Protecting your dog from mosquitoes is essential because a simple sting can transmit serious infectious diseases such as heartworm.
Especially in summer, it is crucial to protect the dog from mosquitoes because a simple sting can be a severe problem for his health.
Insects, in general, are not dangerous, but there is little to joke with mosquitoes, especially with the recently introduced species in our habitats.
Bites are always around the corner at home, especially when we go for a walk in the park or the gardens and on vacation and the street.
Protecting the dog from mosquitoes does not only mean avoiding an annoying itch; it means, first of all, averting the danger of dangerous infections and diseases.
Mosquito bites: risks and dangers for the dog
We must protect our dog from mosquitoes and their bites because they hide so many risks for his health.
Mosquitoes are present practically all over the world, and if before in Italy there was only the most common strain, today much more dangerous species also live here.
Generally, these insects reproduce in spring and summer, but now, with climate change and a more humid and warm climate, they can survive even out of season.
Italy’s most common strain is the Culex pipiens mosquito, harmless except for the annoying itch that its bite can cause.
But today in Italy, species from other parts of the world have also spread, such as the Korean mosquito ( Aedes koreicus ) and the tiger mosquito ( Aedes albopictus ).
These two specimens’ bites are not limited to a simple itching or swelling of the affected area. Still, they can transmit severe infectious diseases such as heartworm and skin disease.
There is another problem related to the activity of these two insects. While the everyday mosquito acts during the night, the Korean and the tiger are active throughout the day, even in sunlight.
Therefore it is very high the probability that they can attack and sting our Fido when we go out for the usual walk or even if he spends some time in the garden or on the terrace.
Filariasis: how this severe pathology is transmitted
Protecting the dog from mosquitoes is of fundamental importance to prevent diseases such as heartworm or heartworm.
This severe disease can affect dogs of any age or breed and is caused by a parasite from the nematode family (or roundworms ) called Dirofilaria immitis, transmitted by mosquito bites.
Filariasis follows a specific cycle and begins to spread in the dog when it is bitten by a mosquito, which has already bitten an infected animal.
When the mosquito bites the infected animal and its blood, it ingests the microfilariae, or larvae at the first stage.
Within a week, these larvae grow and develop inside it, and after just two weeks, they complete maturation and become a real weed.
Così quando la zanzara punge il cane gli trasmette nel sangue il parassita che pian piano inizia a diffondersi lungo i capillari.
In questo tortuoso percorso le larve si evolvono in altri due stadi finché non diventano macrofilarie e raggiungono il cuore e le arterie polmonari.
Ma il loro ciclo vitale non si ferma qui: le macrofilarie a questo livello possono riprodursi e a loro volta deporre altre microfilarie che iniziano a circolare nel sangue di Fido.
Perciò ci rendiamo conto quanto sia infestante e pericolosa tale patologia perché ogni volta che muoiono le filarie adulte ci sono sempre delle filarie nuove pronte a sostituirle.
Symptoms of the disease
Filariasis in the initial phase has no symptoms, and only later does the dog begin to appear tired, have difficulty breathing, and have a heart murmur.
When the heartworms reach the heart and lungs, the symptoms worsen and become more and more evident.
The dog is weak, visibly losing weight, has a cough, has an abnormal swelling of the abdomen, and gradually gets worse with heart failure, nosebleed, blood clots, and lung dysfunction.
Protecting the dog from mosquitoes: prevention
Prevention is the only way to protect the dog from mosquitoes and the risk that even a small bite of these insects can entail.
To do this, we must first try to minimize, as far as possible, Fido’s contacts with the outside, especially in the summer during the breeding season of mosquitoes.
If we have a garden and Fido is used to spending a lot of time there, we need to clean its spaces well, avoiding the formation of puddles where insects usually lay their eggs.
We never leave stagnant water in saucers when watering the plants and, whenever it rains, we dry everything thoroughly by removing the dry leaves moistened by the water.
Prevention also starts with our beloved Fido and protects every dog from mosquitoes, and we must regularly use pesticides.
By now, there are many on the market, and with the help of the veterinarian, we can choose the one that best suits our dog’s needs.
Of course, the doses depend on the age of the dog but also its size and weight. Never do your own thing; let’s rely on the veterinarian’s advice and the package’s instructions!
The most common pesticides are those in pipettes, which contain the exact dose of liquid to be applied to a point such as a neck, where Fido cannot scratch off or lick the product.
But they are also found in the form of a spray (with a less lasting effect) or a collar, which we can leave on the dog practically for the whole summer season.
These pesticide products are essential for dog health care because they act on a broad spectrum and protect it from mosquito bites and infestations by fleas, ticks, and other parasites.
Protect your dog from mosquitoes with natural remedies
To protect the dog from mosquitoes, we can also use natural remedies, always under our veterinarian’s control and advice.
Of course, these are not drastic solutions like pesticides, but they can help us, especially in the warmer months.
For example, we can use essential oils such as eucalyptus oil to be applied to Fido’s coat, making it dry well.
Eucalyptus oil has a powerful smell and naturally repels these insects; however, it could annoy the dog, and above all, it should not be ingested by him.
If we want to use something harmless for the dog, we can prepare a chamomile infusion to be sprayed (cold) all over the hair.
Chamomile has a good, very delicate scent and is also useful as a natural repellent to protect children from mosquito bites.
If we want to avoid applying products to Fido’s hair, we can use a beneficial “grandmother’s remedy” even at home.
Just take a cup, put half an orange in it and put some cloves in the pulp. Placing it next to the bed should keep mosquitoes away from Fido.
An all-natural and painless solution for our dog (but also for us people) is neem oil.