We don’t want to speak for all of you, but we’re ready for summer to be over. Now that August is officially here, we can practically see the light at the end of the tunnel. But, in the meanwhile, we’re sweating our booties off while swatting mosquitoes and trying to dodge all of the thunderstorms.
The dog days of the South Florida summer are hard on us all… but especially our dogs! We’ve already discussed with you how to Beat the Heat and passed along some tips for Pet Hydration, but as South Florida residents, we have an additional concern to address: mosquitoes.
Did you know that heartworm disease is most often transmitted by mosquito bites? That could be scary news for us South Florida pet owners, especially this time of year when you become wary of letting your dog walk through ominous-looking grass and uncut lawns.
But, protecting your furry friend from mosquitoes doesn’t have to be a hassle. Here are some simple steps, shared by SFLCW’s “Furry Fix,” that you can take at home to help keep your pet happy and healthy.
Do NOT use human insect repellent on your dog. DEET, the main ingredient in most drugstore bug sprays, can cause vomiting, seizures, and skin irritation when exposed to dogs. However, there are plenty of dog-safe bug repellents (just look for “made for dogs” on the label). Additionally, most flea and tick products are formulated to repel mosquitoes as well.
If you’re not comfortable using chemicals on your dog, there are a lot of natural remedies for mosquito prevention. Companies are now creating pet-safe insect repellent with essential oils that keep your pet both protected and healthy.
Avoid peak mosquito times. Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk. Avoid these pests by keeping your dog indoors during these times.
Finally, and this one sounds obvious, be wary of any holes or tears in window or door screens that might be letting bugs in. And, don’t forget to fill in the gap between the air conditioner and the window frame, too.
Follow all these tips and you’ll have a healthy, bite-free dog until fall finally rolls around.