The best natural bug repellent for dogs is safe, plant-based, and non-toxic. It won’t harm your pet or cause any adverse reactions in it.
Typically, the best natural and non-toxic bug repellent for dogs contains essential oils, apple cider vinegar, or other plant-based ingredients.
Most importantly it is DEET-free since it is common knowledge now that DEET has many adverse effects on humans and pets alike.
Natural bug repellents for dogs are gentle yet effective and can repel bugs like ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes.
In this guide, we have 5 all-natural bug repellent for dogs. These are plant-based yet effective in preventing those bug bites on your beloved pet.
Just in case you are in a hurry, click on our short summary below to view our Top 5 reviewed products for the best natural bug repellent for dogs:
- Our Editor’s Pick: Vet's Best Mosquito Repellent for Dogs and Cats
- Best Overall All Natural Bug Repellent: Bug Soother Spray
- Best Budget Natural Bug Repellent for Dogs: Nantucket Insect Repellent
- Best Organic Bug Repellent: No products found.
- Best Bug Repellent for Ticks and Fleas: Wondercide Natural Indoor Pest Control Spray
Is there a Natural Bug Repellent for Dogs?
Yes, there are many effective natural bug repellents for dogs and we have discussed 5 natural, DEET-free products below.
Your dog needs effective protection against mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and other bugs and crawlies. These pests can cause diseases in your dog and sometimes, they can even cause serious complications.
Luckily for us, there are several natural and plant-based ingredients which can effectively prevent these pesky problems.
Natural bug repellant for dog is safe and chemical-free so it won’t adversely impact your pet’s nervous or endocrine system.
Chemical-free all-natural repellents are much safer, non-toxic, and healthier alternatives to chemical-based repellents and this safety extends to humans, kids, and our planet as well.
Best Natural Bug Repellent for Dogs – 2022 Top 5 Picks
Vet’s Best Mosquito Repellent for Dogs and Cats is gentle, safe, and effective. It is recommended by vets for preventing mosquito bites which can cause heartworms in dogs.
You can use the spray not only on your dog’s body but also on its flea comb/grooming brushes, inside kennels, on dog beds, and around the house.
There are clove and peppermint essential oils along with lemongrass and geraniol oils in this natural spray and they leave a mild-yet-pleasant fragrance that won’t irritate your pet’s senses. It is also a great scent for humans.
Vet’s natural bug repellent for dogs can be safely used on pets 12 weeks and older.
This great repellent uses steam-distilled essential oils – a process that enhances its efficacy and potency. This offers your dog a long-lasting protection from mosquitoes. (You need to reapply every 2-3 hours for effective protection).
What we like about it
- Extensively tested
- Plant-based and all-natural
- Pleasant and lemony scent
What we don’t like
- Not safe for use around dogs with sensitive skin or health issues like epilepsy and seizures.
- Does not repel ticks, fleas.
- SAFE AND EFFECTIVE: Vet's Best Mosquito Repellent repels mosquitoes without the use of DEET
- NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Unique blend of certified natural oils including Lemongrass Oil and Geraniol (from Citronella plants)
- SAFE FOR DOGS AND CATS: Can be used on dogs and cats 12 weeks or older
- USE AS NEEDED: Reapply every two hours or as needed for optimal protection
- MADE IN THE USA: Our products are proudly manufactured in the USA with quality domestic and internationally sourced ingredients
Bug Soother spray repels gnats, mosquitoes, sand fleas, and black flies and is safe for use on dogs, cats, kids, adults, chickens and horses too.
It contains 100% pure lemongrass oil mixed with vanilla scent for a pleasant combination. The other ingredients in this skin-friendly spray are Vitamin E, castor oil, and soy lecithin.
This pleasant spray is versatile and multi-purpose and you can use it on your pet just before walking/camping in bug-infested areas.
Bug Soother spray offers long-lasting protection to repel bugs for several hours.
What we like about it
- Safe for dogs
- Easy to use
- Has a pleasant scent
- Ideal for taking on travels
What we don’t like about it
- Does not repel ticks.
- Sticky formulation.
