Woodridge Animal Hospital
2009 W. 75th Street, Woodridge, IL 60517
Mosquito Repellent Options
The external parasite preventative I recommend is Frontline Plus because of its high level of safety, excellent efficacy when applied appropriately, and the guarantee the manufacturer provides when purchased through a veterinarian. Unfortunately, it doesn't provide any protection against mosquitos.
The two diseases that are most commonly a concern with mosquito exposure are heartworm and West Nile Virus.
Mosquito repellents haven't been a concern until recently because we have very effective heartworm preventatives when used as directed and using a mosquito repellent as a prevention for heartworm disease has been proven to not be effective. However, recently there have been increased incidents of West Nile Virus illness in people who live in our area. With this fact and since heartworm disease is also very prevalent, I'm of the opinion that additional safe prevention is never a bad idea. This applies particularly to our highly exposed, older, and the immune compromised patients.
Several options for prevention are available. I have only used #1 as a repellent personally, but the other options listed have been used and recommended by other veterinarians. With all of these products, do not apply directly to or on your pet's eyes, mouth, nose, and genitalia.
1. Pyrethrin based dog flea and tick spray- available at pet retail stores. These sprays contain one of the following active ingredients- pyrethrin, permethrin, or pyrethroid. Since your pet is already protected from fleas and ticks using Frontline Plus, you don't need to apply these products as directed. Instead, you can just lightly dust your dog with the product, in the same way you would use a mosquito repellent on yourself. Never use a product containing one of the above mentioned active ingredients on a cat and caution should be used if one is applied to a dog that lives with a cat. Cats can have severe reactions to these ingredients, even if the product isn't applied directly on them. The nice thing about these products is that any residue can be rinsed away with 2. Mosquito repellents used on people can also be used with the same light dusting application. However, because pets will lick and groom themselves, you should not use any product using DEET. 3. Skin-so-soft by Avon is used for repelling mosquitos on people and I've heard from clients as well as veterinarians that this product works very well in repelling mosquitos on pets. One veterinarian recommended diluting the product in a 1:1 dilution with water and use a squirt bottle to apply the light dusting. Be careful exposing light haired or short haired pets to excessive sun when using this repellent. Skin-so-soft contains oils that can cause sunburn to occur or to be more severe.