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As some of you may know, we recently moved out of town to a 22 acre property in the country. Ralphie is absolutely LOVING all of the new space and getting so much off leash time. Everything has been very good, he seems to understand that this is his home now after a rough first few weeks where he screamed in his crate when we left and would panic if I walked out of site.

There was even a horse there for the first week while the previous owners arranged for his new home. The horse was not overly impressed with Ralphie. Ralphie enjoyed following the horse around and seeing what it was doing. There are also semi-feral cats there that Ralphie likes to "play" with. The cats do not like him, and because they are feral I can't get close enough to them, either, to teach them that Ralphie is easily cowed by a stern stare. So that's been fun. I'll walk into the barn and suddenly wild cats are flying everywhere, which very much excites the dog. He gets along quite well with my sister's cat, so I know he can do it, but it's impossible to train when the cats don't like me and just run!

Anyways, because the property was once home to at least a dozen horses and is kind of overgrown with weeds, we have a pretty severe fly and mosquito problem. I can wear mosquito spray, but they attack poor Ralphie with gusto. The fur on his body is thick enough to deter the bugs, but his face, legs, and parts of his belly are free game. Is there a bug spray out there safe for dogs so I can provide some relief for him while he's outside?

We are working on cleaning the property up, removing weeds, etc, and we'll likely have to use chemical spray to kill off some of them, because at the moment when you walk outside you're immediately attacked by a swarm of mosquitos and flies, and some of the flies are not deterred by the bug spray. We will also be adding bug repelling landscaping, but that won't be until next year!
 

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There is a breeder/boarding facility owner here who swears by Wondercide (cedar oil based repellent) for her animals and herself. The company claims it's safe for pretty much everything. I've had mixed results using it personally.
 

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Can she tolerate spot on flea and tick meds (like Frontline etc.)? If so, Advantix 2 and Vectra 3D (cannot be used on cats) also repel very well. Most spot ons KILL but do not REPEL. However, some dogs cannot tolerate spot ons.

That said, I will also use Bio Spot (spray for dogs) or Wipe (citronella based fly repellent for horses and dogs) as a fresh light wipe on just before going out in really infested situations. With "Wipe" (Farnum?) you keep the application rag in a jar that is sealed (I used a canning jar) and you refresh the rag each time you go out with a little dumped on from the can (I am not explaining this well). It has a citronella smell. I use it on ears, top of head and under belly with a light going over on top just to keep stuff away. I like Wipe more than BioSpot and I only use it lightly (especially if I am also using a spot on).

There is also SWAT that come in a can and is also labeled for dogs (as I recall) but I rarely used it (only around wounds on horses).

I have used Deep Woods Off sprayed in my hand and wiped on as well.
 

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One other thing.. I don't know where this is but Feral cats are a vector for rabies. Around here there are "Trap, neuter, release" rescues that will trap, alter, vaccinate for rabies wild cat colonies. Providing some dry cat food and water to the wild cats can get them to be a lot less scared. Cats are very good at being "fruitful and multiplying" if not fixed.

I am not sure I would support wild cats in my barn (when I had my farm I altered all the cats and they all got regular vet care and were fed.. so much so that when I sold the cattle I had 3 geriatric cats I cared for and when they were gone there were no more cats). I would probably want to find a way to remove them through trapping etc.
 

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OT: cat content, sorry.....Re: Dog Mosquito & Fly Spray?

I am so, so, sorry for my horrible netiquette, but KITTIES!!!!!![1].....

I cared for a feral cat colony for a very short time and it was intense. I'm glad your kitties are far, far away from the city. Mine were also given small notches on their ears after being neutered and vaccinated so that other caregivers would know who had already been trapped and released.

If you begin giving them kibble, you will have to commit to continuing because they will become lazy, assume you are a force of nature that has changed in their favour, and neglect what they perceive as obsolete hunting education for their young. It gets expensive. If you choose to do this, be sure to buy 25 or 40 lb bags of kibble or you will be making many, many emergency runs to the feed store.

Not all dogs can tolerate heartworm meds so this is a very useful thread. Thank you for posting.

[1] I love my new dogs, but was a die hard "cat person" for over 30 years; no judgement, just sharing kitty info inappropriately. < mea culpa >
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There is a breeder/boarding facility owner here who swears by Wondercide (cedar oil based repellent) for her animals and herself. The company claims it's safe for pretty much everything. I've had mixed results using it personally.
I'm seeing mixed reviews on Amazon. Great for fleas, not so great for mosquitos. That's a shame because looking at the ingredients I would think it was safe, too, but $30 a bottle is a little steep!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Can she tolerate spot on flea and tick meds (like Frontline etc.)? If so, Advantix 2 and Vectra 3D (cannot be used on cats) also repel very well. Most spot ons KILL but do not REPEL. However, some dogs cannot tolerate spot ons.

