Wellness

Best Mosquito Repellent For Dogs: Topical, Spray, Collar, Supplements, Plans & More

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Last Updated: June 5, 2024 | 12 min read | Leave a Comment

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If you think mosquitos are only a slight bother for your dog when you’re outside, think again. Mosquito bites can present a severe and life-threatening health problem for your pup inside and outdoors. That’s why protecting your furry friend with mosquito repellent is so important. See which pet-safe bug spray for dogs I recommend, including collars, supplements, DIY repellents, mosquito yard spray, and more. I also explore what’s unsafe for pups and how to keep mosquitos away from your yard. Let’s take a closer look.

TopicalSprayCollarSupplementYard Spray
K9 Advantix IIVet's Best Mosquito SprayTevraPet Activate II PetHonesty flea and ticket supplementsMosquito Deleto Sunday Lawn Care Spray
K9 AdvantixVet’s BestTevraPetPetHonestySunday Lawn Care
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

Why Should I Protect My Dog From Mosquitoes?

The primary threat from mosquitoes to dogs is heartworm disease, caused by the parasitic roundworm, Dirofilaria immitis. Dogs contract heartworm infections simply from being bitten by mosquitoes that carry heartworm larvae. Heartworm is one of the most dangerous and life-threatening diseases your dog can face. It can cause lung disease, heart failure, and other organ damage. Sadly, it can also be fatal.

Heartworm Disease

Heartworms are very serious, so all dog parents should educate themselves on this disease. We have an informative guide on heartworm symptoms, causes, treatment, and our scary personal experience. Please take a few minutes to read this guide as well and learn how pet insurance can be a great way to help manage unexpected veterinarian expenses.

While a regular heartworm preventative can protect your pup from contracting this disease, mosquitoes can also transmit West Nile Virus (WNV) to dogs. WNV is usually mild, but it can cause encephalitis if the disease enters the brain, which is serious. Unfortunately, that’s not all. Mosquito bites cause discomfort, which causes dogs to itch. Severe itching can cause skin damage, hot spots, and skin infections. In rare cases, mosquito bites can also cause anaphylactic reactions. That’s why I encourage you to protect your pup with mosquito repellants.

Best Mosquito Repellent For Dogs

I’ve researched dozens of dog mosquito repellents to give you my top picks for the best mosquito and insect repellent for dogs, including monthly topical spot-on treatments, sprays, collars, chewable supplements, and yard repellents. I based my top picks on dog safety, repellent performance, and customer feedback. Let’s take a closer look at the best mosquito repellents for dogs.

Best Topical: K9 Advantix II Review

K9 Advantix II

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K9 Advantix II is a popular spot-on flea and tick preventative that you apply to your dog once a month. It’s also one of a select few flea and tick preventatives that repels and kills mosquitoes. It works through contact, so mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and ticks don’t have to bite your pup to die. The active ingredients are imidacloprid, permethrin, and pyriproxyfen. It starts working after 12 hours, and the protection lasts 30 days.

K9 Advantix II is safe for dogs over seven weeks old and weighing more than four pounds. USA-made K9 Advantix II is a quick and easy way to keep all four blood-sucking pests off your dog. Only a few users state that their dog’s skin reacted to this product. You must be cautious when using this product if you have cats because it is toxic to them. Otherwise, this highly-rated product is simple to apply and a great and safe mosquito repellent for dogs.

ProsCons
Options for small, medium, large, and XL large breedsFew users report adverse skin reactions to the product
Repels and kills pestsToxic to cats
Works against mosquitos, ticks, fleas, lice, and their larvae
Works within 12 hours
Fragrance-free and waterproof
Easy to apply

Price

  • 6 monthly applications:  

Best Spray: Vet’s Best Mosquito Repellent Review

Vet's Best Mosquito Repellent

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Vet’s Best Mosquito Repellent is an all-natural, plant-based spray formulated to repel mosquitoes for dogs and cats. Clove and peppermint are the primary pest-fighting ingredients, and they contain lemongrass oil and geraniol oil. The smell of the ingredients repels pests but also kills them on contact. This spray repels mosquitos, fleas, ticks, ants, spiders, bed bugs, roaches, and house and stable flies.

This budget-friendly spray, made in the USA, is for dogs and cats over 12 weeks old. To maintain protection, you have to reapply it every two hours. While many users say it works well for their pups, a few customers found it ineffective. Many people say the citronella and lemongrass fragrance is pleasant and not too strong. And you can even use it on yourself.

