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8 Best Insect Repellent for Dogs

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene Divina, one of the content writers at IHD, loves going on adventures with her adorable fur baby. She now creates informative content for pet parents. Read more
| Published on August 21, 2023
iHeartDogs is reader supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you. 

As the weather warms and outdoor adventures beckon, ensuring our furry companions are protected from the pesky menace of insects becomes a top priority. Insects like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and flies can not only cause discomfort but also transmit diseases. Choosing the right insect repellent for your dog not only guarantees them a joyous and itch-free summer but also ensures their overall health and well-being.


#1 – Farnam Repel-X Ready-To-Use Fly Spray, Insecticide And Repellent For Horses And Dogs, 32 Fluid Ounces, 1 Quart Bottle With Trigger Sprayer

The Farnam Repel-X Ready-To-Use Fly Spray is a versatile and cost-effective insecticide and repellent for horses, dogs, and other animals. It effectively repels and kills multiple common fly species, mosquitoes, gnats, fleas, and ticks, making it a practical solution for fly control. The spray is ready to use and does not require any mixing or diluting, offering convenience to users. Refills are also available in different sizes for added convenience and continued use.


#2 – Vet’s Best Mosquito Repellent for Dogs and Cats | Repels Mosquitos with Certified Natural Oils | Deet Free | 8 Ounces

Vet’s Best Mosquito Repellent for Dogs and Cats is a product that effectively repels mosquitos without the use of DEET, making it safe for pets. It contains a blend of natural oils, such as Lemongrass Oil and Geraniol, derived from Citronella plants. This repellent can be used on dogs and cats that are 12 weeks or older and should be reapplied every two hours for optimal protection. The product is proudly made in the USA with high-quality ingredients sourced domestically and internationally.


#3 – Sawyer Products SP624 Permethrin, Permethrin for Dogs Insect Repellent Treatment

The Sawyer Products SP624 Permethrin is an insect-repellent treatment specifically formulated for dogs. It is designed to effectively control fleas and lice for up to 35 days and bonds to hair fibers for up to 6 weeks. The product is odorless after drying and does not stain or damage clothing, fabrics, plastics, finished surfaces, or outdoor gear. However, it is important to note that it is not suitable for use on cats or other pets. Full application instructions can be found on the Sawyer website.


#4 – Wondercide – Flea, Tick & Mosquito Spray for Dogs, Cats, and Home – Flea and Tick Killer, Control, Prevention, Treatment – with Natural Essential Oils – Pet and Family Safe – Lemongrass 16 oz

Wondercide is a natural spray that helps kill and repel fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes on dogs, cats, and in the home. It uses natural essential oils to effectively eliminate pests and break the flea life cycle. The spray is safe for pets of all ages when used as directed and is gentle enough to use on puppies, kittens, and senior pets. It can be used throughout the home and has a pleasant lemongrass scent.


#5 – Bug Soother Refill – Natural Insect, Gnat, and Mosquito Repellent & Deterrent – 100% DEET-Free Safe Bug Spray for Adults, Kids, Pets, Environment – Includes Free 1 oz. Travel Size. (16 oz.)

Bug Soother Refill is a natural insect repellent that effectively repels a range of bugs, including gnats, no-see-ums, sand fleas, and black flies. While it may require more frequent application and rubbing in, it is known to be effective against certain types of mosquitoes. Made with simple ingredients such as purified water, castor oil, and lemongrass essential oil, Bug Soother is commonly used by outdoor enthusiasts, kids, and pets. It is proudly made in America and comes with a guarantee of customer satisfaction.


#6 – Dog Whisperer Tick + Flea Repellent, All-Natural, Extra Strength, Effective on Dogs and Their People (4 Ounce Spray)

The Dog Whisperer Tick + Flea Repellent is an all-natural, extra-strength spray that effectively keeps ticks and fleas off of dogs and their owners. It has been proven effective through independent lab testing and is safe for use on both skin and hair. The spray has a fresh, herbal scent and contains therapeutic-grade essential oils, making it a safe and pleasant option for repelling ticks, fleas, black flies, mosquitoes, and other bugs while enjoying time outdoors with your dog.


#7 – Farnam Equisect Botanical Fly Repellent for Horses, Dogs, and Cats, 32 Ounces, Quart Spray

The Farnam Equisect Botanical Fly Repellent is a versatile insecticide and repellent that effectively kills and repels multiple fly species, gnats, and mosquitoes. It can be used on horses, dogs, cats, and their surroundings to defend against disease-carrying pests. This water-based spray has a herbal scent and does not leave behind a greasy residue or irritate sensitive skin. It is available in both ready-to-use spray and gallon refill options for convenient use.


#8 – Farnam Flys-Off Insect Repellent for Dogs and Cats 6 Fluid Ounces

The Farnam Flys-Off Insect Repellent is a 6-fluid-ounce solution designed to protect dogs and cats from various insects such as flies, gnats, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and lice. It can also be used as a surface repellent on bedding. The product features a convenient pump spray for easy application.


