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What are mosquitoes?

Mosquito on skin prior to blood feeding

Mosquito on skin probing prior to blood feeding

What are mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes are small parasites that can be a nuisance to animals and humans alike. Beyond the nuisance factor, mosquitoes can carry a considerable number of diseases, including malaria, yellow fever, Zika and West Nile Virus. Heartworm, a deadly disease for pets, can also be transmitted by mosquitoes.

Only female mosquitoes suck blood, causing itchy, painful bites! Mosquitoes can make the summer months miserable for your family and pets unless they are protected.

Mosquitoes can reproduce quickly, emerging even during short periods of warm, moist weather.

What are the symptoms of mosquito bites in dogs?

Mosquito bites can be diagnosed based on sign of itching and irritation, but heartworm infections require a test by the veterinarian.

  • Allergic reactions
  • Constant scratching
  • Mosquito bites (bumps on your dog’s skin)
  • Skin irritation

Do mosquitoes bite dogs?

Yes, mosquitoes do bite dogs. Unpredictable weather is one of the reasons pet owners should be aware of mosquito activity regardless of the season. Mild winters and early springs can generate the ideal environment for mosquitoes, leaving dogs vulnerable to mosquito bites, especially when they are playing outdoors. Stagnant water can be a source of mosquitoes in dry places where heartworm is less common. Warm and humid days means the nuisance of mosquitoes is here.

In addition to being irritating, mosquitoes also carry parasites they can pass to your dog. For example, they can transmit heartworm, a potentially deadly parasite that exists in some areas of Canada. Heartworm develops inside the dog’s heart and lungs, causing damage. If you are in a heartworm endemic area, your pet will require a heartworm preventive to protect against heartworm. While K9 Advantix® II reduces biting, it is not a prevention for heartworm.

How do I protect my dog from mosquitoes?

The arrival of warm temperatures means it is time to play outside with your canine friend, take long walks around the park and check out the local dog park. Summer days are great for being outdoors looking for new adventures, but they also carry a few hidden dangers, for example mosquitoes. Mosquitoes thrive in hot, humid environments. Ponds, pools, lakes and other sources of water provide mosquitoes with a place to lay eggs and develop. After becoming adults, female mosquitoes leave the water sources and start searching for animal or human hosts to take blood meals. They use this protein to produce eggs, a process that can happen several times in one summer.

Mosquitoes are the most active at early morning and late afternoon, so try to avoid walking your dog during these times. If that is not possible, consider using a veterinary product that protects against mosquitoes. K9 Advantix® II reduces the biting by mosquitoes and kills mosquitoes through contact, no biting required.

Mosquitoes enjoy wet and warm climates

Dog walking through forest with people

Both humans and pets will benefit from reducing the mosquito population around your home. In order to do so, avoid leaving stagnant water around your house and garden as this represents a great environment for mosquitoes to breed. Even if your dog spends most of the time indoors, mosquitoes can enter the household via open or broken windows, so consider using window and door screens or pet-friendly mosquito repellents to reduce the presence of mosquitoes in the environment.

Protect your dog with year-round heartworm prevention. Pet owners living in, or travelling to areas where heartworm is found will need to treat their pet with a heartworm preventive. A complete heartworm plan includes use of preventive medication and regular testing. Discuss the best options for your dog with your veterinarian. Prevention is the best medicine. Although heartworm disease cannot be directly transmitted from one animal to another, it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito for a dog to get heartworms.

Mosquitoes can transmit heartworm disease

Microscopic image of a worm free in blood