• Hi, I'm in the U.K. and we're surrounded by fields and meadows, where we walk daily. Winter, Spring and Summer up until August, Flash isn't bothered by the insects at all but it seems once late summer/harvest time hits, he becomes the biggest magnet for every biting insect in the area. He's 3 this winter and for the past 2 years, I've had no choice but to restrict him to pavement-only walks for a few weeks, until the temperature drops enough or it becomes wet enough for the insects to die down. A single walk can result in him being bitten enough to look like he has measles (pic attached). We've been heavily down the allergy route for environmental factors and without boring everyone with the detail, I can definitely say that the reaction he's having in the fields is not to do with allergies to grasses, crops etc. These are definitely bites. Unlike my JackRussell, I guess Flash just has a nice short, 'easy access' coat for the bitey things. My question is has anyone got a tried and tested (preferably natural ingredients) insect repellent recipe or brand they could recommend I try please. I've tried 10:1 ratio of water with citronella and a bit of baby oil as a carrier, as well as a spray from Amazon containing Cymbopogon Nardus,Mentha Piperita, Lavender Angustifolia, which seems to help a bit but just interested to know if anyone could help with other suggestions or ideas please as he loves his runs rather than the boring pavement!?
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  • Yeow! Poor baby. I doubt there is a good solution. Even if you could find a reasonably effective repellant he'd still be getting bit quite a lot. I'd think just keeping him on the pavement for a few weeks would be the best solution, as much as he doesn't like that. The alternative seems worse.

    The best insect repellant I know of is clothing washed/sprayed with pyrethrin, which is an extract from the chrysanthemum flower. It's not toxic -- it's even used in organic farming -- but you don't want to apply it directly to skin/fur -- and I can't think of a way to make it work since dogs don't wear clothing.

    So no solutions from me.

  • I use Only Naturals, Natural Defense Spray. It's made with Neem Oil and I've been using it for a number of years.
    I ran out for a while this year and my Diva paid the price with a nasty bite from a spider.
    She ran a 104.5 temp and her face blew up,she was covered in a deep red rash.
    A visit to the vet for a shot of Dex and was on pred. for 10 days.
    I made sure I had ordered the spray as it works for all kinds of creepy ,crawlies.

    Kathryn and Diva Service Dog

  • Oh, forgot to add, I use shirts that have built in repellent. They also work great.

    Kathryn and Diva

  • @roojuice Garlic spray is a good and effective repellent. As to the bites, homeopathic Apis Mel 30c effectively stops the itching in a very short time. For stings (non-insect) Urtica Mons 30c potency. Both of these are available at ainsworths .com and I suggest in soft tablet form. Avoid actually touching them when you administer - I tip one on to a clean piece of paper and my dogs will take them from there. To get Flash to eat them throw a few around when he'll probably pick one up and then find he likes the taste. You can then give him his proper dose on the paper.

  • For no-see'ums in Florida, I use white vinegar and water, 50-50 mix. It works for about an hour or so. I keep a spray bottle outside with me when working with horses, who I also spray. I do wish it would last longer, since one of my horses is extremely sensitive to the no-see'ums who don't seem to be bothered by fly sprays for horses. The white vinegar mix gives him better protection for the hour or so that it lasts. For the dogs, I've sprayed my hand, then wiped the dogs. I do have a couple of dogs who are very sensitive to bites and a few who are sensitive to most of the other repellency options, so, though more labour-intensive for the number of dogs I have, white vinegar has been the one thing I can use to help everyone.

  • Insects seem to prefer some dogs to others ! My current two run free in the woods and fields and never have any bites (am also in UK). But in the past, some of the forefathers of this generation have suffered badly - which is why I carry Piriton with me. Half a tablet seems to calm the itching very quickly without any harm to the Basenji.

    I used to go to shows with another breeder and one of her girls was fine until we crossed the border into Scotland - and then she broke out in lumps and bumps and often couldn't be shown. Never happened down South !!!

    I did once try 'shirts' but on the boys they were a darned nuisance ! there was no gap so they could pee. I gave them up in short order and am glad these two oldies seems to be immune.

    But try Piriton - only don't tell the pharmacist what you need it for. I once (in Boots the Chemist) made the mistake of saying I needed the antihistamin for the dogs. Whereupon the packet was hastily withdrawn and she refused to sell it to me. "Can't sell you veterinary preparations, this is NOT for animal use", was her excuse and no way would she sell me any. So I went next door to Proctors and didn't mention what I needed it for - no problems !

