What Kind of Bugs Affect Dogs & Humans?


Despite their many differences, dogs and humans are bothered by the same creatures. In particular, certain insects can cause problems for canines and people alike, leading them to a good deal of suffering. While some pests like flies are simply a nuisance, insects like mosquitoes and ticks can be dangerous.

Stinging Insects

  • A canine's body reacts in the same way that the bodies of humans do when they are stung. Since they are covered in hair, a dog's wound may be more difficult to locate. Swelling, itchiness, redness and general irritation are a few symptoms that a dog has been stung, but severe cases may result in more serious reactions -- like vomiting or breathing difficulties. Stings commonly occur on the muzzle and face, as dogs have a natural tendency to sniff and nudge their faces into things, providing ample target for wasps and bees.


  • Spider bites are common in dogs and humans, often resulting in redness and swelling. In the case of poisonous spiders, immediate medical attention is necessary to prevent the venom from causing serious or permanent damage. One of the reasons that spider bites in pets and humans are common is that many species of spiders live indoors, increasing the chances that paths will cross. Spider bites that result in the slow death of tissue like the brown recluse and black widow leave dark marks (ulcers) that may take weeks to heal, causing prolonged pain and suffering.

Fleas and Ticks

  • These small creatures feed on blood, attaching themselves to their host's body. Though they need warmth to survive, moving between hosts is common. Fleas move quickly compared to ticks, but ticks are exponentially more dangerous, as the wounds they cause can become infected by bacteria. They also tend to spread disease with their bite, with Lyme disease being one of the most common results. Though the initial bite typically only causes redness and increased scratching, the end results may be serious if not treated. For heavy infestations, medicated soaps and other remedies help to solve the problem.

Flies and Mosquitos

  • Though these pests bother humans regularly, they also bother dogs. Mosquitoes bite to feed, and although it is simple for humans to wear repellent, dogs cannot always do the same. The bite of mosquitoes can transmit diseases like heartworm and West Nile to those that they bite, making them dangerous. Some flies feed on the secretions of animals -- near the eyes, mouth and nose -- and others bite to feed on blood. In cases of dogs being bothered, these pests typically bite near the ears, causing pain and swelling. In some cases, dogs scratch or rub their ears raw to alleviate some of the pain.

Diagnosis and Treatment

  • Humans who have been in contact with any of these pests are able to seek treatment for their wounds immediately. In the case of an affected dog, human help is required. Checking pets for injuries, as well as preventative examinations is necessary to keep them healthy and happy. If a wound is noticed but not able to be identified, consult a veterinarian immediately. Even if a wound cannot be located, symptoms of a possible bite or sting like swelling, redness, excessive scratching, whining or even seeing blood are signals that attention is needed. As bugs are mostly unavoidable for the world's human and dog populations, contact is extremely likely -- so dealing with it in a timely and effective manner is crucial.

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