Its summertime and the bugs are out in full force.
Here’s what you need to know about mosquitoes and West Nile Virus and your pets.
Mosquito bites rarely Lead to cats and dogs becoming sick and or dying from West Nile Virus. (1) While they do not typically become ill, it is possible (though unlikely) for the concentration in their blood to reach levels that could in turn infect mosquitoes that bite them and go on to bite others. So keeping your pets’ exposure to a minimum is still important. Better safe than sorry.
- Your regular heart worm/flea and tick meds should provide some coverage to your pets. Check label information for your pets’ meds to see what is protected against.
- Never use bug sprays meant for people on pets. They can be toxic and lethal.
- Get some kitty/doggie bug spray. There are some really great options for mosquito repellant for pets. Be sure to read reviews for any chemicals you want to keep away from pets like DEET. Vet’s Best has a good and very affordable spray.
- Don’t leave standing water around your house and yard. Still water is a perfect breeding ground for more mosquitoes. Don’t be part of the problem.
- Practice mosquito bite prevention on yourself. When possible if going into wooded areas, wear long sleeves and pants. Use bug spray. Do not use sprays with DEET if you have a pet who is a licker. It is possible for pets to become very sick from licking the spray off your skin alone. Try not to be out (including dog walks), at dusk and dawn, which are peak mosquito times. This can be tough when it gets so hot in the summer and these times are the only relief from the baking sun. Just do your best!
If you have more questions about your pets’ exposure to West Nile and other mosquito borne illnesses, consult with your vet.