  • @donc thanks for the reply πŸ™‚ yep, I think it's pavement pounding for the next little while unfortunately. At least there'll be plenty for him to sniff still and it could be worse, it could last from Spring 'til Autumn I guess! He must be just super sensitive to a particular insect that appears this time year. x

  • @rocky1 ooh wow, poor girlie. Glad she's ok, that sounded nasty. I think because of the cyclical nature of it, Flash must just be very sensitive to an insect that appears this time of year, so hopefully after a few weeks, it'll be business as usual again but I'll have a look into the Natural Defense Spray you suggested, thank you πŸ™‚

  • @patty thanks so much for the suggestions πŸ™‚ really appreciate that. I'll look into the Garlic Spray, although Flash is determined to try and lick off any repellent I put on him πŸ™„ , so would the garlic not pose a potential problem being ingested? The saving grace I have with the itching is that he has monthly Cytopoint jabs to 'turn off' the itch antibody (all to do with his environmental allergies), so thankfully, he doesn't actually appear to be too bothered by them on that front.....otherwise we'd have squealing hysterics I'm sure! He's not one to hide how he feels about anything lol! Thanks so much again πŸ™‚

  • @zande Thanks so much Sally. What you said about the other breeder having a dog that was only affected by something over the border makes sense, as with Flash it's definitely only for a specific few weeks, the same time of year every year that he's bothered, so he must just be sensitive to an insect that appears this time of year, the same as the dog you mentioned only being sensitive to a bug found over the border! Thankfully he doesn't actually seem too bothered by the bites in terms of itching (he's on Cytopint at the moment for environmental allergies so it 'turns off' the itch.....we did try him on Piriton first of all - and learned the same way as you not to mention it was for a dog! - but it sadly didn't seem to help him), which is a bonus and hopefully whatever the nasties are that he is sensitive to, will disappear in the next few weeks. Really appreciate your suggestions and reply, thank you.

  • @roojuice said in Effective Insect Repellent!:

    so would the garlic not pose a potential problem being ingested?

    On the contrary ! Basenjis love garlic and mine have all always had an odourless garlic pill every day.

    The liver I dry off and use as treats when they are free running and come back to my call is always boiled with cloves of garlic in the water. And I've never heard complaints about their breathe when they kiss !

    Garlic wards off evil spirits, don't you know !

  • Essential Oils such as Peppermint are commonly used to rid the home of all manner of insects. Eucalyptus Essential Oil is also an Insect repellent and also works on Fungi. You need a carrier Oil like Jojoba or Frankensence for the base oil. There are tons of sites about essential oils but you want to go to a Homeopathic site for research. Essential Oils can be had at Vitacost in the US. I use them to keep my Horses insect free. When I had my B I used that because Lymes disease can kill your pet no matter the species. Lavender Oil is great for itching and removing inflammation.

    Best of luck to you and there is always a way to solve a problem. Vets often disagree because they lose money when you don't buy toxic products such as Frontline.

  • @zande ARE YOU KIDDING ME? They wouldn't sell you Piriton? I went to look it up to see what it is... it's freaking Chlorpheniramine. It's over the counter in bottles of 300 even. Unreal. Vets here tell you to use it or benedryl. Pardon me I just looked..::::Chlorpheniramine Maleate 4 mg Anti-Allergy Tablets, 1000 Count::

    I have also used Neem spray and found it really helps.

  • @zande Love that it also keeps Vampires at bay! Anything natural cannot hurt and in most cases it actually helps as you have stated here!

  • @debradownsouth Neem is from India and it is great for the coat and nails. I take it for my Hair and my Nails. I have never seen it in a spray bottle. I will try to find it.

  • @antigone Health stores carry it. Simply put in spray bottle with water or other liquid to dilute so you can spray.

  • @debradownsouth Thanks! I have it and will dilute it.

  • @zande Some Pharmacists will refuse to fill an Rx if you call in a day early for a refill. My B had seizures when she was 12 years old. It took me a ton of effort because the Rx I had was from the Vet. I was furious so I said that State Law requires you to fill my Dog's Rx for the Phenobarbital. I filed a complaint with the State and one Pharmacist was fired. I was just very worried about my little girl and I was not going to put up with any crap about having a Prescription from an animal Doctor refused. Sometimes you just have to be nasty.

  • @antigone thanks very much for the recommendations. I'll go and do some searching for the peppermint and eucalyptus oils.
    The only reason I queried the garlic is because there seems to be so much conflicting info here in the U.K. as to it's toxicity for dogs. I always found it a godsend for the horses on lots of levels and I know many people use it for their dogs too but my vet says it's poisonous?! I'm guessing if it's used in low quantities like @Zande says for boiling treats up in etc then it's ok. So confusing, especially when you're stood in a dog supplies store and the owner is telling you it's toxic and yet sells it in tablet and liquid form lol! 🀦🏼 I'd like to use it as it's such a great natural product....and as @zande says, if it keeps evil spirits away, surely insects can be no match! lol! If I'm cooking with it, it's a sure-fire way to get Flash in the kitchen with his little snout sniffing the air!!

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