That said, I will also use Bio Spot (spray for dogs) or Wipe (citronella based fly repellent for horses and dogs) as a fresh light wipe on just before going out in really infested situations. With "Wipe" (Farnum?) you keep the application rag in a jar that is sealed (I used a canning jar) and you refresh the rag each time you go out with a little dumped on from the can (I am not explaining this well). It has a citronella smell. I use it on ears, top of head and under belly with a light going over on top just to keep stuff away. I like Wipe more than BioSpot and I only use it lightly (especially if I am also using a spot on).

There is also SWAT that come in a can and is also labeled for dogs (as I recall) but I rarely used it (only around wounds on horses).

I have used Deep Woods Off sprayed in my hand and wiped on as well.
I use Frontline on him, but it seems to do nothing to keep mosquitos and flies at bay. Does wonders on any ticks that climb on, but those flying bugs seem unfazed. I do have Citronella essential oil, so perhaps I'll try to fashion a wipe or something from that.

I am not really encouraging the presence of the wild cats. There were maybe 2 tame-ish cats and one super-tame cat there when we first moved in, but we didn't realize their pet barn cats would still be there so we didn't have food for them for a good week....oops. They seem to have left and I haven't seen them for about two weeks even though we have been putting small amounts of food out. I suspect they are "traveling" cats and go from neighbor to neighbor, whoever has food. We saw one over at the neighbor's, and the neighbor's house cat showed up on our deck one evening....

Even most of the wild cats seem to have left with a dog to pester them. There's a black one and a weird colored one that seem to live there, and then some strays that would randomly pop up when I walked out to the barn. I actually haven't seen any strays for a few days, either, probably because the dog chases them and also because I've been stingy with the food, as I suspect raccoons get in it at night.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: OT: cat content, sorry.....Re: Dog Mosquito & Fly Spray?

I am so, so, sorry for my horrible netiquette, but KITTIES!!!!!![1].....

I cared for a feral cat colony for a very short time and it was intense. I'm glad your kitties are far, far away from the city. Mine were also given small notches on their ears after being neutered and vaccinated so that other caregivers would know who had already been trapped and released.

If you begin giving them kibble, you will have to commit to continuing because they will become lazy, assume you are a force of nature that has changed in their favour, and neglect what they perceive as obsolete hunting education for their young. It gets expensive. If you choose to do this, be sure to buy 25 or 40 lb bags of kibble or you will be making many, many emergency runs to the feed store.

Not all dogs can tolerate heartworm meds so this is a very useful thread. Thank you for posting.

[1] I love my new dogs, but was a die hard "cat person" for over 30 years; no judgement, just sharing kitty info inappropriately. < mea culpa >

Haha, unfortunately I have no intention of supporting any feral cats. There is food out there, but it's mostly for the tame-ish cats that we "inherited," and they seem to have left. I do not put out food frequently, as I suspect raccoons, so it seems most of the cats have moved on to the neighbors over the last few days.
 

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Re: OT: cat content, sorry.....Re: Dog Mosquito & Fly Spray?

Frontline kills, but the tick must bite to die. It does not repel.
Advantix II and Vectra 3D REPEL and kill.

I have been using Advantix II for about 2 years now. I will switch to Vectra 3D when I run out of Advantix.. and run that for a couple of years.

As to the cats.. well you inherited them. Maybe you can find a local organization to TNVR for you.

Sound like you bought a fine place.
 

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Re: OT: cat content, sorry.....Re: Dog Mosquito & Fly Spray?

Frontline kills, but the tick must bite to die. It does not repel.
Advantix II and Vectra 3D REPEL and kill.

I have been using Advantix II for about 2 years now. I will switch to Vectra 3D when I run out of Advantix.. and run that for a couple of years.

As to the cats.. well you inherited them. Maybe you can find a local organization to TNVR for you.

Sound like you bought a fine place.
Yeah, my vet did mention the ones that repel and kill and recommended them as better than Frontline, but I'm in the same situation that I purchased a full year's supply of Frontline just two weeks before and had already opened the box, sooooo I'm using it.

And thank you, it is a nice place! The house and outbuildings need some work, but it will keep us busy for many years to come!
 

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Re: OT: cat content, sorry.....Re: Dog Mosquito & Fly Spray?

The instructions to make a lemon spray? That one works?
Yes, that's the one I've tried and it does work. It might depend on how bad your mosquito/fly problem really is, but it's cheap to make and try :)
 

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Re: OT: cat content, sorry.....Re: Dog Mosquito & Fly Spray?