ProsCons
All-natural, plant-based sprayYou have to reapply every 2 hours
Simple to useSome users say it isn’t that effective
Safe for cats
Budget-friendly
You can use it on humans
Pleasant fragrance

Price

Best Collar: TevraPet Activate II Flea & Tick Collar Review

TevraPet Activate II 

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A great budget-friendly alternative to K9 Advantix II is the TevraPet Activate II flea and tick collar. The pack contains two collars, which protect for six months each, giving you one year’s coverage. The collar releases the ingredients gradually over time, giving them equal coverage throughout the six months. This waterproof collar kills fleas, flea eggs, ticks, and chewing lice and repels mosquitoes and other biting flies.

The TevraPet Activate II collar uses the active ingredients deltamethrin and pyriproxyfen and is safe for dogs over 12 weeks old. You can cut the collar to size and leave two fingers space between the neck and the collar. Several customers reported that this collar wasn’t effective against fleas for their pups, and a few users said it irritated their dog’s neck. So, if your pup has sensitive skin, you may want to choose another type of repellent.

ProsCons
Contains 2 collarsThere are a few reports of sensitive skin reaction
For all-size dogs, simply cut to fitSome users say it had no effect
Cost-effective pest repellent for the year
Time release formula

Price

Best Supplement: PetHonesty Flea & Tick Defense Review

PetHonesty Flea & Tick Defense

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These bacon-flavored supplements from PetHonesty help your dog build long-term resistance to fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. The blend of all-natural ingredients, including coconut oil, garlic powder, brewer’s yeast, flaxseed, apple cider vinegar, B vitamins, and hemp seed oil, helps repel pests and supports joint, skin, and immune health.

Give your pup one to three chews daily (one chew per 25 pounds of body weight). They’re made in the USA and are free of wheat, corn, soy, toxic preservatives, and GMOs. You can sign up for auto-shipping and save 20%, and it is fast and free for orders over $49. Independent feeding reviews state that 98% of owners recommend this product. And if your pup is one of the rare dogs that don’t like them, PetHonesty also offers a 100% money-back guarantee.

ProsCons
Tasty bacon-flavor chewsOn the pricey side
Contains pest-repelling ingredients
Supports joints, immunity, and skin
Money back guarantee
Fast shipping
Subscription option with discount

Price

Best Yard Spray: Mosquito Deleto Sunday Lawn Care Spray Review

Mosquito Deleto Sunday Lawn Care Spray

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Sunday Lawn Care is an excellent option for anyone looking to improve their yard and remove pests from their yard. Mosquito Deleto is a plant-based mosquito yard spray formula that uses concentrated lemongrass and cedar oils. It kills mosquitoes on contact, as well as fleas and ticks. It also repels newcomers, protecting your yard for up to four weeks.

Like everything I’ve chosen on this list, Mosquito Deleto is safe for people and pets when used as directed. Plus, it’s planet-friendly, too, which is great for eco-conscious buyers. This ready-to-use spray has a universal nozzle for easy application, covering up to 5,000 square feet. This product offers customers tailored yard plans to combat other problems in your outside space. Some users state that you must apply it every two weeks to be effective.

ProsCons
Kills mosquitos, fleas, and ticks on contactApply every 2-4 weeks
Repels them using lemongrass and cedar oil
Eco-friendly
Covers 5,000 square feet
Easy to use
Highly-rated
You can set up a subscription lawn care plan

Pricing

  • 32-oz bottle: $27

Our Experience With Mosquito Deleto Sunday Lawn Care

Last summer, the high number of flies and mosquitoes buzzing around my dog and me made my yard unenjoyable. I tried Sunday’s Mosquito Deleto, and it immediately resolved my pest problem. It even helps repel ticks, which have also become an increasing issue in my yard. After applying the solution, I could garden and relax in my backyard again without being annoyed by all the flying pests. My dog was more comfortable, too, as she could relax outside without scratching or biting at her skin due to the bugs around her. I’ve used many products from Sunday for my lawn care and pest control needs and have been happy with my experience, which you can read about in my Sunday Lawn Care Review. I especially appreciate that Sunday’s products are safe for people, pets, and the Earth, making them a responsible choice for my family and the environment.

