When it comes to enjoying the outdoors, mosquitoes aren’t only bothersome to you and your family members - mosquito bites can irritate and spread certain diseases to your pets too. While most bites are harmless, you should be aware of the potential dangers mosquito bites can have for your pets. Learn the potential problems that mosquitoes can cause, plus how to protect your pets from these pests.
Dangers of Mosquito Bites for Cats and Dogs
Mosquitoes are bugs that are naturally attracted by skin oils, carbon dioxide, and lactic acid, which are all abundantly made and expelled in not only humans but also in pets. Despite the fur coat that most dogs and cats have, mosquitoes can find contact with areas that are exposed – places like the bridge of the nose, ears, and paws.
Mosquito bites can cause sensitivity that could result in an allergic reaction, which can range in severity. Most seen in cats, dogs are least likely to be affected by the mosquito saliva. However, the bites can cause the animal to become itchy and could lead them to start scratching a specific area frequently, creating sensitive patches of skin around their body. If that area becomes irritated and exposed, it could cause a bacterial infection.
The most pressing danger that can come from a mosquito bite for cats and dogs is the potential for heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is a parasitic condition in which a worm, Dirofilaria immitis, lives in the blood vessels and heart of infected pets. These worms can use mosquitoes as a temporary host until the mosquitoes bite a cat or dog, then using that animal as the main host. Mosquitoes can also spread the disease by drawing blood from an infected animal and then biting a new animal, injecting the heartworm offspring that was in the blood into the skin of a new host.
This parasite can cause injury in your pet's lungs, arteries, and heart. Symptoms of heartworm disease include:
- Difficulty Breathing
Because heartworm disease has similar symptoms to other canine and feline diseases, it’s important to get your pets’ blood regularly tested to be sure that you’re not dealing with this potentially deadly disease. Be sure to also keep your pets up to date with preventative heartworm medication before mosquito season occurs. Treatments are available but prevention and control is the best way to keep your pet safe.
Although uncommon and more likely in horses, West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis virus, Tularemia (more common in rodents and rabbits), and Dengue fever can also affect your cats and dogs by being spread from mosquitoes.
Protecting Your Pets from Bug Bites
The best way that you can keep your pets safe from these insects is by prevention and control methods that don’t cause any harm to animals. One of the best ways of controlling mosquitoes so that your pet doesn’t get bit is simply removing the attractants that may be luring them into your yard.
Stagnant water around the house or your gardens can be the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. The same goes for your animal’s outdoor water bowls. Be sure to change the water in your pet bowls frequently and don’t let it sit out overnight. By making sure that you’re cleaning up puddles of water or removing things that collect water in your yard, you can eliminate the breeding cycle.
By adding an Outdoor DynaTrap Insect Trap to your yard, you can eliminate mosquitoes and other flying bugs. This device uses a lure to draw mosquitoes away from you and your pets and then a whisper-quiet fan sucks up the pests. This is a great way to keep your yard mosquito-free while complementing your décor and keeping your backyard oasis beautiful. Learn how to set up your yard so that you prevent mosquitoes while still keeping your backyard beautiful, here.
Another way to protect your pets from bug bites is scheduling a certain time of day to take them outdoors. Avoid walking your dog next to water during dawn and dusk. Mosquitoes are commonly active in the early mornings and later at night.
Keep Your Family Safe
Although it might seem like a daunting task, helping keep mosquitoes away from you and your pets is important. After all, they are a huge part of your family. At DynaTrap®, we want to provide you with relief and helpful ways to keep your outdoor experiences bug-free. Let us know how you keep your pets safe from mosquitoes with your tips on our Facebook page. Plus, stay up to date with the latest products and deals by signing up for our e-newsletter.