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Health & Wellness

My dog was bitten by a mosquito. Now what?

This is when your dog is most likely to be bitten by a mosquito.

You’re probably familiar with the immediate dread after realizing you have a mosquito bite. A bug bite usually means you can expect a period of annoying itchiness. But did you know that dogs can get mosquito bites, too? And unfortunately, they can sometimes be more irritating than just plain itchy, Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian, shares. 

Keep reading to find out how you can protect your pup and what to do if they have an adverse reaction to a mosquito bite. 

Do mosquitoes bite dogs?

Yes, they do — and unfortunately, the symptoms of mosquito bites on dogs are similar to what we humans experience after a mosquito bites us. 

“Mosquito bites in dogs are similar to humans,” Dr. McCullough says. “They can cause redness, swelling and itchiness that is temporary. In rare cases, some dogs may be allergic to mosquito bites and have more dramatic reactions like swelling of the face and hives or experience anaphylaxis.”

These insects are more likely to bite pups in warmer months and climates (especially if there’s humidity), Dr. McCullough explains. “Mosquitoes are also found more commonly around stagnant water such as pools, ponds and containers that hold water after rain or a snow melt.”

What do mosquito bites look like on dogs?

Dogs that are bitten by mosquitoes will often lick, chew or rub the area, Dr. McCullough explains. If you want to check if it’s a mosquito bite your pup is relentless over, look for red, small swellings on your pup’s skin, she adds. 

It’s best to confirm it’s a mosquito bite with your veterinarian, as they’re similar to other underlying conditions. “Mosquito bites may be confused with other bites or stings, such as bites from a tick, spider or a flea,” Dr. McCullough says. “Mosquito bites may also be confused with hives from a reaction to another allergen.”

The biggest health concern of dogs’ mosquito bites is developing heartworm disease. So if a mosquito bit your pup, visit your veterinarian to have them tested for heartworm disease and develop a prevention strategy, she recommends. 

RELATED: Here’s how honey can help dogs with allergies and more

How to treat mosquito bites on dogs

Your veterinarian will likely diagnose a mosquito bite by doing a physical examination. If your pup doesn’t have a severe reaction to the bite, there’s no recommended treatment plan, as it’ll likely heal on its own within a few days.

“Dogs with severe allergic reactions to mosquito bites should seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible for pain medications, steroids and hospitalization in some cases,” Dr. McCullough urges. 

Mosquito repellant for dogs

To prevent mosquitoes from biting your dog, talk to your veterinarian about the safest and most effective mosquito repellent for your pup, Dr. McCullough recommends. 

The Dig, Fetch Pet Insurance's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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