Kimberly Alt, Writer & Pet Insurance Expert For Canine Journal

Runner-Up Yard Spray: Wondercide Ready to Use Flea, Tick, & Mosquito Yard Spray Review

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To minimize the chance of your dog being bitten by a mosquito or other pests, you also want to ensure that you treat your yard. After all, prevention is the best cure. Wondercide’s yard spray kills mosquitoes, fleas, flea larvae, flea eggs, and ticks by contact and contains no harsh chemicals. It is biodegradable and doesn’t harm beneficial pollinating insects such as bees or butterflies. This all-natural spray is made with cedarwood oil, sesame oil, and other essential oils.

The bottle has a hose attachment, so you can easily apply it to your lawn, kennel, patio, and other outside surfaces. Wondercide is made in the USA and is safe for children, too (but you must keep it out of reach.) It treats up to 5,000 square feet and works immediately. Unlike other pesticides, you don’t have to wait; simply spray and play. Although a handful of reviews state it didn’t work for them, this product gets excellent customer reviews overall.

ProsCons
Proven to workThere are only a few reports of it being ineffective
Simple to use thanks to nozzleApply every 2-4 weeks
Works immediately
Safe for pets, children, and beneficial wildlife
Biodegradable and all-natural
Treats up to 5,000 square feet

Price

If you’re interested in other pet-safe yard products, see our guide on the best pet-safe pest control options for your yard and home.

4 Mosquito Repellent Ingredients Not Safe For Dogs

Always choose a mosquito repellent (or any bug spray) that’s specifically made for pets to be on the safe side. Many human products and yard treatments contain toxic ingredients for dogs. When in doubt, ask your veterinarian what they recommend. Here are some ingredients to avoid.

1. DEET

Popular human products containing DEET are considered unsafe for dogs. Contact with the skin can cause severe irritation and burns. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), DEET can cause neurological problems such as tremors, seizures, and even death in dogs and cats. You must see the vet if you suspect your dog has been in contact with DEET.

2. Picaridin

Picaridin is another popular ingredient in human products. It isn’t licensed for use with pets because there’s not enough research to determine that it’s safe for dogs. There are reports that Picaridin can cause vomiting, skin irritation, and seizures. For this reason, you should never let your dog lick your skin after applying pest spray if it contains this ingredient.

3. Citrus Oils

Citrus oil extracts like D-limonene and linalool have insecticidal properties that can cause liver toxicity and damage in dogs if ingested. Although licking a small amount may not be harmful, it’s best to steer clear of these ingredients to be safe, especially if your dog licks a lot of spray off his body.

4. Citronella Plant

The ASPCA recommends keeping citronella candles, oil products, and insect coils out of your pet’s reach. Citronella, which includes the citronella plant, is toxic to dogs if ingested.

Unsafe Bug Spray Ingredients For Dogs infographic

DIY Natural Mosquito Repellent For Dogs

Are you looking for an all-natural homemade mosquito repellent for dogs? If you’re wary of products containing unnatural chemicals, you have some options to help keep mosquitoes away from your pup. Most of these ingredients are found in family homes, but if not, you can purchase them from most grocery or drug stores.

Apple Cider Vinegar Mosquito Repellent For Dogs

This homemade mosquito repellent for dogs recipe uses natural and safe ingredients for Fido. Simply mix them in a spray bottle, shake the dog bug spray well before use, and spray all over their coat (being careful to avoid their eyes).

  • 12 ounces of witch hazel 
  • 7 ounces of distilled water
  • 5-7 drops of lemon eucalyptus or lemongrass oil   
  • A few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Essential Oils

Collie sitting in a field with a hand holding a bottle of essential oil

You can use a few essential oils as a natural, safe mosquito repellent for dogs, but always check with your vet to ensure it’s safe for your pup. Remember that many essential oils, including geraniol oil, aren’t safe for dogs. And for the ones that are safe, you have to carefully dilute any essential oil with water or carrier oil because they’re very potent for dogs.

Dog-safe essential oils with insect-repelling qualities include lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, verbena, peppermint, fennel, neem, thyme, and cinnamon oils. The best carrier oils for dogs include coconut, grapeseed, jojoba, olive, sweet almond, sesame, or sunflower oil. A safe dilution ratio for average-sized dogs is one drop of essential oil to one milliliter of carrier oil or water.

Note: If you have a cat, use extreme caution with essential oils because the risk of toxicity with cats is much higher than with dogs. If your cat grooms your dog’s fur, you shouldn’t apply essential oils to your pup’s coat.