- SUPER EFFECTIVE: Natural Bug Soother repels gnats, no-see-ums, sand fleas, black flies, and some mosquitoes. May require more frequent application and may need to be rubbed in. There are over 175 varieties of mosquitoes in the US (over 3,000 worldwide). Bug Soother is effective for some types of mosquitoes. Our customers have reported that Bug Soother can defend against fruit flies, fleas, and more. We've even heard of Bug Soother shielding roses from Japanese beetles.
- PREMIUM INGREDIENTS: Bug Soother is a natural insect repellent made with simple, skin loving ingredients: Purified Water, Glycerin, Castor Oil, and Vitamin E blended using Soy Lecithin, a natural emulsifier used in foods.. Lemongrass 100% Pure Essential Oil, blended with vanilla for an amazing scent that people love, but bugs hate.
- FAVORITE USES: Bug Soother is commonly used when fishing, hiking, biking, golfing, farming, or when you're simply enjoying some sunshine in your back yard. Bug Soother works in your defense by repelling the irritating insects that can cut your outdoors time short.
- VERSATILITY: Bug Soother is used the most often by outdoor enthusiasts, kids and pets. Some customers use Bug Soother on their farm animals such as horses and chickens. One even uses it for his tiger to ensure his pal is bug-free.
- BUG SOOTHER FAMILY GUARANTEE: Bug Soother is proudly made in America by Simply Soothing, a woman owned family business in rural Iowa. We have been creating unique, handmade products for over 15 years, with an emphasis on high quality for a reasonable price. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with your Bug Soother, please contact us and we will be sure to make it right.
Nantucket essential oil bug repellent for dogs contains rosemary, thyme, cedarwood, geranium, and peppermint essential oils.
You can safely use it on your dog’s back and belly to prevent bites from various bugs including fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, gnats, etc.
It is formulated to be gentle-yet-effective on puppies too.
We love the fact that this budget bug repellent is free from DEET and also vegan, non-GMO, cruelty and soy-free.
What we like about it
- Can be directly used on dog’s coat and belly area – safe for use on puppies too
- Does not have harsh citrusy fragrance which some dogs absolutely detest.
- Made in USA with non-GMO ingredients
What we don’t like
- Caused sneezing in some allergic, sensitive dogs.
- Natural Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs: Nantucket Spider's Deet-Free dog insect repellant is made from a broad spectrum of 100% organic essential oils that are proven to repel ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, flies, and other bugs that pester pets.
- Light Cedar Scent: This insect repellent spray is made specifically for dogs and puppies. It does NOT contain any citrusy ingredients that may irritate sensitive canine noses and eyes.
- Effective, Canine-Friendly Ingredients: Our mosquito, flea and tick spray formula is composed of a blend of organic rosemary, thyme, peppermint, cedarwood, and geranium essential oils. The only other ingredients are water and glycerin.
- Simple Application: A water-based formula that can be directly applied to your dog's coat and underbelly. Topped with Nantucket Spider's signature lockable fine mist trigger sprayer for superior coverage.
- Feel-Good Factors: Made in the USA with 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. All of Nantucket Spider's natural insect repellent spray products are Deet free, cruelty-free, vegan, soy-free, and made from certified organic and non-GMO essential oils. The only other ingredients are water and glycerin.
4. No products found.No products found.
Greenerways is a natural mosquito repellent for dogs. You will love the fact that it is USDA certified organic and free from genetically modified ingredients.
Being DEET and chemical-free, you can spray Greenerways non toxic bug repellent for dogs on your pet’s bedding or on its collar to repel bugs.
It repels fleas, ticks, chiggers, gnats, no-see-ums, house flies, bed bugs, and mosquitoes for several hours.
You can spray it around kennels, pet bedding, around camping tents, on decks, in the doorways, etc.
What we like about it
- Organic, natural, effective bug repellent for dogs
- Non sticky formula with a great scent
- Non-toxic, USDA certified, non-GMO
- Long-lasting bottle
What we don’t like
- Cannot be applied directly on human or pet skin as it burns.
- Some users found the scent very strong.
No products found.
Wondercide kills and repels many bugs like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, gnats, and other creeping, biting, and stinging insects.
