How Can I Prevent Flies From Biting My Dogs?

Flies can harass your dog.
Flies can harass your dog. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

The stable fly or dog fly is a common nuisance to animals, including dogs. The stable fly can repeatedly attack your dog in what is known as "fly strikes." Other species of flies, such as the deer flies and blackflies will commonly attack dogs to obtain their blood meals. Bites from these flies usually occur on your dog's ear and sometimes around its nose. These bites can cause skin irritations that can become infected. Preventative measures using repellents can help avoid attacks from flies.

Things You'll Need

  • Mentholated topical cream
  • Pyrethrin spray
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Cotton pad
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Antibiotic ointment

Apply a mentholated topical cream to the tips of your dog's ears, suggests the American Police Canine Association. Scents, like menthol, can help repel flies from your dog.

Ask your veterinarian for a pyrethrin containing spray. You can apply the spray to your dog's ears. Alternatively, you can combine the spray with petroleum jelly, according to Pet Education. You can coat your dog's ear with the pyrethrin and petroleum jelly mixture using a cotton pad.

Keep your dog indoors during the day, when biting flies are present. This is also important if your dog already has bite wounds.

Remove fly attractions. Clean fecal waste in your yard daily. Also keep your dog's food indoors and keep your dog free of odors.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wash any bites with soap and water to avoid infection.
  • Use an antibiotic ointment if your dog's ears become irritated.
  • See your veterinarian if your dog develops several open wounds that have oozing or crusting, or if you visibly see maggots.

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