Effects of Pet Mosquito Repellent
Recently, South Florida has experienced an outbreak of Zika, which is a virus spread most commonly by the bite of mosquitoes. It causes minor symptoms of rash, fever, joint pains and conjunctivitis. There is no known vaccine or medicine. Also, it can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus, which can cause birth defects. In addition, the virus can be sexually transmitted.
Now, more than ever, the Miami community is taking every preventative measure possible. Miami-Dade County is handing out mosquito repellent, spraying aerial pesticides, and clearing out any standing water in targeted neighborhoods in the Miami area.
National news has covered how this virus is affecting humans and how to avoid this infection, but how does it affect your dog or cat? Equipaws wants to bring attention to the effects of insecticides on pets how we can protect them from mosquitoes with pet mosquito repellent
The Dangers of DEET to dogs and cats
Mosquito repellent may be helpful to humans, but it can have adverse effects on our furry family members. When high doses of any repellent containing DEET are ingested by canines, it can become a very dangerous situation. If consumed, they may experience the following symptoms:
- wobbly gait
- and loss of appetite.
If you notice these signs contact your emergency veterinarian right away.
Remember, your pet has to come into contact with a large dose of DEET for it to have an effect. Be careful if you have a happy puppy who can’t get enough licks of their human or if you are spraying repellent in close proximity to your pet. This could turn into a dangerous scenario.
Pesticides in Miami-Dade:
Miami-Dade has been attacking the Zika virus with two methods. Naled has been used to attack adult mosquitoes and kills on contact. In addition, the chemical stays in the air for an extended period of time.
Bti has been used as an aerial spray that kills mosquito larvae and black flies. According to the EPA, “Bti is a biological or a naturally occurring bacterium found in soils. (Bti is short for Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis.) It contains spores that produce toxins that specifically target and only affect the larvae of the mosquito, blackfly and fungus gnat.” It works on larvae that are in standing water and once consumed kills from the inside out.
Effects of Mosquito Pesticides on Pets:
Naled: The pesticide is not toxic to mammals and not likely to harm cats and dogs, according to the EPA: “The amount of naled from mosquito spraying that enters the body of dogs, cats, or other animals is very small. It is not likely to harm pets, even if they are outside during spraying.” However, there has been some controversy over the use of Naled in Miami Beach as it is classified as harmful by the European Union. Read more about Naled here.
Bti: Does not pose a health risk to people or pets.
If you are still concerned about aerial sprays, keep your pet inside. The Miami-Dade County web page on aerial spraying will provide information on dates and times for aerial sprays.
Mosquito Repellent for Your Pup:
Although our pets are protected by their coats, they are still susceptible to mosquito bites which can transmit heart disease and the West Nile Virus. As pet parents we have to protect exposed and sensitive areas such as the ears, face, and nose.
K9 Advantix II is the most common treatment used as a pet mosquito repellent for dogs. This remedy needs to be reapplied every 30 days. K9 Advantix kills mosquitoes trying to get a quick meal, but also detours the bug from coming close to your pet. The treatment is a clear product that is applied directly to the exposed areas. Monthly treatments to protect against mosquitoes, flies and ticks are readily available online or in store.
K9 Advantix II is NOT for cats
Mosquitomagnet.com gives this helpful tip, “If you have both dogs and cats in your house, keep them separate until the product dries completely on your dog. It’s very important that cats avoid any contact with K9 Advantix II, because even though it’s a helpful mosquito repellent for dogs, it’s toxic to felines.”
Any repellents containing either permethrin or pyrethrins will protect your pooch. A warning: K9 Advantix ll contains Permethrins, which can be deadly to cats. If your dogs and cats are buddy buddy, make sure there is no affectionate grooming. If your cat does ingest the treatment call your vet right away. One last tip, “If your dog likes to swim, keep it out of water for about 48 hours. The mosquito treatment is toxic to aquatic life, too.” Of course, always ask your veterinarian before applying a new medicine!
Caution for Cats: If a cat is bitten by a mosquito they may experience Mosquito bite hypersensitivity (where their immune system has a bad reaction), or heartworm disease if they’re not on their heartworm pill. An antibiotic cream on the wound and a monthly heartworm pill is a feline’s best bet.
Also, as most cats are indoor critters, keep Citronella around the exterior of your home or placed in indoor patios as an extra preventative measure. Make sure your pup doesn’t get into it; used correctly, citronella is not toxic to pets but your dog should not make a meal of it. Avoid citronella candles if your cat has asthma as the smoke is thick.
Main takeaway: A golden rule would be to avoid any mosquito repellent that is not safe for animals. Because cats are affected differently than dogs, look for cat-specific mosquito repellent with your veterinarian’s blessing.
Top Mosquito Repellents for Dogs:
- Vet’s Best Mosquito Repellent Spray
- Epi-Pet’s 16oz Lavender Scented Skin Treatment Spray
- Wondercide natural flea, tick & mosquito control kills the entire flea life cycle.
- Bayer’s K9 Advantix II Flea, Tick & Mosquito Control Treatment for Dogs
For more details on a few of these natural repellents please visit Zikamosquitorepellent.com.
Living in Miami we have a beautiful paradise to roam with our pets. With that luxury comes a responsibility to keep ourselves and our pets safe from those disease-carrying mosquitoes. Take every precaution and protect your pet with these tips!
A founding member of the Equipaws family, Frankie can mostly be found working behind the scenes, helping co-create online branding, managing several social media accounts, designing brand collateral, writing copy, and managing events. She also fills in for pet sitters and dog walkers when needed in Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and South Miami. Her own small pack consists of Boots the Shih Tzu mix and Nutmeg the Chiweenie.