all of the bugs that it says it does, and is great at keeping bugs off of their dogs.
  • Many users report this product is incredibly effective at immediately killing and getting rid of fleas, and is also effective at preventing fleas from returning.
  • Users report that this formula is safe to spray on a variety of surfaces, and is an effective method for keeping pesky critters away from bedding, floors, and furniture, as well.
  • Comes in a spray formula, so users do not have to use their hands (or buy disposable gloves) to rub this product onto their dogs, like with use of an ointment formula.

CONS:

  • Some users report that this formula smells strongly, like rubbing alcohol, and advise spraying it on dogs while outside (but also state that the smell disappears quickly).
  • Several users report that this formula is particularly strong and can cause irritation to the dog externally and internally, and therefore should be tested on a small area of the dog, with a minimal amount of the product, at first, in order to ensure that the dog doesn’t have a negative reaction to this formula.
  • Several users report that this formula has chemicals in it that burn human skin and also made their smaller-sized dogs ill upon using this product as directed, therefor some users advise against using this product due to fear about the fact that some of the chemicals in this spray are toxic to animals, as well as humans, which caused them to discontinue use.

 

Top Rated Natural Option:
Original Essential Oil Biting Insect Spray by Cedarcide

This natural insect spray is made using only two safe to dogs ingredients. One of the two ingredients in this formula is cedar oil, which gives this product a nice, natural smell that not overwhelming to animals or humans.

Cedarcide Original Biting Insect Spray
580 Reviews
Cedarcide Original Biting Insect Spray
  • Made from all natural cedar
  • Kills insects in all stages of...
  • Ready-to-use
  • Dries quickly and will not...
  • Fesh cedar scent

The fact that this essential oil spray kills pretty much any pesky insect that you can think of, without the use of a single toxic or poisonous chemical, makes this product truly worth looking into, and it's also the safest option on this list of best fly repellents for dogs. This two-ingredient spray had 440 positive reviews on Amazon at the time in which this review was written, and also had a higher than average customer review rating.

This formula comes in a ready to spray, 1 quart (32 oz.) bottle, which is the largest amount of formula that is offered out of the four products discussed in this review. Cedarcide Original Essential Oil Biting Insect Spray can be purchased for around $35.00 (prices may vary depending on when and where this product is purchased).

Ingredients: 0% Cedar Oil and 90.0% Hydrated Silica, (DEET-free formula).

Key Features:

  • Made from all natural cedar oil and has a fresh, cedar scent.
  • Kills insects in all stages of life (larvae /eggs, babies, and adults).
  • One use can be effective for weeks, and even up to months at a time.
  • This formula dries quickly and will not stain anything it is sprayed on.
  • Carefully selected and formulated ingredients that are naturally sourced, plant-based, and non-GMO.
  • Ingredients are thoroughly tested, and selected for use because of their safety, efficacy, high-performance, and dependability.
  • Designed with people, pets, and the planet in mind; made without any harsh or harmful chemicals, backed by “green” chemistry, and thorough research.
  • Effectively repels and kills many different types of insects, including fleas, flies, ticks, ants, mosquitos, spiders, bedbugs, silverfish, centipedes, and mites, even mice.

PROS:

  • Effectively repels all kinds of insects from dogs and humans, as well.
  • Contains only two ingredients, both of which are not harsh or harmful to dogs or humans.
  • Many users report liking this product’s fresh cedar scent, and that is not overwhelming to dogs or humans.
  • A completely non-toxic product, without any of the poisonous chemicals that most insect repellants contain.
  • Formula dries quickly and stays on well, users report that spraying their dog once can last anywhere from a few days, up to two weeks, or even months, at a time (depending on the activities of your dog).
  • A large majority of users report that this product effectively repels and kills many different types of insects on contact, including flies, fleas, ticks, ants, mosquitos, spiders, bedbugs, silverfish, centipedes, mites, and even mice.
  • Users report that they spray this product on every surface, piece of furniture, flooring, baseboards, walls, bedding, and mattress in their house, and state that it effectively keeps all bugs away from all surfaces, and does not stain or ruin anything, it is even safe to spray on cloth, any kind of clothing, and upholstery.

