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Just as humans require relief from pesky mosquitoes, dogs need protection in the form of citronella and other aids as well. Mosquito repellent for dogs often is the same or similar to that of humans. Most veterinarians recommend natural repellent sources rather than ones that contain N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET).
Many parents already avoid using DEET on their children because of potential health risks, but the chemical is especially dangerous for pets. Since animals lick themselves, the chemical is not only in contact with their skin, but also their digestive systems. DEET is not intended for digestion and can cause several negative health effects, including neurological damage.
There are several different over-the-counter mosquito repellent for dogs. Many contain natural ingredients that humans often use in outdoor candles, such as citronella or lemongrass. Other natural ingredients might include catnip, neem oil, or garlic. These are usually liquid formulas that can range from a moderate to expensive. Most pet care stores, as well as some warehouse or grocery stores, sell these products.
A veterinarian can also recommend a combination flea, tick, and mosquito repellent for animals. This is often in a monthly treatment meant to be applied to the animal's skin. Other products are available in spray or shampoo form. Prescription insect repellent is generally the most costly option, but it protects against several types of bugs and often produces the best results.
To use a mosquito repellent for dogs, pet owners should follow the product instructions carefully. Most sprays can be used immediately on the dog's coat. Shampoos and other liquids are usually simple to apply as well. Rather than risking harm to the pet's eyes, nose, and mouth, it is often best to skip applying these products to the pet's face. Repellent can usually be carefully applied, however, by first applying it to the human's hands, then rubbing it gently over the animal's face, avoiding the sensitive regions.
The best solution is the same one that humans use: preventing contact with mosquitoes. Eliminating standing water around the house can prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs and occupying residential spaces. Keeping dogs indoors for most of the day can prevent both mosquito bites as well as heat stroke. Walking the dog in the morning and afternoon, rather than in the late evening when mosquitoes are most active, may also help.
@w00dchuck41 - Wow, that's a very interesting mixture there. I have a golden retriever named Roz that goes fishing with me every summer and I usually use the chemical mosquito repellents -- but they don't work very well. We have to hide inside after dusk, which shortens our days a lot.
I know that some of the repellents and flea treatments can shorten your pets life significantly from all of the chemicals that they put in there to kill pests, so maybe I'll try your lemon-vodka mix on my next trip. I bet it smells better than the chemical stuff anyway.
My dog gets the same treatment as I do -- natural mosquito repellent, better known as lemon oil. I mix it with a tablespoon full of lemon oil, a shot of vodka and a six cups of water. Just put it in a spray bottle and gently mist your dog. It sounds kind of weird, but it works. I've been using it for years now and I can go jogging in the evening without being eaten alive.
Aside from keeping the mosquitoes at bay, it makes my dog smell good and gets rid of any fleas. Apparently, fleas don't like lemon either. If you use it, just be careful not to get it in their eyes or on their paws where they might rub it on their face.