I love my country; the shopping, the convenience, the education, and the safe country that our founding fathers have presented to us on a silver platter. I love it, and being born in comfort and safety has always given me a wholesome peace of mind.
Until it rains. Hello Mosquito Man.
By then, my gloriously beautiful year-round summer would’ve drawn to a halt, thoroughly infested with mosquitoes of every size and kind. What with dengue on red alert over here? Uh-uh, that doesn’t spell good news.
Fortunately for human kind, we have clothing cover-up options available to us. What with the jeans, harem pants and over sized hoodies? We’re good.
For our furry canine friends on the other hand. They’re exposed 24/7, even with their doggy clothes covering approximately only 60% of their body. What can you do to protect your furry friends from mosquitoes this summer (without jeopardizing them in the process, of course!)?
1. Lemon eucalyptus
I live on the ground floor, where mosquitoes breed galore. Especially with my dad’s garden – his pride and joy – doubling up as a popular mosquito breeding ground. However, giving the garden one or two sprays of lemon eucalyptus (a citrus-based substance usually found in pharmacies or potpourri stores) daily keeps those dastard mozzies away. Insect repellent with lemon and cedar concentrate serves as a natural insect repellent too!
Always ensure that your dogs are protected around the clock with their heartworm medicine, because one sting of a mosquito bite infected with the heartworm larvae will immediately infect your dog, with the larvae deposited straight into your pooch and could possibly be fatal (as it damages your dog’s lungs, major arteries and heart).
2. Axe/Red oil
Now I don’t know about you, but whenever I was young and had a mosquito bite, my mother would dab a little of the foul-smelling axe oil (medicated oil) on the little red bite bumps, which served two purposes – One, to keep me from scratching and picking at the bumps, and two, to keep other mosquitoes away.
Mosquitoes hate the smell of menthol, avoiding your body like the plague once you’ve got that stuff on. If your pooches are like me, completely and adverse to the smell of that transparent oil, you could try red oil (which are usually available at any Chinese medical hall or Pharmacy), dabbing a little on your dog.
However, be smart, and dab them strategically in places where your dogs won’t lick the oil. Though menthol oils are not poisonous in small quantities, they might be harmful in large quantities, causing them tummy problems.
3. Once the damage has been done
It’s usually a toughie to tell if your pooch has been bitten by a mosquito – I mean, those cretins are always licking or scratching themselves. However, one dead giveaway is incessant scratching, and don’t mean the usual licking and scratching. If he’s picking and gnawing at the same certain spot, do yourself and your pooch a favour by checking it out.
If there’s a recognisable bump in the area, wash the bite with soapy water and apply a topical antibacterial cream. If his condition deteriorates in the next few days, it’s vet time.