6 Mosquito Repellent Plants: What’s Safe For Dogs?

Dog snout smelling a pot of fresh rosemary

Many people use plants to help keep mosquitoes at bay in their yards, but not all are safe for dogs. Citronella plant, garlic, geranium (which contains geraniol oil), and marigold plants are toxic for dogs. Even some state plants are toxic. The plants listed below that naturally repel mosquitos are safe for dogs.

  1. Basil
  2. Catnip
  3. Lavender
  4. Lemon Balm
  5. Peppermint
  6. Rosemary

Standing Water Is Your Enemy

Finally, one of the most important things you can do to keep mosquitoes out of your yard is to cover or remove any standing water. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), female mosquitos lay 100 eggs at a time in any standing water, and the hatched larvae and pupae can develop into adult flying mosquitoes within less than two weeks.

How To Kill Mosquito Larvae In Ponds, Pots, & Fountains

If you have standing water in your yard that you can’t remove, this brief video has some fantastic tips on how to kill mosquito larvae in ponds, plant pots, and more. Two effective products discussed in this video, Summit’s Mosquito Dunks and Mosquito Bits, are non-toxic for dogs, humans, and wildlife.

Preventative Care Is Crucial For Your Pup’s Health

As I mentioned above, giving your dog a monthly heartworm preventative to protect him from this life-threatening disease is essential. But heartworm preventative medication is only one of many things you should do to keep your pup healthy. Annual check-ups, vaccines, and other preventative medications — all of these wellness expenses can add up. To help manage these costs, you may want to consider getting a pet wellness plan.

For a relatively low premium, wellness (aka preventative) plans cover a portion of routine vet items, such as annual exams, heartworm testing and prevention medication, vaccinations, flea and tick prevention medication, spaying/neutering procedures, microchipping, and more.

You may also want to consider getting pet insurance to protect your pup and your wallet in the event of unexpected illnesses or accidents.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that keeping your dog safe from mosquito bites is very important, especially during the warmer months, and our readers have many questions about this topic. If you can’t see your question below, let us know in the comments, and we’ll find the answer for you.

How To Keep Mosquitoes Away From Dogs?

The most effective way to keep mosquitoes away from your dog is to treat them with mosquito repellent treatments. It’s also important to remove standing water or add products to the water to prevent larvae from developing into mosquitoes, such as Summit’s Mosquito Dunks and Mosquito Bits. By practicing yard hygiene and taking preventive steps, you should be able to protect your dog from mosquito bites. You can plant mosquito-repelling plants in your yard, too, but be sure to avoid toxic plants like citronella plants.

Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Mosquitoes?

If your dog is anything like my Dachshund, they can spend hours chasing and eating bugs and spiders. Although we can’t see the appeal of having a creepy crawly buzzing around in our mouths, it is a stimulating activity for dogs. Eating a mosquito won’t harm Fido, but if they’ve been around mosquitoes, you want to take preventative steps to ensure they don’t get bitten.

Can I Put Vinegar On My Dog To Repel Mosquitoes?

Yes, you can make an apple cider vinegar home remedy to repel mosquitoes. The strong smell repels these and other pests, and they often avoid them. Never apply undiluted vinegar on your dog, and do not use the mixture on sore skin or open wounds, as it can be extremely painful. Do not apply it near the eyes, nose, or mouth. You can use it on your skin if you don’t mind the smell.

Is Coconut Oil A Safe Mosquito Repellent For Dogs?

Yes, research shows that coconut fatty acids actively repel a broad array of blood-sucking insects, including mosquitoes, biting flies, ticks, and bed bugs. Scientific Reports also found that coconut oil offers better protection than DEET, the most commonly used ingredient in mosquito repellent. Most owners rub a tablespoon of coconut oil in their hands until it softens and massage it into their dog’s coat. Coconut oil also benefits their skin and coat health thanks to its moisturizing properties. Plus, it smells great, too.

More Pest Prevention Tips For Dogs

If you want to ensure that your dog is fully protected against pests, there are a number of things you can do. Check out our best flea collars for dogs guide and our guide on the best flea and tick subscriptions for dogs. Alternatively, if you prefer homemade remedies, we have DIY flea and tick remedies for you to try, too.

Have you tried any of these safe mosquito repellent products for dogs? Perhaps you have your own homemade solution that you and Fido swear by. Let us know in the comments below.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Sally has over 20 years of experience in human health sciences communications, including ten years as an expert on pet health conditions and treatment. She’s part of a team of dedicated canine professionals and long-time dog owners at Canine Journal. We test and research the best pet products, not only for our own pups but for all of our readers.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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