Many pet owners are surprised to notice bed bug bites on dogs (or bed bug bites on cats). Bed bugs feed on most mammals as long as they get their daily quota of blood meal.
In this brief guide, we shall study a few ways of preventing and treating bed bug bites on dogs and bed bug bites on cats. First let us a study a few signs of bed bug bites on pets.
Signs of bed bug bites on dogs and bed bug bites on cats
- Bed bugs do not live on the pets per se but they might do so when they are unable to find a human victim.
- Bed bug bites on cats or dogs can cause acute skin irritation, pink welts or spots on the skin, intense itching and even allergic dermatitis.
- If your pet is losing a great deal of hair, and if it is not from ticks, fleas or usual shedding reasons, then there is a possibility you are having bed bugs in the home. Bed bug bites on dogs and cats has been known to cause patchy hair loss, rashes, hives, blisters and even irritability or anxiety in the pets.
- Other than these signs, pet owners must also look for discarded exoskeletons of the bugs and their fecal stains. These are typically brown, red or rust colored spots and stains in and around the pet’s bedding.
- If you are wondering how you got the bed bug infestation, then there is a strong possibility of them having hitchhiked their way into your home. Bed bugs are capable of traveling large distances through luggage, clothing etc. They can also travel on your pet’s fur or on its bedding.
- Bed bugs, as mentioned above, do not live on the dog or cat’s fur. They prefer cooler regions to hide, when they are not feeding.
If you see these signs of bed bug bites on dogs or cats, then it is important to take the matter seriously in order to prevent larger problems.
How to prevent bed bug bites on dogs and bed bug bites on cats
The best way to prevent bed bug bites on dogs and bed bug bites on cats is to get rid of the infestation as soon as you first sight it.
- If your pet has spent the night away from home at the animal day care center or boarding facility, make sure you bathe it immediately to reduce risk of bed bug bites on dogs and bed bug bites on cats (doing this will also keep fleas and ticks at bay).
- Wash the pet’s bedding in hot water. Dry it on the highest setting possible for at least 30 minutes. The heat is essential to get rid of larvae and eggs.
- Vacuum the entire home. Discard clothing, toys and pet bedding if needed.
- Call in the professionals if the infestation is a large one.
- Brush the pet’s fur using special grooming combs. This can help remove bed bugs which may be hiding in the pet’s fur.
- Spray the pet’s soft toys and bedding with isopropyl alcohol to kill eggs and larvae of the bed bugs.
Treating bed bug bites on cats and bed bug bites on dogs
- To treat the bed bug bites on dogs and bed bug bites on cats it is best to use natural and gentle products, lotions and shampoos to soothe the irritated or inflamed skin.
- Soothing creams and lotions containing Aloe Vera gel, or calendula lotion can also be applied to the site of the bites. Coconut oil mixed with a few camphor pellets can help reduce itching and swelling. (Do talk to your vet regarding the use of these products, since many natural or organic products can sometimes be harmful to pets).
- Consult your veterinarian if the bed bug bites on dogs or bed bug bites on cats are causing intense itch with hair loss.
As stated before, bed bugs do not primarily feed on pets but if you notice bed bug bites on dogs, or bed bug bites on cats then you must be aware that these pests are searching for human victims to feed on. Hence, bed bug bites on dogs and cats must be taken seriously and treated immediately to prevent other problems down the road.