Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your dog.

Bothersome Bugs for Dogs

Dogs can be bothered by and get diseases from certain summer bugs.

Dogs don't always act like bugs bother them the same way they do humans, but many pesky insects can cause serious health problems for canines.

This summer, be aware of the pests that have the potential to make your dog sick.


Perhaps the peskiest of puny pests, fleas may be tiny, but they can pack a big punch when it comes to causing problems for your pet.

Here are just some of the illnesses and conditions that can be transmitted or caused by flea bites in dogs:

As you can see, fleas can be more than just a nuisance for dogs and their people. Be sure to talk with your veterinarian about the best flea control plan for your dog. Learn more here: "Flea Control for Dogs."


Ticks are blood-sucking insects that dogs (and humans) don't feel biting them. They can be especially difficult to spot under a dog's fur. Unfortunately, tick numbers are increasing, as are the rates of tick-borne illnesses in both people and dogs.

In dogs, ticks can spread Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis. Ticks mainly like to hang out in grassy and wooded areas.

Learn "How to Find Ticks on Your Dog" and why you should "Watch Out for Ticks This Year." Talk to your veterinarian about the best tick preventative plan for your dog.


Among the most annoying of summer insects for humans, mosquitos can also bite dogs. They can spread deadly heartworm disease from dog to dog as well as West Nile virus.

Be sure your dog is on year-round heartworm preventative, and ask your veterinarian if there are specific mosquito repellants that are safe for your dog.

Cuterebra Flies

These large botflies lay their eggs on rocks and in grass near bunny or rodent holes. When a dog comes by to investigate the area, the eggs stick to him. They hatch into larvae, which get into the dog's body and migrate around before creating a cyst under the dog's skin in which to grow.

An air hole develops through the dog's skin, and an owner might notice this open area. The hole may drain, creating a matted area in the fur around it, and the dog may scratch at it.

Cuterebra larvae need to be removed from the dog's skin by a veterinarian because if they are damaged during removal, they can cause serious reactions.

Try to limit your dog's exposure to rodent and rabbit holes, brush him daily to remove any eggs that might have stuck to him, and examine his skin routinely for open spots.

Learn more: "Cuterebra Infestations in Dogs."

You May Also Like These Articles:

Dog Worms: Canine Intestinal Parasites

Dealing With Canine Scratching and Licking

Tapeworms in Dogs

Lyme Disease in Dogs

Flea Control for Dogs

Canine Influenza

Contact Dermatitis in Dogs

Garden Threats for Dogs

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site. Just Answer is an external service not affiliated with

Notice: Ask-a-Vet is an affiliated service for those who wish to speak with a veterinary professional about their pet's specific condition. Initially, a bot will ask questions to determine the general nature of your concern. Then, you will be transferred to a human. There is a charge for the service if you choose to connect to a veterinarian. Ask-a-Vet is not manned by the staff or owners of, and the advice given should not delay or replace a visit to your veterinarian.