Bed bug infestations are a topic that most are ashamed to discuss. Having a pest infestation refers to the stigma that you live in a filthy home. Not only is that not true, but you can get bed bugs from the most luxurious hotel that you can imagine. That’s because bed bugs don’t seek filthy places, they just want to feed on fresh blood.And for people with dogs, there’s another thing to worry about - can your dogs get bed bugs?
Can Your Dog Get Bed Bugs?
The short answer is No, it can’t.
At Dog Owner we know that bed bugs are not like fleas, ticks, or any other pest, even though many people mix up these types of parasites.
Bed bugs do not live on the body of their host. They cannot move through fur or hair, as fleas do. Bed bugs are more likely to take a ride on you or your clothes, instead of on your dog.
This could only happen in case of a severe infestation, where a property is infested to a critical level.
Will Bed Bugs Feed Off Dogs?
Bed bugs prefer human blood but they can also bite animals such as rodents, dogs, cats and even birds. This means there is a small chance of your dog get bitten regardless of the breed. The bugs don’t look for canine hosts but if the infestation reaches high levels, they might search for a secondary source of food.
You can get bed bugs from traveling, second-hand furniture, guests sleeping over, from a hotel room, walking nearby an infested mattress left on the street and more. This doesn’t necessarily mean that bed bugs will never hide under your pet’s bed till they infest your entire dog-friendly home.
Can Bed Bug Bites Make Your Dog Ill?
Luckily, bed bugs do not transmit diseases, as ticks do for example. So you and your dog are safe. Severe infestation can lead to psychological issues mostly cause by sleepless nights because of the biting or becoming paranoid that they will bite you.
Another possible health problem is that scratching the bite marks can lead to secondary infections to you and your dog. If the dog is being bitten a lot, and it scratches itself vigorously. Call a vet, if you notice the dog scratching uncontrollably.
How to Kill Bed Bugs on Dogs?
You don’t. To eliminate a bed bugs problem, you have to treat the infested area, not the dog.
For starters, make sure that the problem is bed bugs. People often mistake fleas for bed bugs, but there are several key differences between bed bugs and flea bites. Inspect your dog’s bed and the surrounding area, also your bedroom and upholstered furniture. If you don’t recognise the signs, you might confuse bugs for fleas or even mosquitoes resulting in loss of valuable time.
Infestations grow and spread exponentially!
If you’re not sure how to inspect your house, call a professional company. You should also keep in mind that bed bugs are resistant to most over-the-counter insecticides, and DIY methods never work.
Will Flea or Tick Products Keep Bed Bugs Away From Your Dog?
No, they won’t. They were created to repel and keep fleas and ticks away, so they won’t be of any help with bed bugs.
As we mentioned above, most insecticides don’t work against bed bugs nowadays. Even for professional exterminators, it’s hard to get rid of them with one treatment.
Most often repetition of a professional bed bug treatment will be needed to eradicate the bloodsuckers completely.
Will Treating Bed Bugs in The House Hurt The Dog?
There are two ways to treat for bed bugs - with chemicals and with heat. None of which will be harmful to the dog, if you listen to the instructions of the pest expert. Regardless of the type of treatment that you have chosen, you and your dog shouldn’t be in the house while it is being treated.
Further instructions will be given to you by the exterminator based on the treatment.
What Can You Do if You Have Bed Bugs?
If you’re certain that this is the case, contacting a pest control company is the best thing you can do. Whether it is for a property inspection or an emergency treatment, that should be your number one task.
If you’re living in a rented flat, call your landlord and discuss the matter and decide who should take action.
In the meantime, do not think that sleeping in another room will save you from the bugs. It can actually make the situation worse. If the infestation is only in one room, going to sleep to another one can help to get it infested, too, if the bugs move with you.
What Are the Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation?
Seeing your dog scratch or bite itself doesn’t mean the problem is bed bugs. Even if you don’t see fleas on its body.
Fleas can hide in your dog’s bed, in the carpet, or pretty much anywhere in the house. You can still treat for fleas too but it’s important to first check for other signs at the most common bed bugs hiding places.
Signs of bed bugs infestation:
- Faecal matter - black spots near the dog’s bed, your bedsheets, or the bed area
- Red spots - which is blood from the bed bugs biting you
- Live bed bugs
- Empty eggshells
Dogs are quite safe when it comes to bed bugs. They are more at risk if your home is infested heavily. And dogs are rarely the reason why bed bugs enter your home.
It’s you or other people who come into your home that are more likely to bring in bed bugs. But don’t worry, even if you have a bed bug infestation they can be eliminated without harming your dog or your family. It’s important to be on the lookout for such signs and get professional help on time.
For over a decade, Adrienne has been a freelance content writer and blogger who’s passion lies in anything related to dogs. Growing up, dogs were a very important part of family life in the Hardwick household. Now, Adrienne is the proud parent to two Swedish Vallhunds called Moose and Pumpkin.