your dog may be suffering more than you know. Not only can flies annoy dogs, but fly bites can also irritate the skin and cause infections.
Grooming your dog often, cleaning your home regularly, and using fly repellants can all keep these pests away from your dog.
Groom your dog regularly to prevent attracting flies.
Flies gravitate towards dirt and bad odors. If your dog is brushed and bathed once or twice a month, they are less likely to attract flies. Brush and bathe your dog in addition to their monthly grooming session whenever you notice flies targeting your dog, especially during the summer months when flies are more active.
Make sure you’re cleaning and trimming the fur around your dog’s anus and genitals so it doesn’t get matted or dirty.
Flies often lay their eggs in fecal matter. If your dog has poor hygiene, they will be more susceptible to fly bites. Train your dog to toilet in a specific area of the yard to make cleanup easier. Set up a daily toileting routine for your dog and reward them for relieving themselves in the designated area
Wash your dog’s bedding at least once a week.
Cleaning your dog bedding will prevent it from accumulating smells or stains and get rid of any fly eggs that might be hiding in the fabric.
Hand or machine wash your dog bedding with a pet-friendly soap and hot water once a week to keep it free from dirt, odors, or fly eggs.
Sprinkle baking soda on your dog’s bedding to get rid of lingering odors.
If your dog’s bedding still smells unpleasant after washing it, baking soda may get rid of the scent. Sprinkle a little baking soda on the bedding, leave it for about 15 minutes and then vacuum it up.
Reapply the baking soda as needed or whenever you wash your dog’s bedding to keep the bedding smelling fresh.
(Preventing Fly Infestations)
Clean up dog food or bones around your dog’s kennel immediately.
Do not leave dog food or bones out, as flies are attracted to open food sources. Set specific meal times for your dog to prevent their living space from becoming infested with flies
If your dog is often bothered by flies in your home, you may have an infestation.
Regularly vacuuming your carpet will help you pick up any fly eggs on the ground that may be unseen by the naked eye. After vacuuming your home, empty the vacuum cleaner outside to prevent reinfestation.
Flies thrive in dirty conditions, keeping your dog’s living areas well-maintained is important for preventing fly bites.
Throw away any garbage, dog waste, or old food as you see it to avoid unpleasant smells, which can attract flies quickly.
Flies are most active during the summer months, especially during the day. The hotter the temperature, the more likely your dog is to be infested with flies. Keep your dog indoors during the late morning and afternoon to prevent fly bites.
(Trying Natural or Chemical Fly Repellants)
Apply petroleum jelly to your dog’s ears.
If your dog’s ears are often bitten by flies, apply a thin coating of petroleum jelly to the area. Squirt a small amount of petroleum jelly into your hand and rub it into both sides of your dog’s ears. This will prevent flies from landing there again and give your dog’s wounds time to heal.
Open bite wounds can attract more flies, so applying petroleum jelly to your dog’s ears is important to prevent more irritation.
Make a fly repellent from vinegar, mineral oil, and scented essential oils.
If you want to avoid spraying your dog with chemical repellents, mix 1 cup (240 ml) of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup (240 ml) of mineral oil with 1⁄2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) of the following essential oils: citronella, lemongrass, bitter orange, eucalyptus, and clove. Finish the mixture with 2 cups (470 ml) of dish soap, then mix 1 part of the natural fly repellent with 5 parts water. Spray your dog with the fly repellent, targeting areas that fly often land on.
Keep in mind that this repellent isn’t proven to be safe or effective.
Hang up fly traps or buy fly-trapping plants.
Hangable fly traps stay out of a dog’s reach while catching any flies that may be in the house. If, for whatever reason, you are against fly traps, purchase a Venus flytrap or other carnivorous plant to naturally lower your fly infestation.
Venus flytraps can be grown outdoors or by a windowsill. They require routine care and maintenance to keep healthy.
Light a few citronella candles in your home.
Citronella is a scent that’s safe for dogs and that insects find repellant. If you would prefer not to kill flies, purchase several citronella candles and use them in the rooms your dog most often frequents.
Other citronella-based fragrances, like essential oils or cleaning sprays, can also repel insects but flies find smoke most repulsive.
Never leave your candle unattended or low enough that your pet could knock it over.
Buy a pet-safe chemical fly repellent.
Not all fly repellents are pet-safe, so read the instructions carefully before purchasing one for your pet. Avoid buying fly repellents that are not explicitly made for dogs. Apply the fly repellent to your dog or its belongings daily or as instructed by the fly repellent to keep flies far from your dog.
Fly repellents made from pyrethrum are usually non-toxic and safe for dogs.
Pet-safe fly repellants are available online or at most pet stores.
Ask the veterinarian about prescribed balms or dog-safe cleaners.
If your dog is frequently targeted by flies, bring them to a local vet for antibiotic cream. Let your veterinarian know about any fly repellents you’re currently using, and ask them for recommendations on natural or chemical fly repellents that are safe for your dog.
Even if a cleaner is safe for humans, it still may be harmful or even deadly to dogs. If a cleaner is not specifically marked “dog-safe” or has not been recommended by your veterinarian, do not apply it to your dog.