The best way to keep gnats off your dog is to use a dog-friendly bug repellent. Spray the repellent on your dog before going outside. If your dog will be outside for an extended amount of time, be sure to reapply the repellent every four hours.
When we think about summer months with our dog, we usually think of the fantastic weather. We think of all the adventures we can do to bond, such as exploring new trails, running along the beach, or jumping straight into a cold lake.
With the summer season amongst us, it’s no surprise that the gnats are amongst us as well. Unfortunately, gnats love to be around dogs. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of three ways to keep gnats off your dog.
Why Are Gnats Attracted to My Dog?
Gnats are commonly known as fruit flies, sewer flies, or black flies. While most gnats do not cause any harm, some species can bite, draw blood, and cause infections. The summer months create a perfect environment for them as they thrive in warm and moist areas.
Gnats are attracted to dogs with dirty or matted coats. This is one of the many reasons it’s important to keep up with your dog’s hygiene. This includes basic grooming, hygienic trimming, and bathing your dog.
Another reason gnats are attracted to your dog is the carbon dioxide your dog is producing. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about that.
If gnats are swarming your dog, it’s important to take action. Even if the gnats are completely harmless, it can be really annoying for your pup.
The Top Three Ways to Keep Gnats Off Your Dog
Dog-Friendly Bug Repellent
If you notice a consistent swarm of gnats on your dog every time you go out, it may be time to purchase a dog-friendly bug repellent from your local pet store.
Like bug repellent for humans, these products come in a spray bottle that you can conveniently spray on your dog before going outside. The spray will typically last for a couple of hours.
NEVER use human bug repellent on your furry friend as it contains toxic chemicals that can be harmful to dogs.
If you don’t want to buy commercial bug repellent, you can make your own at home. There are many natural recipes out there, but the standard “dog safe” ingredients in natural gnat repellent are:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Tea tree oil
- Rosemary oil
- Peppermint oil
Bug Repellent Collars/Bandanas
Bug Repellent Collars and Bandanas are a great and convenient way to keep bugs (including gnats) off your dog. Most collars contain a blend of dog-friendly essential oils that will repel gnats and mosquitos.
There are also bandanas where the permethrin formula is bound tightly to the fabric. The bandana is lightweight and washable. This is a convenient option if you’re looking for something that can be taken off with ease.
If you notice the gnats are only gathering on one area of your dog, petroleum jelly might be the answer. Rub some petroleum jelly on the spot(s) gnats are gathering. Just make sure your dog doesn’t lick it off their skin!
Controlling the environment
Gnats reproduce at an astonishingly fast rate. In fact, the average female lays up to 450 eggs! This means that if the environment isn’t controlled, a gnat infestation can be a huge problem.
The three methods above do a great job at keeping gnats off your dog, but the best way to keep gnats off your dog is to prevent an infestation in the first place.
Below we will talk about how to prevent gnats from gathering both indoors and outdoors.
To prevent an infestation indoors, you must find the source of the problem. In other words, you need to figure out what’s attracting gnats inside your house.
Being within your home, you should be able to find the source quickly. The most common sources include your drains, the trash, or the fruit bowl on the counter.
The first step is to clean or to get rid of these sources. You will most likely find a couple of lingering gnats after the removal, but you can use other products to combat this issue.
Some products that can help combat gnats are sticky traps. These traps are inexpensive and easy to find.
Just place the sticky trap near where the source was and wait about 24 hours before throwing it away. You’ll be amazed at how many gnats get stuck in the trap!
An electric bug zapper can be useful for indoor and outdoor use. The light will attract gnats to the zapper and annihilate them on the spot.
You can also create your own bug trap. Combine soap and apple cider vinegar in a cup. Next, secure the top with plastic wrap and poke small holes in it. This will allow the gnats to go into the trap, but they won’t be able to escape. Place this trap near the source and watch how many you will collect.
If you are continuing to have a problem, the source may not be so obvious. We suggest hiring pest control. Be sure the products they use are safe for dogs.
Again, the first thing you need to do is find the source. If you notice your dog getting swarmed by gnats in your backyard, keep an eye on where your dog wanders.
Check for environments that are warm and moist in your yard. You can evaluate if additional yard work will fix the problem or if any garbage needs to be removed.
It can be tough to locate the source outside. There’s even a chance that your dog is the source! In that case, the best thing to do is to hire a pest control company and let them do their thing.
When all else fails, you can try using gnat repelling plants. Some gnat repelling plants include Geraniums, Lemon Thyme, Lavender, and Mexican Marigolds.
We know that dealing with gnats can get frustrating and overwhelming as they can wreak havoc for your household. We hope these tips have given you the information you need for a gnat-free environment.
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.