We all love our furry friends and want to keep them as happy and as safe as possible. This can seem tricky when dealing with a bed bug infestation. There are pet-friendly ways to manage an infestation quickly that will last. Keep your best friend safe and healthy with this guide on dealing with bed bugs and dogs.
How bed bugs affect pets
Unlike fleas and ticks, bed bugs don’t live on your pup, they just stop for a visit. Your pets can carry these pests into your home. Bed bugs can quickly find a hiding place to wait until nighttime to come out of hiding to feast. There are multiple places where pets pick up bed bugs, which includes the following:
- Boarding your buddy: If you board your pet in a kennel or pet hotel while out of town, they could bring back a bed bug on themselves, their bedding, and collars/harnesses.
- Traveling with your pup: If you stay at hotels or other room sharing locations, there’s always a higher chance of bed bugs snuggling up in your pet’s carrier or crate.
- Socializing at parks: If you have a friendly pet or take them to designated socialization areas, such as obedience classes or dog parks, bed bugs have the opportunity to jump onto your best friend.
Bed bugs don’t live on pets, but they will bite. Bed bugs don’t carry disease and won’t get your pet sick, but some bites may leave itchy red welts. Humans typically handle itchy bumps better than dogs. Your dog may scratch the welts, which will cause them to break open and become infected.
How to prevent infestations with pets
The best way to manage a potential bed bug infection is by attempting to prevent it altogether. Although you can’t prevent bed bugs 100 percent of the time, you can take a few steps to stop them from getting in the door.
Even without traveling, you home is still at risk of developing an infestation. Practice good general hygiene and hold your pets to the same standard. You should do the following:
- Keep unwashed clothing that’s been outside your home away from beds. Use a hamper in a closet or nearby bathroom.
- Keep pet carriers/crates away from the bedroom. If you must keep your companion’s carrier/crate in your bedroom, keep it as far from your bed as possible.
- Wash your pup regularly. You don’t want to skip on the baths, so wash your dogs every other week or more.
- Keep your pet’s toys away from bed. Wash their bed and your sheets regularly, at least every two weeks, as well.
How to handle an infestation with pets
Getting bed bugs in your home is hard enough to deal with, and pets add another layer of stress to it. Follow these steps to dealing with an infestation in homes with pets:
- Self-inspect: Inspect yourself, your pets, and your sheets if you believe you have an infestation.
- Professional inspection: A professional checking your home for an infestation provides certain benefits, especially when you can’t determine if you have an infestation yourself.
- Leave it to the pros: If you and/or your professional inspector find signs of bed bugs, let the professionals handle it. Homemade methods are not only less effective, but they can potentially harm your furry friends.