How to find the best mosquito repellent for dogs!

Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying for you, they’re annoying for your furry friends as well! Fortunately, there’s lots of high quality products out there that can help your pup to fend off unwanted biting attention from these pesky bugs. These pesky flying buggers can also carry numerous diseases, many of which can also infect your dog! First, though let’s cover something else, why should never use human bug spray for your dogs!
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In this article we’ll be talking about the best mosquito repellent for dogs. Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying for you, they’re annoying for your furry friends as well! Fortunately, there’s lots of high quality products out there that can help your pup to fend off unwanted biting attention from these bugs.

These pesky flying buggers can also carry numerous diseases, many of which can also infect your dog! First, though let’s cover something else, why should never use human bug spray for your dogs!

The danger of mosquitos to dogs

While mosquitoes certainly are annoying, there are many other issues they can cause which are actually very dangerous. One of the biggest ones for your pets is that mosquitos can actually transmit heartworms! These little nasties will be taken in by a mosquito when it bites one animal, and then the larva will be transfered to another. Heartworms are present all over North America, and hundreds of thousands of cases are treated every year.

Heartworms can silently infect your dog, and you may never even know that they are there until they do serious damage to their internal organs. These parasites can actually grow to over 12 inches in length, and once they get too big for their host to accomodate them they can begin doing internal damage that will be hard for you to see.

If not treated, heartworms can cause the death of the dog that they are infecting. While there are of course treatments for heart worms, the best defense is not getting them in the first place, and a good mosquito prevention regiment can do just that.

Though if you frequently take your dog out for activities such as hiking, camping or hunting, then you may consider putting them on a hartworm preventative anyway. Unfortunately, these seem to be prescription only, so you’ll need to talk to your vet about getting one. Over the counter wormers do not kill heartworms, and you’ll need a different treatment to make sure they are not in the picture.

In addition to these nasties, your put can also get some diseases from mosquitos which are common in humans such as west nile virus. Using a good mosquito repellent for your dog is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting them from these ailments.

Why can’t my dog just use human mosquito repellent?

The main ingredient of mosquito repellent for humans is DEET. While this is typically an okay ingredient for us, it can be toxic to dogs. If you use these products on your pup they could experience vomiting, skin irritations and even seizures.

You should also realize that humans generally know better than to consume pesticides, but your dog might not know any better! Some of the normal repellents might be okay to use outside the body, but if they are ingested it could be a different story!

Don’t take a risk of hurting your pup by using human protections, instead purchase a product that is intended for canine bodies. We have a few recommendations for you, but try to remember that the best choice will depend on the situation. Alright, here’s our list for best mosquito repellent for dogs.

#1 – K9 Advantix II – $$$ Most Expensive

topical products that repel mosquitoes in dogs

This product is already very popular for protecting your pup from fleas and ticks, but did you know it also repels flies and mosquitoes? In fact, this treatment may be the one that repels the most insects out of any products on the market! If you also need a great flea treatment, then you can kill two birds with one stone by using this product on your dog.

K9 advantix is a topical treatment. You apply this product to the base of your dog’s neck, and then it creates a barrier. Unlike other treatments this product kills on touch, and that means the insects don’t actually have to bite your dog for it to be effective. This is very important, because if they have to bite your dog to die then they’ve already potentially introduced nasty diseases or ailments to them! K9 Advantix doesn’t give them the chance, potentially protecting your pup from heart worms, malaria and more nasty things lurking in these bug bites.

This topical treatment is also waterproof, so your dog can play and swim to his heart’s content. However, the manufacturer warns that frequent swimming may mean that you’ll need to apply the product more often. One application lasts for 30 days, and after that you’ll need to give your dog another treatment.

You should also keep in mind that while these products are typically safe once they are dry, they sometimes aren’t if they are still wet. If you have more than one dog, keep them separated from each other until the product dries or they may try to lick it off one another and get sick.

Overall, this is an excellent product for not only keeping mosquitoes at bay but also for a variety of other biting insects. If you live out in the country where there isn’t a lot of spraying or you take your dog on frequent nature adventures, then this is an excellent all around protection.

That’s why K9 Advantix is our top choice for pest protection. You can pick some up here if you’d like to try this solution for your dog. Keep in mind that this product is sold in multiple sizes based on the weight of your dog. Make sure you get the appropriate dosage for your pup!

While this is the most expensive product on our list, it’s also the most effective, and it will likely be the easiest option for both you and your dog since it’s long lasting and it kills bugs before they bite.

#2 – Effitix by Virbac – $$Moderately Priced

effitix highly effective for mosquitoes

The next product on our list is a bit cheaper than the Advantix, but it does come with a major downside. In order for this product to kill fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, they need to actually bite your dog. This not only causes your pup a lot of pain, but it can also open them up to potential diseases and parasites.

However, the product is effective, and it does what it says it does at a better value than Advantix. The only troubling aspect of this product is that there seems to be some disconnect between what the manufacturer says and what the product description reads.

The product description states that it begins killing fleas and ticks immediately upon application, but at least one reviewer claims that the company states this is not the case, and that insects need to bite the dog before they can die.

So, while we are offering this as an option, as far as topical treatments go, we’re much happier paying a bit more for the Advantix to save our pups from bites and things like heart worms and lyme disease! Read more about this product here.

#3- CedarCide – $Least Expensive

mosquito repellent for dogs

Looking for a more natural pest control option? If your dog is very sensitive to topical treatments or chemicals of any kind, then you could be in trouble when trying to get rid of their pests. Some dogs just can’t handle harsh chemicals, and their skin becomes irritated and red. If this is the case for your dog, then we do have a recommendation for you as well. Cedarcide makes an all natural pest control spray which you can safely use around your home and on your pet’s.

