Everyone knows bed bugs bite humans—that’s why there’s so much concern among the public and the media about the resurgence of bed bugs over the past 15 years. But if you have “man’s best friend” as a pet (or pets), you might be wondering, “Will bed bugs bite dogs?”
Will Bed Bugs Bite Dogs? – Blood is Blood
Bed bugs feed on blood—preferably human blood—but they can survive off blood from any mammal, including your loved dog companion. The reason they prefer humans is because of the dog fur, which slows them down, but if they’re having trouble finding humans to suck blood from, they will definitely turn to dogs.
So the answer to “Will bed bugs bite dogs?” is a definitive “yes.” In fact, dogs can be a source of an infestation. Although bed bugs typically come out at night to feed and then return to their nests in the day, some can hang out on dogs during the day. So if your dog is playing with other dogs outside, bed bugs could transfer to your dog, who then brings them into your home.
Except in rare cases, bed bug bites won’t endanger your dog, but they will make them quite uncomfortable because the bites itch.
What Can I Do to Treat a Dog with Bed Bugs?
Unfortunately for dog owners (and dogs!), topical treatments such as Frontline don’t kill bed bugs like they do fleas and ticks. If your dog has bed bugs, ask your veterinarian for the appropriate shampoo to use to kill bed bugs. (Be careful, what works for dogs could be harmful to cats and other pets.)
Wash your dog’s bedding
Also wash all your pet’s bedding in hot water. Temperatures above 120 degrees will kill bed bugs, so this will free the dog’s environment from bed bugs.
Be aware of where your dog is playing.
Flea and tick collars will do nothing to keep bed bugs away from your dog. In fact, nothing on the market will do much good at repelling the little beasts. This is why it’s important to be aware of your surroundings when you let your dog out into your backyard or take them to a park. Bed bugs want to be inside your home, but often find themselves outside. If they’re in the grass and they have a chance to hitch a ride on your pooch, they’ll take it.
Inspect your dog and his or her bed regularly.
The trick to keeping bed bugs away from your home is to follow an inspection regimen. This includes your dog once he or she has been outside if you suspect a bed bug problem in the area.
This only takes seconds and can save you headaches later on. Plus, when you’re inspecting your own furniture, don’t forget to check your dog’s bed, where bed bugs may be waiting to strike.
Of course, if bed bugs have already made a home in your home, you’ll have to treat the entire residence to free your dog from bed bugs, and that requires professional pest control services. Ironically, dogs specially trained to sniff out notoriously-hard-to-find bed bug nests are often part of this treatment!