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How to Help your Dog with Mosquitoes

“Dear Dogsized, My father’s border collie is constantly harassed by mosquitoes. Are there any dog-safe products for Charlie? – Kiku”

dog-mosquitoMosquitoes are definitely a problem for dogs! Not only do mosquitoes harass and bite dogs (as they do humans), mosquito bites can result in everything from an annoying itch to more serious parasitic diseases. Mosquito bites are also a primary cause of heartworm in dogs. If your dog has more hair (e.g. a chow) then they have more natural protection than say a bit bull or “bully” breeds. Regardless, those areas that show more skin e.g. nose, ears, eyelids, abdomen, groin and inside the legs are more prone to getting mosquito bites (and can also get sunburn).

There are plenty of things you can try to change in your environment to reduce the amount of mosquitoes, for example, avoiding stagnant water, using products containing oil of sandalwood or citronella and staying inside, especially in the early morning and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active.

Mosquito Repellent for Dogs

flys offTo protect your dog, do NOT use human mosquito repellents containing DEET on dogs. Instead, look for repellents formulated especially for pets that contain either permethrins or pyrethrins. Here are some dog mosquito repellent products for your dog to try:
Flys Off Spray
Flys-Off Fly Repellent Ointment
Pet Naturals of Vermont Protect Flea & Tick Repellent Spray
All Terrain Natural Pet Herbal Armor Insect Repellent Spray
Even if you use a mosquito repellent, make sure your dog is taking a heartworm preventative, such as Heartgard Plus, and also a topical treatment and prevention of ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, biting flies, and lice, such as K9 Advantix II.(see also our article on Advantix vs Frontline).

Mosquito Bite Treatment

Luckily there are some solutions to help your dog if he does get bitten. Treat bites with an antibacterial cream (e.g. Neosporin) to keep them from becoming infected. To help with the itchiness, you might also want to try Sulfodene or a Pet Hydrocortizone (Zymox).
Please see your veterinarian if the bites appear very large (i.e. possibly something in it) or if they do not heal or appear to be getting worse.

Bad Foods for Dogs – Avoid These Human Foods

As part of National Poison Prevention Week, here’s our list of bad foods for dogs:
bad foods for dogs

Dog owners all have different rules as what to feed their best friends, but there are bad foods for dogs which can be extremely harmful. It’s best to always check to see if a food is ok to feed to a dog before you give it to them.

Here is a list of foods which dogs need to avoid:

  • Alcohol
  • Avocados
  • Caffeine (incl. coffee and tea)
  • Chocolate
  • Dairy Products (incl. milk)
  • Fat Trimmings
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Nicotine (ok – not a food, but some humans do “consume” cigarettes)
  • Onions
  • Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums
  • Raisins
  • Salt
  • Sugary Foods (incl. candy and gum)
  • Yeast Dough

If you believe your dog has eaten any of these bad foods for dogs, call your vet or the Pet Poison Hotline immediately.

As owners, we might eat these foods and not give them to our dogs, however, it’s just as important to ensure you have stored these foods away properly. Remember that dogs (even small ones) can jump on tables and counter tops. Especially when you aren’t at home, they have to the opportunity to work on trying to jump up and get to those grapes or chocolate sitting on the counter or table top. Do yourself and your dog a favor by storing it in the refrigerator.

Note that dogs can also have other food allergies. I was very surprised to find out that my dog, a Havanese, has quite a lot of allergies. He’s allergic to grass (but he still tries to eat it). He also had a bad allergic reaction to corn.

To learn more about the ingredients in your dog food, check out our article on How to Read a Dog Food Label.

Learn Dog CPR In Case of Emergency

The American Red Cross put together this wonderful quick guide for dog CPR.

They also have a Red Cross Pet First Aid mobile app which could be a lifesaver!

dog cpr

Want to learn more? Check out our post on Dog First Aid – Helpful Items to Keep at Home!

Safe Paw Ice Melter – a Pawfect Solution

safe paw ice melterRock salt and chemical ice melters can cause sores, infections and blistering on your dog’s paws. Toxic chemicals can also be ingested by your dog when he licks his paws. So many dogs are wearing dog boots because of the salt used to melt the ice on the sidewalks, paths and roads. However, a lot of our dogs don’t like or won’t wear dog boots.

We recently came across this product and thought “what a great solution”! Wouldn’t it be great if we all used a Safe Paw Ice Melter. While your city might not spend the money to purchase this, at least you can make it better on your own property (or where you have real estate influence). According to Gaia Enterprises, Safe Paw Ice Melter is 100% salt-free and is guaranteed to be pet and child safe.

How Safe Paw Ice Melter Works

Safe Paw ice melterSafe Paw’s pellets are green to make it easy to distinguish it from rock salt and salt-based ice melters. Safe Paw Ice Melter is a dual-effect compound made of a modified crystalline amide core infused with special glycol admixture and traction agents. This composition gives Safe Paw a two-way timed released action. The liquid component starts melting ice instantly while breaking surface tension. This allows the crystal-core to penetrate and destabilize ice which speeds up melting and the traction agent provides slip protection.

safe pawsWe were surprised to read that unlike other products, Safe Paw attracts solar heat to provide extra melting-power during daylight hours.

Once Safe Paw has melted the ice and snow, it leaves an invisible shield that prevents ice from sticking to surfaces for up to 3 days. Apparently, this teflon effect makes shoveling easier.

Stay warm and good luck with the snow storms!