Hampton Roads Mosquitoes and Your Pets
Mosquitoes don’t just bite humans, they go after our pets as well. In the Hampton Roads area these pests are around all year long, reproduce quickly, and are most often visible during our frequent times of warm, moist weather.
Why are mosquitoes more than a nuisance? Skin irritation and heartworm disease are the two biggest issues our pets face when bitten.
Mosquito bites lead to scratching. Scratching can lead to damaged skin, pain, and, in some cases, a bacterial infection. Some pets can experience allergic reactions to the bite which can result in swelling or hives.
Not all mosquitoes carry heartworms; however, it just takes one heartworm carrying mosquito to infect your pet. Heartworm disease results in severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and death in dogs, cats, and ferrets.
So, what can a pet parent do?
- Keep Mosquitoes Away from Your Dog
Let us help you chose a dog-friendly mosquito repellent. Some come in spray form and must be applied before every outing and reapplied every few hours. Others are available in spot-on treatment form like
Do not use a mosquito repellant that is made for humans on your dog. Many are made with ingredients that are safe for people but not for pets.
- Keep Your Cat and Ferret Inside Your House
- Be Aware of Your Walking Route
When walking your dog, avoid areas near still or stagnant water at dawn and dusk. These are the times when mosquitoes are most active. Not only will this help your pup, but it should prevent you from becoming a mosquito buffet.
- Prevent Mosquitoes in Your Yard
Treat your yard with a pet friendly spray or try adding natural mosquito deterrents like citronella candles. Also, be on the lookout for stagnant water that is sitting in dog bowls, empty flowerpots, bird baths, ponds, and kiddie pools. Mosquitoes are naturally attracted to water.
- Check Your Screens
Make sure your door and window screens are tear free. Don’t invite mosquitoes inside if possible.
- Prevent Heartworm with Continuous Medication
While these preventive measurements can reduce your pet’s exposure to mosquitoes, it’s nearly impossible to prevent mosquito bites entirely. That’s why giving your dog, cat, and ferret regular heartworm medication is vital to their health and safety.
Pet Care Veterinary Hospital Recommendations:
Cats – Bravecto
Ferrets – Revolution