You can also use this spray as an indoor flea and tick treatment in case you are already dealing with an infestation.
Wondercide natural bug repellent uses all-natural plant-based ingredients like cedar oil and lemongrass oil that block important neurotransmitters in bugs like ants, roaches, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes killing them instantly.
You can safely spray this spray on pet bedding and on rugs and carpets as well.
What we like about it
- Multi-purpose and works on many bugs
- Safe, essential oil-based natural bug repellent for dogs
What we don’t like
- Very strong scent that caused headaches in some users.
- KILLS & REPELS. A preventative and a treatment, this pet-safe insect spray kills and repels indoor pests and keeps your home pest-free. Kills flying, crawling, biting and stinging pests including ants, roaches, spiders, flies, fleas, ticks, wasps, scorpions, mosquitoes, fruit flies, silverfish, moths, gnats, carpet beetles, earwigs, palmetto bugs, waterbugs.
- PROTECT YOUR HOME. This versatile bug control spray is also an indoor flea treatment and flea killer for your home. It kills fleas in carpet, furniture, bedding and flooring, and eliminates adults, eggs, and larvae in the home without staining.
- SAFE FOR DOGS & CATS. Pet-friendly, this spray is gentle enough to use several times a week around your loved ones, throughout the house, yet powerful enough to fully eliminate pests and provide lasting defense of your household from invading insects.
- PLANT-BASED AND POWERFULLY EFFECTIVE. Using natural essential oils, this spray is a safe alternative to electronic bug zappers, lights, traps, powders, granules and conventional pesticides. No artificial colors, fragrances or harsh chemicals. Biodegradable. Cruelty-Free.
- EASY-TO-USE. This eco-friendly biopesticide can be sprayed easily around the home, throughout the kitchen, bathroom, and any other living areas. Simply spray around windows, doors, baseboards, under sinks, in cabinets, and around appliances. Works great for dog kennels and cat condos, too! Spray as often as desired for a pest-free home. Made in the USA from naturally-derived ingredients and safe around children. Safe when used as directed.
Is Bug Repellent Safe for Dogs?
Yes, natural bug repellents are safe and even necessary for your dog.
Here are reasons why your dog needs a bug repellent if you live in a bug-infested region:
1. Some bugs are extremely dangerous to your pet
Bugs like ticks and fleas can cause a lot of pain and irritation to your pet.
Sometimes, ticks can also lead to dangerous health issues like tick fever, Lyme disease etc., which, without treatment can even cause death. Fleas can lead to tapeworm infestations.
Mosquitoes can cause heartworms in dogs and they are extremely difficult to get rid of. Heartworms often lay eggs in the heart’s sac causing various debilitating symptoms in your dog.
Mosquitoes could cause a lot of angst in your pet as it would be unable to sleep due to the bites.
Some bugs like gnats and chiggers can also irritate your dog especially if they swarm around your pet in large numbers.
2. You must protect your pet Indoors and Outdoors
In infested areas, even a short walk of a few minutes in grassy trails is all it takes to get ticks to latch on to your pet.
When you camp or hike in tick infested woods, your dog could bring back hundreds of ticks into your home.
We must not forget that a single female tick can lay hundreds of eggs and the infestation can rapidly spiral out of control. The same is true with fleas.
Fleas and ticks could also bite humans leading to various diseases like Lyme’s disease, Rocky Mountain fever, etc.
That is why, you must use a natural and safe bug repellent for your dog to protect your home, kids as well as yourself from bug bites.
3. Natural bug repellents are safe and non-toxic
Chemical bug repellents mostly contain DEET which is known to impact cognition, endocrine, and other systems in humans and dogs.
Many of these chemical bug repellents are known to cause mood changes, sleep disorders, and other health issues in pets and humans.
A study conducted in France on DEET-based chemical repellents showed that it could also impact the nervous system functioning in mammals.
Natural bug repellents can prevent all these issues and are a safer, healthier alternative for controlling and preventing stings, bug bites, and related diseases in humans and pets alike.
How to Make Natural Bug Repellent for Dogs?
