Summer means longer evenings, brighter days and as many BBQs as your stomach can handle. Yet for dog owners, summer also means flea/tick/mosquito season.

It’s that time of year when you’re much more cautious about letting your precious pooch run through uncut lawns and ominous-looking grass due to the insects and diseases that could be lurking.

A mosquito bite could have detrimental consequences on your unsuspicious pup, such as transmitting heart-worm or West Nile.

If you still want your dog to roam freely and enjoy summer to its fullest, then we’ve got some vital tips to help keep your dog safe and bite-free all summer long.

1. Don’t use human insect repellent on your dog

Human bug sprays might be useful to us, but they’re toxic for our furry friends. Most insect repellents contain DEET as its main ingredients, which can cause vomiting, skin irritation and seizures in dogs if they’re exposed to it. Try to ensure you use this spray away from your pup and that they don’t lick your skin after you’ve applied it.

2. Do avoid leaving stagnant water around your house

Just like humans, mosquitos need water to live. The best way to stop adult mosquitoes from breeding is to restrict their access to water, which can do easily by keeping your dog’s water fresh and not leaving any unused water standing stagnant.

3. Don’t walk your dog during peak mosquito times

Ever thought you’d enjoy a nice walk as the sun goes down but were actually met with swarms of pesky bugs and flies? This is because mosquitoes as most active at dawn and dusk. If you avoid walking your dog during these hours then they’ll be less likely to be bitten.

4. Do buy insect-repellent products for dogs

K9 Advantix and Bio Spot are two examples of great triple-action products that should keep your dog free of bites all summer long. Also, most flea and tick products are formulated to repel against mosquitoes as well.

5. Don’t ignore natural remedies

If you’re concerned about the nasty chemicals that companies could be putting in your products, then there are plenty of natural remedies out there that could work just as well. Lemon eucalyptus oil is an effective repellent that keeps mosquitoes at bay with its repugnant smell, whilst geranium oil and soybean oil mixed together can also be used as a repellent.

6. Do fix any broken screens in your home

If you’re waking up in the morning with new bites on your body then chances are your windows might be doing a great job at keeping those pesky flies out. Ensure that any holes or tears in screens are fixed and the gap between your air conditioner and the window frame is filled as these could be their way into your home.