As a concerned dog parent, you may be on the lookout for natural mosquito repellents for dogs. Aside from itchy bumps, dogs can contract heartworms from mosquitoes so it’s really important to keep them as mosquito-free as possible.
Mosquitoes are present all year round depending on your area. Those pesky bugs aren’t merely nuisance for both you and for your dog – they can also put your life in danger considering all the bacteria, parasites, and virus they might carry.
Getting a mosquito repellent for humans is easy. But are they safe to use on our beloved canine pals?
To help you prevent your dog from being swarmed and bitten by mosquitoes, we’ve listed effective, safe, and natural mosquito repellents your dog.
Lemon eucalyptus oil is a natural mosquito repellent for dogs and humans
According to several studies, the Repel Lemon Eucalyptus is the most effective natural mosquito repellent of the time.
A study conducted in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 compared different synthetic chemical and herbal repellents and found that:
- Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Repellent provided 120.1 minutes of mosquito protection more than that the repellent Off Skintastic for Kids with 4.75% DEET, which only provided 88.4 minutes of protection,
- But Repel Lemon Eucalyptus provided less minutes of mosquito protection compared to Off Deep Woods with 23.8% DEET, which provided 301.5 minutes of protection.
Another study by the USDA compared four synthetic mosquito repellents and eight natural mosquito repellents and found that Repel Lemon Eucalyptus is the most effective repellent – more so than a 7% DEET repellent.
Lemon eucalyptus oil is also registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This means that is has been reviewed and approved for effectiveness and human safety.
Protect your dog from mosquitoes with Geranium oil and Soybean oil
Bite Blocker is the best natural mosquito repellent – next to Lemon Eucalyptus Oil.
Bite Blocker’s basic ingredients are Coconut Oil, Soybean Oil, Purified Water, Geranium Oil, Glycerin, Lecithin, Vanillin, according to the product’s website.
The New England Journal of Medicine study found that Bite Blocker provided 94.6 minutes of protection against mosquitos – slightly more effective than Off Skintastic for Kids with 4.75% DEET, which provided 88.4 minutes of protection.
The USDA also ranked Bite Blocker number two in effectiveness after Repel and was rated more effective than a synthetic 7% DEET mosquito repellent.
Citronella is a well-known mosquito repellent for dogs and humans
Citronella is a well-known natural mosquito repellent for both dogs and humans too. In fact, the oils from the plant are used to make lotions, sprays, and candles.
A study conducted at University of Guelph assessed the effectiveness of 3% citronella candles and 5% citronella incense in protecting subjects from bites.
It was found that the subjects who were positioned near the citronella candles had 42.3% less bites and those near the citronella incense had 24.2% fewer bites.
So based on the results, citronella candles aren’t as effective as a stand-alone mosquito repellent but they may help in combination with topical repellents.
Other natural mosquito repellents for your dog
The natural mosquito repellents mentioned above are very promising but there are also other natural repellents to choose from.
- Thyme Oil– In a study, carvacrol and alpha-terpinene, two compounds derived from thyme oil, were found to be significantly effective in repelling mosquitoes compared to a commercial DEET repellent. The researchers believe that a spray made with 2% alpha-terpinene is a promising natural mosquito repellent. The downside for home use is that thyme oil has a very strong smell and is only effective in concentrations above 25%.
- Fennel Oil – A study by Seoul National University researchers in Korea found that a spray mosquito repellent containing 5% fennel oil was 84% effective after 90 minutes and a repellent cream with 8% fennel oil was 70% effective after 90 minutes.
- Clove Oil – Two studies have found that undiluted topical clove oil can help actively repel mosquitoes. However, clove oil should not be applied undiluted to skin as a homemade repellent.
- Celery Extract – Researchers in Thailand compared 15 mosquito repellents with a topical extract from celery. They found that the extract did not irritate the skin or cause a burning sensation in humans. Celery extract was also found to be active against a wide range of mosquito species comparable to a 25% DEET formula.
- Neem Oil – An extract from the tropical neem tree. Neem oil contains compounds called azadirachtins which are insecticidal.