Mosquitoes are a nuisance to humans, but they can also be a threat to dogs. Mosquitoes are the only animal that can transmit heart-worm disease to dogs.
When a female mosquito bites an animal infested with heart-worms, it can ingest the tiny larvae of the parasite with the blood it consumes. Within the mosquito, the larvae develop into infective larvae, which are then transmitted into a dog when the same mosquito bites him.
This allows the infective larvae to migrate to the heart and blood vessels of the dog and grow into adults. Without the mosquito, the heart worm larvae cannot develop into an infective stage, and could not infect your dog.
While the itch of a mosquito bite may only be mildly annoying, these parasitic bugs can transmit infections into the bloodstream of your dog which can have fatal consequences.
Mosquitoes prey on the blood of animals, and can pick up viruses, parasites, and bacteria from them, only to infect the next animal they bite.
Symptoms of these diseases may not appear until the infection is severe, but can include various digestive, respiratory, and neurological signs
There are some precautions that you can take to prevent mosquito bites from affecting your dog.
- Keep your dog inside in the evening and at night when mosquitoes are most active.
- Use an eco-friendly repellant like DEET-free bug spray, repeller or citronella candles near your pets to keep insects away from your dog and your dog safe from chemicals.
- Clip your dog's nails regularly to prevent them from scratching and irritating any bites, as well as keeping him clean and dry when it rains.
- Clean up any standing water around your home and yard, as well as keeping any water fountains inside the house closed off during the day when they're not being used by pets or children who might be tempted to drink from them (and especially during warm weather).
- Keep dogs on a long leash when walking through areas with standing water or where mosquitoes are active (such as parks)!