Spring has sprung, and unfortunately that means the mosquitos are back with a vengeance. Dogs, like their humans, can suffer from the annoyance of mosquito bites. They're as itchy and uncomfortable for your pet as they are for you. That's why natural mosquito repellents for dogs should be on your summer must-have list.
This is the time of year when many pet owners are searching for safe and effective ways to protect their dog from insects and common summer pests. If you're like me, you've tried many different over-the-counter options. You may be looking for something safer and more effective than these commercial options.
I've tested a lot of different DIY bug spray options for dogs, and many have not been effective. I live in rural Maine, and the spring mosquitos can be brutal here. I want to save my pets from the annoying bites, but it's also imperative that I protect them from the many diseases that mosquitos may transmit.
So, I've been doing research on natural mosquito repellents for dogs, and I've found a few safe and effective recipes. I've used these homemade bug sprays on my own pets, and seen the results first hand.
Safe & Effective Natural Mosquito Repellents for Dogs
One thing that I have noticed is that natural mosquito repellents for dogs are not as effective as their commercial counterparts. You have to apply natural products more often in order for them to work properly. Without the harsh chemicals found in commercial repellents, natural options just aren't as potent.
However, this doesn't mean that natural products do not work. It just means that you'll have to apply them more often and use a trial-and-error method to find the recipe that works best for your pet. Personally, I would rather take the time to find an effective natural option than risk the harmful side effects of chemical-filled commercial products.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
The scent of apple cider vinegar (ACV) will ward off mosquitos. This method can be a natural conditioner for your dog's skin and coat as well. It does have a potent odor, so this method may not be acceptable for every pet owner. If you don't want the smell of ACV on your dog's bedding, your furniture or your hands and clothes, you may want to use one of the other natural mosquito repellents on this list.
Spraying your pet with ACV on his neck, torso, tail, underbelly and all over his coat can repel not only mosquitos but also fleas. You shouldn't spray apple cider vinegar directly on your pet. You should dilute the substance with water to prevent the vinegar from causing irritation to the skin.
In an empty spray bottle, mix 1 part water with 3 parts ACV. Use this spray on your pet daily to prevent bug bites and repel pests.
2. Citrus Peels
Citrus is another natural dog mosquito repellent that may also help repel fleas. Instead of throwing away peels from citrus fruits, you can use them to protect your pets. Collect leftover peels from lemons, oranges, grapefruits and other citrus fruits.
Cover the peels with water and bring the mixture to a boil. Wait for it to cool off, then remove the peels. The liquid left behind is your mosquito repellent.
Another quick option for a natural mosquito repellent is a lemon juice spray. All you need to do is squeeze the juice of six fresh lemons into 1 quart of water. Bring the liquid to a boil for 5 minutes, then let it sit for 1 hour to cool. Once cool, you can spray your pet with the homemade repellent.
3. Essential Oils
Essential oils are becoming very popular in both the human and pet medical fields. Most essential oils are non-toxic to dogs, but some of them can be harmful. Before using any kind of essential oils with your dog, you should do your research and discuss it with your veterinarian.
It's important to always dilute essential oils before applying them to your dog's skin. Straight oils could cause skin irritation in dogs. Carrier oils can be used to dilute essential oils and help them absorb into the pet's skin.
Some of the most common carrier oils are:
- coconut oil
- jojoba oil
- grapeseed oil
To make a homemade natural mosquito repellents for dogs, combine the following ingredients in an empty spray bottle:
- 2 oz. of carrier oil OR witch hazel
- 15 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- 6 drops peppermint essential oil
- 6 drops cedarwood essential oil
Be sure to shake the bottle well before every use. Spray it on your pup every 2-3 days and be sure to work the mixture down through the coat and onto his skin. You'll notice when the fragrance begins to wear off. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, you may want to spray him daily.