Spring Pests and Your Pet

Spring Pests and Your Pet 

Spring has sprung which means it’s time for walks, hikes and lake time with your favorite furry bestie! It’s also that time of year where all of the bugs are coming back out to join us. Here’s a list of pests to look out for to keep you and your pet safe.


Fleas are both some of the most common pest and also can be the most problematic. If you have never experienced them, feel lucky! Unfortunately, they can be found in almost every area- parks, yards, hiking trails, camp sites. 

Fleas not only bite and irritate your pet's skin- they also can cause anemia and spread tapeworms! They also multiply quickly, so one or two can spread to an infestation within days.

Even with flea treatments, powders, shampoos, and collars- there’s no avoiding them. Make sure you check your pet's fur regularly. Look for consistent itching and “flea dirt” which are small black spots found in the fur, bedding, or furniture. 

If you find them, wash your pet with treated shampoo, wash all bedding and toys, and spray all surfaces. You can also find over the counter oral supplements that can instantly kill the pests. 


Most flea treatments also help prevent ticks- however, if you spend any time outdoors these are still a concern. Most ticks are found in areas near water, heavily wooded areas, tall grass, and prairies.  They may be found in local parks and dog parks as well. 

When removing ticks make sure to remove the entire bug- oftentimes the tick will bury their head in (leaving it in the skin). Leaving any part of the tick in the body can cause lyme disease. There is a fair amount of homeopathic and household tricks that you can use to help get the bug to let go (peroxide, essential oils, etc). Make sure you grab the tick with tweezers and kill it completely, so they don’t bite you as well. 


Everyone hates mosquitos! Mosquitos aren’t typically as attracted to dogs as, but they aren’t immune either. Unfortunately, there aren’t many safe repellents for your pup! There are some homeopathic methods used to deter mosquitos- and many can cause adverse effects to your dog so please ask your vet before trying sprays or lotions. 

It’s best to avoid infested areas completely with your pet. If they do get bit luckily, they won’t get many of the disease's humans can contract.. If your dog does get bites try an oatmeal bath and if they are really itching they can have a small dose of antihistamines (like Benadryl). (Of course always consult your vet for the correct dosage for your pet.)


Most ants are relatively harmless and don’t bite- Fire ants however, aren’t as kind!

If you live in a region where there are fire ants- be weary and treat areas early. Your pet may stumble over ant hills or ingest some of the ants. Most ant bites can be treated with soothing baths, ice, and antihistamines. 

If your pet begins to swell or have trouble breathing, they could be allergic and may need the help of your vet. 

Bees/ Wasps

April showers bring May flowers and where there are flowers there are bees! Most breeds of dogs leave bees and wasps alone (and vice versa) - but eager dog breeds like to chase them around.

If your pup does happen to get stung most of the time, it’s usually not a big deal. Make sure you remove the stinger and clean the area. Watch for signs of an allergic reaction- they should come on immediately.

If your pet has swelling that doesn’t go down within a day or doubles in size- call your vet. You may have left part of the stinger in there- or it could be infected. 


It’s gardening season- and while spiders are great for your garden, they aren’t so friendly to dogs. This is a common problem for dogs as they often eat them- which typically isn’t so bad, but your pet can also get bit. 

Treat spider bites like you would on yourself. Pay attention to the bite and check it frequently and mark the area to see if it grows. If you notice any major swelling or color change- take your pet to your vet. If you are able to- save the spider in a bag or jar so you can make sure it isn’t poisonous. 

When In Doubt Always Call An Expert

These are only a small handful of pests you can encounter this spring. ! If you aren’t sure what your pet was bit by- call your vet and check. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

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