You can always purchase high-quality bug repellents for your dog but in case you want to go the DIY route, here is a simple recipe for an all-natural essential oil-based bug repellent with readily available ingredients:
You will need:
- 1 oz. jojoba oil
- 5 drops of geranium oil
- 10 drops of peppermint oil
- 10 drops of cedarwood oil
- Spray bottle
- Mix all ingredients in the spray bottle
- Shake well to combine.
- Spray on a bandana and wrap it around your pet’s neck.
- You can also spray the gentle solution directly on its fur prior to walk/hikes in infested areas.
- Reapply every 2-3 hours.
How to Treat Bug Bites on Dogs?
Here are some remedies to treat bug bites on your dog.
Vets recommend Benadryl to soothe pets’ itchy skin caused by bug bites.
Consult your vet to find out how much Benadryl is safe for your pet’s age and weight.
The antihistamine in Benadryl helps prevent itching and soothes irritation, swelling, and pain caused by the bites.
A dab of calamine can prevent bug bite itch and soothe your pet’s irritated and inflamed skin.
Take some calamine lotion on a sterile cotton ball and apply directly to the bitten areas. Reapply as often as needed.
C. Aloe vera gel
Cut open an aloe plant and dab its transparent gel directly on your pet’s skin.
Not only is aloe soothing, it also prevents bacterial infections caused by severe scratching.
D. Hydrocortisone cream
Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can soothe irritation and relieve itchy bug bites on dogs.
Go for 0.5% hydrocortisone to directly use on your dog’s skin but discontinue use within a few days of use.
E. Bathe your pet
Bathe your pet using a dog shampoo containing colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal soothes irritated and painful bug bites to relieve itchy skin.
Also Read: Expert Tips on How to Make Your Dog Smell Good without a Bath
FAQs On The Best Natural Bug Repellent For Dogs
Does apple cider vinegar repel mosquitoes on dogs?
Yes, apple cider vinegar’s strong scent helps repel mosquitoes. Also, being acidic in nature, mosquitoes do not like its taste when they bite into the treated skin.
This naturally prevents bites and keeps mosquitoes away from your pet.
Apple cider vinegar also soothes bug bites, so it is beneficial to your pet in two ways: soothes and heals, and also prevents new bites.
To apply: dilute apple cider vinegar with water in 1:1 ratio and spray all over your pet’s fur. Allow it to air-dry naturally.
Reapply every 3-4 hours.
Also Read: How to Make Dog Fur Shiny – Expert Tips!
Do bug bites cause lumps on dogs?
Several factors can cause lumps on dogs and bug bites are one of them.
If the lump persists for several days after you first notice it, please have it evaluated by your vet right away.
What kinds of bugs bite dogs?
Many insects and bug types can cause bites on your pet’s skin: mosquitoes, spiders, fleas, ticks, ants, bees, hornets, wasps, etc. are some of the common insects that could harass your dog.
How to naturally keep bugs from biting your dog?
There are many things you can do to prevent bugs from biting your fur-baby:
Use essential oils
You can safely repel bugs using essential oils like cedarwood oil, lemongrass oil, geranium oil, and citronella oil.
Always dilute these oils with carrier oils like coconut oil, before use. Never use them directly as they could burn your pet’s skin. You can also make a spray with these oils and vinegar, water, or aloe vera gel.
Use electronic plug-in repellents
You can use ultrasonic plug-in repellents to drive pests away.
We recommend the Neatmaster Ultrasonic Pest Repellent which is safe to use around pets but works for repelling ticks, fleas, mice, bed bugs, gnats, mosquitoes, ants, and roaches.
Use bug repellent clothing
Insect-shield tees are great for repelling ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, etc. They are treated with odorless chemicals and offer complete protection from many biting insects.
Vets also recommend these t-shirts for dogs living near woody, tick-infested areas.
We recommend the Insect Shield Insect Repellant Premium T-Shirt for protecting dogs from fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting bugs.
The best natural bug repellent for dogs is free from DEET and can protect your pet from painful bug bites from ants, mosquitoes, etc.
We recommend Vet’s Best Mosquito Repellent for Dogs and Cats for its gentle-yet-effective formula that works against mosquitoes and other pests.
Do check out our other product recommendations as well.