What Should I Look for When Choosing an Insect Repellant for Dogs?

When selecting an insect repellent for dogs, a few key factors come into play to ensure the safety, efficacy, and overall well-being of your canine companion:

  1. Safety First: Always choose products specifically formulated for dogs. Many human insect repellents contain DEET or other ingredients that can be toxic to pets. Never use a product on your dog that isn’t labeled safe for them.
  2. Broad-Spectrum Protection: Look for repellents that protect against a wide range of insects such as fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and flies. This ensures comprehensive coverage, especially if you’re unsure which pests pose the most threat in your area.
  3. Natural vs. Chemical: There are natural repellents made with essential oils like cedarwood, lemon eucalyptus, and lavender. While they can be safer, their efficacy might vary. Chemical-based repellents tend to be more effective but ensure they’re safe for dogs.
  4. Duration of Effectiveness: Consider how long the repellent remains effective and how often you’ll need to reapply. Some products last longer than others.
  5. Type of Application: Repellents come in various forms, including sprays, wipes, collars, spot-ons, and oral medications. Choose what’s most convenient for you and your dog and suits your dog’s lifestyle.
  6. Water-Resistance: If your dog enjoys water activities or if you’re in a rainy area, consider repellents that are water-resistant or waterproof.
  7. Age and Health Considerations: Some products may not be suitable for puppies, elderly dogs, or those with specific health conditions. Always check the label and consult with your veterinarian.
  8. Allergies or Sensitivities: Ensure the repellent doesn’t have ingredients that your dog might be allergic to. Start with a patch test if you’re trying a new product.
  9. Environmental Impact: Some products, especially those with synthetic chemicals, might have an environmental footprint. If sustainability is crucial for you, look into eco-friendly products.
  10. Consultation: Lastly, always consult with a veterinarian before choosing an insect repellent. They can provide insights based on your dog’s specific needs and health history.

By considering the factors above and prioritizing your dog’s safety, you can make an informed decision that keeps those pesky pests at bay.


Frequently Asked Questions About Insect Repellants for Dogs

1. Are insect repellents for dogs safe for cats?
Most insect repellents formulated for dogs are not safe for cats, especially those containing permethrin or other pyrethroids. Cats are more sensitive to many chemicals. Always check the label and consult with a veterinarian before using any product on different animal species.

2. How often should I apply insect repellent to my dog?
The frequency depends on the type of repellent and its formulation. Some products last a few hours, while others can last a month. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult with a veterinarian for a tailored recommendation.

3. Can I use human insect repellent on my dog?
No, you shouldn’t use human repellents on dogs. Many contain DEET, which can be toxic to dogs. Always use products specifically formulated for canine use to ensure their safety.

4. Do natural insect repellents for dogs work as well as chemical ones?
Natural repellents, often made with essential oils, can provide protection but might need more frequent application and may not be as potent as chemical ones. Effectiveness varies, so it’s essential to find a reputable product and monitor its efficacy on your dog.

5. Are there oral insect repellents for dogs?
Yes, there are oral medications available that protect dogs from pests like fleas and ticks. These systemic treatments spread through the dog’s bloodstream, killing or repelling insects that bite them.

6. Can puppies use insect repellents?
Not all insect repellents are safe for puppies. Always check the product’s age recommendation, and when in doubt, consult with your veterinarian.

7. Can I use insect repellent on my pregnant or nursing dog?
Always consult with a veterinarian before using repellents on pregnant or nursing dogs. While some products might be safe, others could pose risks.

8. How can I tell if my dog is having an adverse reaction to a repellent?
Signs of a negative reaction might include excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, twitching, or lethargy. If you suspect your dog is reacting negatively, wash off the product immediately and seek veterinary care.

9. Are there any repellents that offer protection against both insects and sunburn?
Yes, there are combination products that provide both insect-repellent and sun-protection properties. If opting for such products, ensure they’re specifically formulated for dogs.

10. Should I still use repellents if my dog is mostly indoors?
Even indoor dogs can be at risk of insect-borne diseases, especially if there are other pets that go outside or if the household is located in a high-risk area. It’s a good practice to discuss your dog’s specific risks and needs with a veterinarian.


Conclusion: Best Insect Repellent for Dogs

Ensuring our pets are safe from insect-borne diseases is a fundamental responsibility. As we’ve explored, the market offers various insect repellent products tailored for dogs, each with its unique benefits and considerations. When making a choice, it’s essential to consider your dog’s specific needs, lifestyle, and any allergies or sensitivities. Always consult with a veterinarian to make informed decisions. Remember, a well-protected dog is a happy and healthy one, ready to embrace all the joys of the great outdoors.

iHeartDogs is reader supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you. 

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