How to Keep Flies Off Dogs [In 6 Quick and Easy Steps]

While on a dog walk, it can be frustrating when flies start buzzing around you and your dog, trying to land on your heads. How to keep flies off dogs is a question many owners have and sometimes it can mean something is up with your pup. There are luckily many ways to keep your dog free of these pests.

But why are flies so attracted to your dog? If you notice more flies swarming your dog than usual, it may be a sign that your dog needs a good bath or vet visit. Let’s take a closer look at why flies are attracted to dogs and how to safely keep them away from your dog during walks!

What Causes Flies to Be Attracted to Dogs?

What does it mean if your dog is surrounded by flies irritatingly buzzing around them? Does it mean your dog is smelly and dirty? Well, in some cases. But there are actually multiple reasons that flies are drawn to your dog.

There are some flies that simply want to bite your dog. Aside from itching and chewing at a few spots on their body, dogs don’t really have a good defense against an incoming fly. They often bite your dog around their ears, belly, or backside. These are areas that often have less fur protecting your dog’s skin.

Fly bites can definitely hurt. More severe bites can cause bleeding and infection. But a fly bite is not as much of a health risk to your dog as other insects, like mosquitos.

Flies might be thinking about laying eggs. If your dog is sick, including skin conditions or diarrhea, flies will be attracted to your dog. They will lay eggs in diarrhea left behind on your dog’s perineum or in dirty fur or wounded skin. This can lead to a fly infestation.

Is It Common For Flies to Be Attracted to Dogs?

Yes! Dogs that spend time outside, especially if they get dirty or swim in the water, will attract flies. Dogs in kennels or farms will also commonly come in contact with flies that are attracted to the messiness or smells.

Here’s how to know if your dog is bitten by a fly:

  • Itching, scratching, biting at skin
  • Redness on the skin
  • Bumps and swelling on the skin
  • Bumps that are bleeding or have crust on them
  • You can see flies in your dog’s fur
Related: Why is My Dog So Itchy? Top 8 Reasons for Compulsive Itching

Is It a Bad Sign if Flies Are on My Dog?

It can be. Flies are attracted to all warm-blooded mammals. You’ve probably had to wave off a bunch of flies yourself while hiking or running outside.



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Flies are especially attracted to dogs that are dirty or visibly ill. So if you notice more flies than usual swarming your dog, it may be a sign that your dog needs a bath or medical attention.

flies on dogs

How to Keep Flies Off Dogs?

If you are concerned about flies constantly bugging your pup, it doesn’t hurt to contact a veterinarian to get your dog checked out for infection or sickness. Though, there are some things you can do meanwhile right at home that will reduce the number of flies buzzing around your dog while they are playing outside.

Avoid Hotter Weather

Flies are extra active during hotter days. If you notice flies irritating your dog during playtime in the summer, try keeping your dog inside during those hotter hours. Bring your dog out in the morning or evening when the weather is a bit cooler. You’ll notice fewer flies during these times!

Give Your Dog a Bath

After some extensive outdoor time (especially if it included mud or water), your dog’s dirty coat and scent will attract flies. While you should only give your dog a bath once every two weeks (at most), sometimes you need to give your dog a quick bath to keep flies off of them!

When giving your dog a bath, use HolistaPet’s CBD dog shampoo! This vegan, 100% natural formula is great for dogs with sensitive skin. It may safely reduce your dog’s irritation from bug bites, including itchiness, redness, and swelling.

CBD is a naturally occurring compound in the hemp plant. It won’t get your dog high due to a lack of THC (this is the compound that creates euphoric affects). But CBD interacts with the receptors in your dog’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which controls your dog’s wellbeing and balance (homeostasis). The receptors are in all parts of your dog’s body, including right under the skin.

When you massage the CBD topicals into your dog’s skin, the CBD will penetrate the surface and reach those receptors. This allows the CBD to have a lot of health benefits for your dog that are more than skin deep. This includes reducing irritation and swelling but also soothing physical discomfort and minimizing destructive behavior like chewing and scratching.

Use Petroleum Jelly

Looking to take your dog on a walk but it’s looking a bit buggy out? Apply petroleum jelly where your dog gets targeted by flies. This will block the flies from biting those spots.

Or Other Homemade Repellants

If you want to avoid chemicals and possibly dangerous collars, you can create your own pet-safe bug repellants. Some of the popular options include apple cider vinegar blended with water or lemon with water. Talk to your vet about these options to see if it’s safe for your pup in particular.

Use Bug-Safe Clothing

It can help to put some clothing on your dog. This gives flies one more layer to struggle with, reducing the number of bites your dog gets. Try a bandana, dog vest, or harness.

You can also treat these articles of clothing with repellants like permethrin spray or DEET. These products will repel flies. But give the treated clothing time to dry before dressing your dog up to avoid getting the chemicals on your dog’s skin.

Some companies even sell clothing already treated with insect repellant if you don’t want to apply the chemicals yourself!

High-Quality Dog Food

It’s important to make sure that your dog is as healthy as possible. Flies seek weak and sick animals. A high-quality diet that’s nutritionally balanced gets your dog feeling their best!

Pick dog food with a protein source as the top ingredient. Carbohydrates are great for active dogs that need some extra energy. Healthy fats, fiber, electrolytes, vitamins, and essential fatty acids are also important ingredients to find on the label.

Why Choose HolistaPet for CBD?

If you’re looking for CBD dog shampoo, you’re in the right place! HolistaPet’s dog shampoo is organic, vegan, and all natural – as are all of our CBD products for dogs! All of the ingredients are safe and gentle. You won’t find any harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances.

Each bottle of CBD dog shampoo from HolistaPet comes with a Certificate of Analysis. This means that a third-party company checked out the product to ensure it’s free of contaminants and has potent CBD.

One thing you’ll also notice about HolistaPet is that we proudly share reviews from real customers! We really care about your pet. So we love to hear real success stories from pet owners who want to keep their pup safe from flies. The stories we’ve heard are amazing and inspiring. We want your dog to have a similar experience and are here to help you pick the product that’s right for your pooch.

dog smiling outdoors

Should I Go to the Vet for Flies on My Dog?

When you see a fly approaching your dog while out on a walk don’t panic. That’s totally normal. And despite the initial pain and surprise, it’s usually harmless beyond that moment. Just hope the fly, flies away and doesnt rally their troops.

If your dog’s ears and body are itchy, you can often use CBD shampoo and over-the-counter products for fly control and to soothe your pup’s discomfort.

If your dog’s fly bites are infected, crusted over, or there seems to be flies infesting their coat or skin, you should contact a veterinarian immediately for advice on fly repellents or other means that would rid your dog of flies. Your dog’s vet will diagnose the problem and provide a treatment plan to help your pup get rid of these biting flies.

Final Thoughts – How to Keep Flies Off Dogs

Flies are annoying — that’s undeniable. Your dog can grow bothered by these insects, scratching and biting the flies buzzing around them. These beasts may seem harmless, but sometimes flies can be a real issue, especially if your dog bites or infections grow worse.

If you notice more fly bites than usual, it may be a sign that your pup is dirty or unwell. Always contact your veterinarian if you feel something may be wrong. Meanwhile, using CBD dog shampoo to soothe your dog’s physical discomfort and reduce swelling and itching and may help the fight in getting rid of flies for good.

Your dog will be back to frolicking outside in no time!



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