4 min read
How to Prevent Your Dog From Getting Mites
By Amy Caldwell
Published: 09/15/2017, edited: 08/10/2021
Save on pet insurance for your pet
You don't have to choose between your pet and your wallet when it comes to expensive vet visits. Prepare ahead of time for unexpected vet bills by finding the pawfect pet insurance.
Mites are parasites that live on your dog's skin, in their pores, in your dog's fur, and sometimes inside your dog's ears. Mites are tiny, but they can cause huge problems. Sarcoptic and demodex mites cause scabies or mange on a dog. Mites in your dog's ear can cause ear infections. Skin burrowing mites cause pain and irritation to your dog's skin, forcing your dog to scratch and chew which could cause a ripple effect and give your dog bacterial infections as a result. Nothing about mites is fun for you or your dog. Fortunately, with good practices and a well-loved dog, you can avoid your dog coming into contact with mites and suffering the problems mites cause.
Overall Health of Your Dog
The first and foremost way to prevent mites from infecting and infesting your dog is keeping your dog healthy overall. Maintaining your dog’s personal hygiene and grooming is imperative to keeping an environment on your dog in which mites do not want to live.
Grooming is essential, not only for a healthy dog, but for also healthy skin and for ridding your dog of any parasites which might be living in your dog's fur or on your dog's skin. Keeping your dog bathed, cleaned, and groomed will keep mites away from your dog much easier than if your dog were not well-maintained. If your dog's overall health is good, their immunity to mites is going to be much higher than a dog who is not healthy. A healthy diet of well-balanced proteins, fats, and carbohydrates will prevent issues from occurring on your dog's skin and in their coat. Offering your dog a healthy environment with clean housing and clean outdoor spaces, as well as clean bedding is also a great way to prevent mites from infesting their spaces. Avoid dirty areas and dogs who appear to be filthy with patches of dry skin and missing fur. These dogs potentially have mange and could infest your dog rather quickly.
Avoid Ear Mites
Ear mites are common mites that can be passed from cat to dog and dog to cat. Cats most often have ear mites, especially cats who live outdoors or spend time outdoors. Keeping your dog's ears cleaned and wiped out, possibly even flushed on a regular basis, will help prevent ear mites from living in your dog's ears. If your dog is shaking his head or scratching his ears quite often, you may want to look into treating your dog's ears for ear mites with an ear flush or an apple cider vinegar and water solution to clean the entire ear canal and rid your dog of the mites living in their ears. If you suspect your dog has had ear mites in the past, you may want to wash his bedding to keep any mites living in the bedding from infesting the your dog again. Avoid having your dog with other animals, cats, or dogs who are showing signs of ear mites as they are highly contagious. And just as with other mites that could have possibly infected your dog, keep their personal spaces clean and well-maintained to avoid an infestation in their toys or bedding.
There are home remedies you can try to not only ride your dog of mange and mites but also prevent mites from returning to your dog. Because mites thrive in dirty environments, obviously keeping your dog clean and well-groomed tops the list of home remedies. However, there are also steps you can take to prevent mites from growing, reproducing, and spreading on your dog. Apple cider vinegar and water can be used with spray bottles to apply the mixture quickly on your dog. Keeping your dog groomed with an apple cider vinegar spray can help keep mites away. You can also talk to your veterinarian about medicinal repellents your vet can prescribe. Currently, there are at least three parasite aids which help control mites on your dog. Most of these products will also repel other parasites as well such as ticks, mosquitoes, worms. And finally, since you will be grooming your dog, you might as well try a shampoo specifically for controlling mites and other parasites. These shampoos not only help rid your dog of any current mites they may have, but also leave a scent on your dog skin and coat that repels mites from returning.
Importance of Prevention
Mites, whether they are sarcoptic mites or ear mites, can be expensive for you to get a handle on. Mites can indeed lead to mange, which is extremely uncomfortable and painful for your dog. Mange or scabies is also extremely contagious if you happen to have other animals in the house. Preventing mites from getting on your dog is a matter of keeping your dog well groomed and cleaned, along with ensuring all his private and personal spaces including your yard as well as his sleeping areas are clean and sanitized.
Basic Maintenance for Prevention
Mites are something every pet owner may come across at some point in their dog’s life. But unless you are living in a filthy environment, or you have adopted a dog from extreme conditions, your dog is less likely to experience mites. Dogs living in well-maintained clean homes are less likely to have problems with mites than dogs who come from areas which are unsanitary and dirty. Preventing mites is a natural side effect of great grooming practices and keeping your dog’s areas clean and well maintained.