CONS:

  • A couple of users stated that once the product dries, it is no longer effective.
  • A few users stated that they have to apply this product a couple of times a day for it to continue to effectively repel flies, and other kinds of bugs.
  • Some users of the Cedarcide Original Biting Insect formula, who have loved using this product for decades claim that the formula has been changed, and now has additional, ingredients that have caused this product to be less-effective. And caution users to make sure to purchase the “Original” formula that contains only two ingredients.
  • If you cannot find the Cedarcide Original Biting Insect Spray, there is another product available on Amazon, called Ben’s Evictor Spray, made by Cedar Oil Industries that contains the 10% Cedar Oil and 90% Hydrated Silica formula, and no added ingredients, and therefore works exactly like Cedarcide Original Biting Insect Spray works, and costs about the same amount, as well. Click on the blue hyperlinked product name, above, for more information about this alternative to the Cedarcide Original Biting Insect Spray.

 

Top Rated Natural and Skin Relieving Option:
Lavender Skin Treatment Spray by Epi-Pet

This specialized, skin-soothing formula not only effectively repels a wide variety of flying and biting insects, including flies, it is also a skin and coat conditioner that soothes itchy, dry, and irritated hot spots on a dog’s skin caused by previous insect bites and/or allergies.

Epi-Pet Lavender Skin Enrichment Spray for Pets,...
55 Reviews
Epi-Pet Lavender Skin Enrichment Spray for Pets,...
  • Relieves pet skin allergies
  • Repels fleas, ticks, mosquitos...
  • Relieves itching and excessive...
  • Relieves hot spots and redness
  • Skin and Coat Conditioner

The Lavender Skin Treatment Spray made by Epi-Pet, in addition to providing protection against biting critters, has a variety of benefits for a dog’s skin and coat. This formula has a higher than average customer review rating. The Lavender Skin Treatment Spray by Epi-Pet comes in a 16 oz. spray formula and can be purchased for about $20.00 (prices may vary depending on when and where this product is purchased).

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Urea, Ethoxydiglycol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Sodium Lactate, Galactoarabinan, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Glycine, Histidine, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Trioleate, Mentha Pulegium Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Octoxynol-9, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood) Bark Oil, Panthenol, Allantoin

Key Features:

  • Skin and coat conditioner.
  • Contains many natural ingredients.
  • Effectively repels fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and flies.
  • Effectively helps to prevent excessive shedding when used on dogs.
  • Relieves a dog’s skin allergies, hot spots, redness, and other mild skin issues.
  • Is an excellent topical treatment for pets with dry, flaky, itchy, irritated, oily, and smelly skin and coats.

Directions for Use: Epi-Pet's simple three step (Brush+Spray+Brush) treatment application is quick and easy. Two to four applications per day are recommended until the condition is controlled. Continue using the skin treatment spray daily to maintain a healthy skin and coat, and to prevent future skin problems.

PROS:

  • Contains a wide variety of natural and effective ingredients.
  • Improves a dog’s skin and coat condition, while also keeping insects off of them.
  • Several users reported that this formula effectively repels flies, mosquitos, gnats, and other biting insects and works to keep them off of their dogs.
  • Many users report that the lavender smell of this product is really wonderful, calming, not too strong or overwhelming, and makes their dogs smell amazing.
  • Many users report that when they use this product, they see a dramatic improvement in their dog’s skin and coat condition, and that it effectively stops their dogs from itching.
  • The many natural ingredients and essential oils that are used in this formula work together to effectively repel flies and other biting insects, as well as condition and sooth a dog’s skin and coat.
  • Can be used on dog’s with especially sensitive skin and on dog’s that have skin allergies, and several users report that this formula has effectively cleared up dry, flaky, and itchy skin conditions that their dogs had before using this.

CONS:

  • This product shouldn’t be used on dogs that will lick it off due to the fact that it contains tea tree oil, which can be toxic to dogs, if ingested in concentrations above .10% to 1.0%.
  • This formula works best if applied two to four times per day, to clear up a skin condition, and at least once per day after that. And for best results in regards to deterring flies, it might need to be applied a couple of times a day, as it may come off easier and stop being effective quicker than an ointment or spray that has stronger smelling ingredients (such as cedar oil) and/or chemicals in it.

READ NEXT: 9 Ways to Improve Your Dog’s Skin and Coat Health

 

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