Skip to Content

Proven Ways to Keep Flies Off Dogs and Protect Their Comfort Full Guide of 2024

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

how to keep flies off dogsTo effectively keep flies off your dog, focus on maintaining good hygiene and grooming habits. Regularly bathe and brush your dog to remove any dirt, debris, or excess fur that can attract flies. Trim the fur around your dog’s genitals and anus to prevent soiling and reduce fly-attracting odors.

Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to your dog’s ears to deter flies from landing. Walk your dog in sunny, breezy areas during midday when flies are less active, and avoid grassy or marshy regions that provide breeding grounds.

By following these simple steps, you can protect your canine companion from the discomfort of fly infestations.

Key Takeaways

  • Regularly bathe, brush, and groom your dog to remove dirt, debris, and excess fur that can attract flies.
  • Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to your dog’s ears to deter flies from landing.
  • Walk your dog in sunny, breezy areas during midday when flies are less active, and avoid grassy or marshy regions that provide breeding grounds.
  • Consult your veterinarian if your dog suffers from severe fly bites or develops infections, as they can provide treatment and recommend safe insecticides or repellents.

How to Keep Flies Off Dogs?

To keep flies off dogs, you can use fly repellent sprays or collars designed for pets. Additionally, regularly grooming your dog and keeping their living area clean can help deter flies.

Causes of Fly Infestation on Dogs

Causes of Fly Infestation on Dogs
Your dog’s poor hygiene can attract persistent flies looking for food and breeding grounds. Address issues like soiled coats, skin conditions, and digestive problems to eliminate fly infestations and keep your pup comfortable.

Sick, Incontinent, or Diarrhetic Dogs

If your pup is feeling under the weather, their bodily functions could attract flies and even maggots. Keep your companion comfortable by:

  • Checking for diarrhea or incontinence
  • Promptly cleaning any soiled areas
  • Using pet-safe fly repellents like lemongrass oil
  • Consulting your vet if symptoms persist

Staying on top of your dog’s health is key to keeping flies at bay.

Soiled Coats, Especially Private Parts

If your dog’s coat is soiled, especially around the private areas, flies will be attracted to the fecal matter and unkempt genitals. Be sure to keep these private areas clean by thoroughly grooming around the anus and shampoo your dog regularly. Maintaining a clean, healthy coat is key to deterring pesky insects and their bites.

Heat and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

In addition to soiled coats, the heat and carbon dioxide emissions from your dog can also attract pesky biting flies. These high temperatures and gas buildup act like a beacon, drawing flies in droves. Protect your pup’s comfort with natural repellents like peppermint or tea tree oil, and consider fly traps to reduce the nuisance.

Greasy Coats and Skin Infections

Flies are also drawn to your dog’s greasy coat and skin infections. Practice good coat hygiene with these natural remedies:

  1. CBD oil helps soothe inflammation
  2. Oil of wintergreen repels insects
  3. Pine oils cleanse and deodorize
  4. Cinnamon, citrus oils have antibacterial properties

Keeping your pup’s skin and coat healthy discourages pesky flies from taking up residence.

Flies That Bite Dogs

Flies That Bite Dogs
Several types of flies bite dogs, including deer flies, moose flies, mosquitoes, black flies, horse flies, and biting midges (no-see-ums). These biting insects can cause irritation, allergic reactions, and even infections in dogs, making it imperative to take preventative measures.

Deer Flies, Moose Flies, Mosquitoes

You’ll definitely want to protect your pup from the painful bites of deer flies, moose flies, and mosquitoes. These pesky critters are attracted to dogs by body heat, carbon dioxide, and even sweet scents. Applying insect repellents with natural ingredients like lemongrass, sweet birch oil, or ylang-ylang oil can help deter these biting flies and their irritating bites.

Black Flies

You’ll want to watch out for painful black fly bites when enjoying the outdoors with your pup. These pesky critters:

  1. Leave itchy, swollen welts on exposed skin
  2. Target damp areas like ears and eyes
  3. Spread diseases like Lyme and river blindness

Giving your dog frequent baths and using insect repellents can help deter these blood-suckers from ruining your fun in the sun.

Horse Flies

While black flies are a nuisance, horse flies can be downright dangerous. These large, aggressive flies use their knife-like mouthparts to slice into your dog’s skin and lap up the blood. Worst of all, their bites can transmit diseases like anthrax, equine infectious anemia, and filariasis. Here are some key facts about horse flies:

Species Size Habitat Lifespan
Tabanus 1/4-1 Marshes 30-60 days
Chrysops 1/3-1/2 Woods 60-90 days

Apply insect repellents to protect your furry friend from these nasty biters.

