Can I Put Bug Spray on My Dog?

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Protecting your dog from bugs is important, but can you put bug spray on dogs?

During summer, bugs not only cause your dog discomfort, but they can put your pet at risk for disease. So can you use bug spray to protect them?

Many human bug sprays contain DEET, a pesticide that can cause your dog to vomit, itch, drool excessively and even go into a full-blown seizure. Try these other methods instead to help protect your dog from biting bugs.

1. Protect Their Surroundings

Dogs want to be outside having fun, so make sure they are able to do so in the summer months. Remember to:

  • Be vigilant about removing standing water, which attracts insects.
  • Keep your grass short, bushes trimmed and remove leaf litter so that your yard is clean and tidy.
  • Avoid walking your dog during peak bug hours. For example, mosquitoes are often more prevalent at dawn and dusk.
  • Keep your home free of mosquitoes by making sure that bugs cannot sneak in through holes in window screens.
A husky puppy scratching his head in an open grass field.

2. Use Flea and Tick Protection for Dogs

Fleas and ticks are two bugs that especially seek out dogs during the warmer months. There is a wide variety of flea and tick protection products available for dogs, typically in a pill, liquid topical or collar form. Additionally, some of the topicals and collars not only kill flea and ticks but repel them too. This is important because if a pest is repelled, it cannot bite and transmit diseases.

Unfortunately, most flea and tick products offer no protection for flying insects like mosquitoes and biting flies. But there are some topical products to consider that offer more-broad spectrum protection by targeting fleas and ticks as well as mosquitoes and flies.

Make sure to keep giving your dog their heartworm preventive as well, since mosquitoes can transmit this deadly illness to dogs.

3. Try Natural Repellents

Many oils — such as lemongrass and peppermint — have shown the ability to repel bugs naturally and are now appearing in various products. It's a good idea to check with your veterinarian first before trying anything new, but natural repellents may be another good way to keep bugs away from your dog.

Dogs are happier when they aren't being bothered by bugs. By following these few steps, you can help keep your pet protected from mosquitoes, biting flies and other pests.

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Credelio® (lotilaner)  

Credelio kills adult fleas and is indicated for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations and treatment and control of tick infestations (lone star tick, American dog tick, black-legged tick, and brown dog tick) for one month in dogs and puppies 8 weeks and older and 4.4 pounds or greater. 

Important Safety Information: 
Lotilaner is a member of the isoxazoline class of drugs. This class has been associated with neurologic adverse reactions including tremors, incoordination, and seizures. Seizures have been reported in dogs receiving this class of drugs, even in dogs without a history of seizures. Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures or neurologic disorders. The safe use of Credelio in breeding, pregnant or lactating dogs has not been evaluated. The most frequently reported adverse reactions are weight loss, elevated blood urea nitrogen, increased urination, and diarrhea. For complete safety information, please see Credelio product label or ask your veterinarian.