Unlike other sprays which have peppermint or citronella as the main ingredient, this one instead uses cedar oil. This is an important distinction because the first two items are actually toxic to dogs! While those ingredients may be safe in small amounts, it’s possible that you could find your dog is very ill after using a product that features them. Dogs also really hate the smell of both of them, and they tend to stress out your pup. There is of course also the issue that peppermint and citronella don’t actually kill any insects, they simply deter them. Instead, opt for a safer and more effective option using cedar oil.

This product is actually multi-purpose. You can apply it directly to your dog’s coat or you can also spray it around the yard or the house to keep mosquitos, fleas and even ticks away.

This could be a better and more natural approach to repelling both mosquitoes and fleas if you have a dog who is sensitive to treatments such as the K9 Advantix. Interested in trying an all natural approach to your pest prevention needs? You can learn more about this product and pick some up to give it a try here!

This is likely the cheapest and most natural option available to keep mosquitoes off your dog, but it will require more frequent applications than the other two choices on our list.

What about the best mosquito repellent for dogs – for the yard?

If you are mostly worried about protecting pets and people in your own yard, then there are a few other methods which you can use for home defense against mosquitos. This can be particularly important if you live out in the country where there is little to no spraying from the county or city. Mosquito populations can be particularly horrible here since they aren’t managed.

Get a Co2 Mosquito trap

Mosquito repellents can be hit or miss, but what if you could lead the mosquitos away? Mosquitos are attracted to carbon dioxide, which is of course expelled by humans and animals as we breathe. These nifty little traps actually emit Co2 to trick mosquitos. They are silent, they produce no odors and they’re even portable! These devices run on propane, making them an awesome choice to treat bad mosquito problems at campsites or cabins where access to power can be limited. They can also be a good choice to control mosquitos if you have a business where customers spend time outdoors such as cafes or on a car lot even!

Unlike repellents, this product actually works to thin out the mosquito population nearby. Mosquitos are attracted and then captured inside. They are then taken out of the breeding population, allowing you to thin their numbers. Repellents will keep them at bay, but they will continue to breed, growing in numbers until the population surrounding your home becomes unbareable.

mosquito control safe for pets

The device actually has a huge radius, and it works on up to an acre of land to attract mosquitos. If you have a large yard and you don’t want to be confined to tiny barriers of citronella candles, then this is a more effective option that you can try. It also means that you don’t need to use any harmful chemicals which could be potentially dangerous to kids or pets. In fact, if your dog is very sensitive to topical treatments and you just need to protect him in the yard, then this could be a good solution.

Safe for pets yard sprays

It’s a little tougher to find a mosquito repellent in a yard spray that’s safe for pets, but they do exist. Keep in mind though that it’s possible that you may need multiple applications, and mosquitoes are quite persistent. However, the advantage of this method is that it also treats other pests like fleas and ticks, allowing you to do more pest control in one go.

Did you know that the same Cedarcide that repels biting pests on your dog also works for your yard? Just get a larger Cedarcide container that comes with the spray attachment, and evenly distribute it with your garden hose to keep mosquitoes away from your backyard!

The best part is that it doesn’t harm any helper insects like butterflies and bees, because their bodies work differently than the problem insects that we’re trying to get rid of. Avoid a product called “Mosquito Barrier” though, while it looks the same, it actually contains garlic, which is not pet safe!

Here’s how our recommended product, Cedarcide, works.

keep mosquitoes off dogs
Cedarcide is an awesome, all-natural option to be rid of mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks!

Cedarrcide contains cedar oil, water and Ethyl Lactate, none of which are a danger to your dog. It has stellar reviews from consumers, and the ingredients are verified to be safe. All that is needed to apply this product is a garden hose, and if you need more of it to treat your yard they actually sell a money saving refill container. You can learn more about this great product here.

Avoid Citronella!

It may be tempting for pet parents to plant Citronella all over their yard. After all, it’s a plant, that’s natural pest control right? While this is true, the problem is that dogs actually are quite sensitive to it. Even brushing up against these plants can cause severe skin irritations in dogs.

If your dog were to ingest Citronella they could experience symptoms such as lethargy, diarreha and loss of appetite. The smell of it is also quite unpleasant to them, and surprisingly it is used in many pet products despite being toxic to dogs!

The justification being that it is “safe in small amounts”, but it would be better to avoid it entirely and protect your dog using other methods that don’t have the potential to cause harm or stress them out needlessly. There are enough alternatives that using Citronella is not necessarily. This is not the best mosquito repellent for dogs, because it can cause serious health issues for them!

Avoid Peppermint!

Many natural flea, tick and mosquito control methods for dogs include peppermint. This unfortunately a problem, because peppermint is actually toxic to dogs. While it may be okay in small quantities, there is always the risk that your dog will be exposed to more than he should it’s not recommended.

Peppermint can cause lethargy and vomiting. Peppermint oil is also not as effective as cedar oil products. It will only repel fleas, ticks and mosquitos while cedar oil will actually kill them. By simply repelling them you’re just putting off your mosquito problems for another day.

Opt for a more effective and safer method for your dog than using peppermint. Vet’s Best sprays use peppermint, and they should be avoided. Several pet owners have noted that their cats were ill after using them, and this is why.

Michelle Rei
Michelle Rei
Michelle is a pet parent turned amateur pet product researcher. After adopting a fur baby with digestive issues caused by bad pet food, she's poured hundreds of hours into research to find the best of the best to help him and other pets live happier and healthier lives.
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