Biting Midges (no-see-ums)

Those pesky no-see-ums also pose a serious fly nuisance. Their biting behavior causes:

  • Itchy, inflamed skin
  • Excessive scratching and discomfort for your pup
  • Potential for secondary infections

Stay vigilant against these tiny flies by checking for their telltale bites – small, red bumps clustered together. Tackle no-see-ums head-on to keep your dog itch-free.

Insects Attracted to Dogs

Insects Attracted to Dogs
You’ll want to pay special attention to eye gnats, deer flies, and mosquitoes as these insects are particularly drawn to dogs. While eye gnats don’t bite, deer flies and mosquitoes can prove quite bothersome with their biting behavior, potentially causing irritation and discomfort for your canine companion.

Eye Gnats (non-biting)

Eye gnats, a non-biting nuisance, can cause eye irritation and discomfort for your pup. These tiny flies hover around dogs’ eyes and faces, potentially impairing vision and driving your furry friend crazy. While not a biting pest, their presence adds an annoying factor that responsible owners should address to maintain their dog’s well-being.

Deer Flies

Deer flies can prove a real nuisance for your pup. Their bites are painful and can cause:

  • Skin irritation
  • Swelling
  • Potential infection

Be vigilant during peak deer fly season, using:

Addressing deer fly bites promptly prevents discomfort and complications.


Mosquitoes aren’t just an annoyance; they can transmit dangerous diseases like heartworm. You’ll want to prevent mosquito bites on your pup by using EPA-approved repellents and keeping them indoors during peak mosquito hours. If your dog does get bitten, watch for excessive scratching or swelling, and treat with an anti-itch cream or visit the vet if needed.

Prevention of Fly Infestation

Prevention of Fly Infestation
One effective way to prevent fly infestations on your dog is to walk them during the midday hours when the sun is strongest, as flies tend to be less active. Additionally, avoid grassy, wet, or marshy areas where flies breed and congregate, and opt for walks on windy days when flies struggle to swarm.

Walk Dog in Sunny Areas at Midday

Moving on from insects attracted to dogs, you’ll want to walk your pup in direct sunlight during midday hours. Flies detest sunlight exposure, so midday walks in open, sunny areas help keep these pests at bay. Picture:

  • Your dog basking in the warm midday sun
  • Flies scattering at the sight of you both
  • A peaceful, fly-free stroll together
  • Returning home without a single bite

Capitalize on that glorious midday sun to avoid pesky flies.

Avoid Grassy and Wet/marshy Areas

Avoid marshy, wet, or muddy areas during walks, as stagnant water attracts flies and their larvae. These spots are breeding grounds, providing ideal conditions for fly infestations to thrive.

Risky Areas Why Avoid?
Marshes Stagnant water
Ponds Still water sources
Puddles Muddy conditions

Steer clear of these hotbeds to minimize your pup’s exposure and discomfort from pesky flies.

Choose Windy Days for Walks

In addition to avoiding grassy and damp areas, you should also select windy days for walks. Flies have difficulty flying in high winds, therefore:

  1. Journey to open areas
  2. Look for breezy parks
  3. Choose sunny walks

Biting insects loathe wind, so taking your dog out on gusty days offers an additional layer of defense against pesky flies.

Veterinary Intervention

Veterinary Intervention
You should consult your veterinarian if your dog suffers from severe fly bites or develops infections from the bites. The vet can treat inflammation and open sores, and may recommend safe insecticides or repellents specifically formulated for pets to deter future flies from biting your dog.

Veterinarian Will Treat Infections or Inflammation

If your dog has an infection or inflammation from fly bites, don’t hesitate to see your vet. Illnesses, carbon dioxide emissions, greasy coats, and skin infections attract flies like biting midges. Your vet will examine your pup, treat any issues, and make sure they heal properly without further irritation.

Veterinarian May Recommend Pet-safe Pesticides to Deter Biting Flies

Your vet may suggest pet-safe pesticides to ward off biting flies. These products are formulated for safe, effective use on animals. Some last weeks, providing prolonged protection. Proper application methods guarantee thorough coverage without irritation. While more labor-intensive than other methods, pesticides offer a potent defense against pesky flies.

Hygiene and Grooming Measures

Hygiene and Grooming Measures
To keep flies off your dog, proper hygiene and grooming are essential. Regularly bathe and groom your dog, trimming hair around the genital and anal areas, and apply petroleum jelly to the ears to deter flies from congregating in those moist areas.

Keep Dog Clean and Healthy

Keeping your pup squeaky clean and healthy is key to warding off pesky flies. Maintain your dog’s dietary needs, exercise habits, and dental care to support their overall well-being. Don’t forget regular nail trimming and ear cleaning – these grooming tasks help eliminate hiding spots for those buzzing, biting intruders.

Groom Regularly

Groom your dog regularly to keep their coat healthy and deter flies. Brush their fur weekly using a slicker brush and deshedding tool to remove loose hair. Bathe your pup monthly with a gentle, dog-safe shampoo. Consider taking them to a professional groomer every 6-8 weeks for a thorough cleansing and nail trim.

  • Brush weekly to remove loose hair
  • Bathe monthly with gentle shampoo
  • Visit a professional groomer regularly
  • Groom to maintain coat health and hygiene

Trim Around Genitals and Anus

Regularly trimming the hair around your dog’s genitals and anus is essential for their hygiene and comfort. This simple grooming step removes excess fur that can collect dirt, feces, and moisture, creating an ideal breeding ground for flies. Aim to trim this area at least once a week to maintain proper sanitation and discourage pesky insects.

Apply Petroleum Jelly to Ears

After thoroughly grooming your dog’s coat and trimming the hair around sensitive areas, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to their ears. This helps deter flies from irritating your pup’s ears and prevents potential skin infections caused by fly bites. The petroleum jelly creates a slick barrier that flies can’t easily land on.

Fly Repellent Alternatives

Fly Repellent Alternatives
Are you tired of constantly swatting flies away from your canine companion? Try natural fly repellents or set up strategic fly traps to keep those pesky insects at bay. These eco-friendly approaches can provide effective and long-lasting protection for your dog’s comfort.

Natural Fly Repellents

Looking to naturally deter flies from your canine companion? Try apple cider vinegar or lemongrass essential oil! These safe, pet-friendly options can effectively repel biting insects without harsh chemicals.

Just be sure to properly dilute and apply according to instructions for maximum effectiveness and your dog’s safety. Natural remedies can provide a gentle yet powerful way to keep those pesky flies at bay.

Fly Traps

Fly traps offer a safe, natural way to manage those pesky invaders. From homemade solutions using household items to commercial traps, there are plenty of options to try. Experiment with fruit-baited jars, sticky ribbons, or even a DIY funnel trap – the key is finding what works best for your dog’s comfort and your backyard. Get creative and take control of those flies!

  1. Homemade Traps
  2. Natural Traps
  3. Commercial Traps
  4. DIY Traps

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I identify different types of fly bites on my dog?

Unraveling the mystery of those pesky fly bites, each type leaves its unique mark – the stabbing sting of horse flies, the irritating buzz of no-see-ums, or the persistent torment of mosquitoes. Identify the culprits to find the right relief.

What are the long-term effects of fly infestations on dogs?

Unaddressed fly infestations can cause serious issues for dogs, like skin infections, anemia from blood loss, and even disease transmission. Stay vigilant – consistent prevention and prompt vet care are key to safeguarding your pup’s long-term health.

Can certain dog breeds be more prone to fly issues?

Are some dog breeds more prone to fly issues? Absolutely! Short-haired, light-colored, and active breeds like Greyhounds and Boxers tend to attract more flies due to their visible skin and increased activity levels. Proper grooming and repellents are key for these pups.

How do I ensure fly repellents are safe for my dogs skin?

To guarantee fly repellents are harmless for your dog’s skin, confer with your vet. They can propose pet-friendly products that won’t inflame your pup. Shun DIY remedies and always perform a patch test prior to total application.

Are there any natural supplements that deter flies?

Ah, a natural solution to repel those pesky flies! Consider the venerable apple cider vinegar – a multifaceted remedy that can deter flies from harassing your canine companion.


Remarkably, flies can detect dogs from up to 5 miles away through their keen senses of smell and vision.

To effectively keep flies off your dog, focus on the proven ways outlined in this article. By maintaining good hygiene and grooming habits, you can protect your canine companion from the discomfort and potential health risks associated with fly infestations.

Using repellents can also help guarantee your dog’s continued comfort by keeping flies at bay. Implementing these straightforward strategies will help you keep flies off dogs.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.