Little update for anyone who is interested. I tried the lemon spray recipe, and it really didn't seem to work at all, unfortunately. I added citronella essential oil, as well, but no difference. It maybe made them not attack for a moment, but then they decided they were hungry. I resorted to spraying my hands with OFF and rubbing that on Ralphie's face and legs, because otherwise mosquitos will swarm him and bite. I don't know if that's exactly safe for dogs, but he looks so miserable with an entire swarm of mosquitos hanging off his lips, I did it anyway.

Next I'll try some of the store-bought solutions, but I'm not too hopeful! These bugs are vicious!
 

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Re: OT: cat content, sorry.....Re: Dog Mosquito & Fly Spray?

I have horses, and my dog comes with me to the barn every night. We tend to go in the early evening, which is usually the worst for bugs. I can tell you, it's always a losing battle. We spray the horses constantly and they are still swarmed. The flies are the easiest to deter, it seems, but most other bugs don't seem to mind the spray all that much. Especially the gnats. We use Absorbine Ultrashield flyspray for the horses and my dog. We spray the horses way more than the bottle recommends (pretty much every horse owner sprays once a day, at least - the bottle says every 7-10 days, yeah right). And for my dog I put some on my hands and run it over his coat if I notice they are bothering him. It's way more chemically than I usually like to use, I tend to lean towards natural and homemade whenever possible, but this stuff works better than any homemade repellent ever has. Still not perfect, but better.

I'd definitely recommend looking for horse fly sprays (that are also safe for dogs, most are) versus dog-specific fly sprays as those are, IME, more tried and true and effective.
 

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Re: OT: cat content, sorry.....Re: Dog Mosquito & Fly Spray?

I don't know if that's exactly safe for dogs, but he looks so miserable with an entire swarm of mosquitos hanging off his lips, I did it anyway.
Ugh, that sounds awful :-(

I think it's mostly unsafe because they will ingest it by licking it off. As far as it absorbing into the skin - well it's not really good for us humans either.

Depending on how hot it is outside, you could put a longer-sleeved jacket on him to keep them off his main body at least.
 

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Re: OT: cat content, sorry.....Re: Dog Mosquito & Fly Spray?

Ugh, that sounds awful :-(

I think it's mostly unsafe because they will ingest it by licking it off. As far as it absorbing into the skin - well it's not really good for us humans either.

Depending on how hot it is outside, you could put a longer-sleeved jacket on him to keep them off his main body at least.
They bite right through fabric, unfortunately. Anything heavy enough to deter mosquitos would be far too hot. I wish I could get away with spraying it only on spots he can't really lick, but the mosquitos will attack any spot that isn't slathered in DEET. And then if you do spray it on your entire body, they attack your eyeballs.
 

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Re: OT: cat content, sorry.....Re: Dog Mosquito & Fly Spray?

That sucks! I'm in the same boat where nothing but DEET works for me. I have found topical stuff like Frontline and Advantix to repel mosquitoes for dogs. And I've noticed, like people, some dogs attract mozzies and others don't. I went on a pretty dreadful (in terms of mozzies) hike a couple years ago. There were a few dogs present. Sor was the only one who was covered in mozzies and they didn't seem to bother the other dogs. To my knowledge, none of the dogs had repellents on. Weird.
 

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Re: OT: cat content, sorry.....Re: Dog Mosquito & Fly Spray?

That sucks! I'm in the same boat where nothing but DEET works for me. I have found topical stuff like Frontline and Advantix to repel mosquitoes for dogs. And I've noticed, like people, some dogs attract mozzies and others don't. I went on a pretty dreadful (in terms of mozzies) hike a couple years ago. There were a few dogs present. Sor was the only one who was covered in mozzies and they didn't seem to bother the other dogs. To my knowledge, none of the dogs had repellents on. Weird.
I've noticed that, too. Mosquitos used to never bother me when I lived on my parents' farm, and now they'll cover me if I let them. Natural repellents worked on those mosquitos, too, but here they don't. I've read there are different varieties that can be repelled by different things, and unfortunately these mosquitos are only repelled by DEET.
 

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Re: OT: cat content, sorry.....Re: Dog Mosquito & Fly Spray?

I'm not familiar with the mosquitos here in China. I do know they are aggressive, voracious, tenacious.....and are particularly fond of dive bombing your ears when you are almost asleep.....ARRRGGGGGHHHH.

I use a topical for fleas and ticks on Shadow. I began with Frontline, which proved to be ineffective in this area. Shifted over to VetGard topical. It has the same recipe as Advantix2, but lower cost. It also has a repellant for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Shadow has been on VetGard for over 2 years without a tick or flea. Can't say about the mini vampires. I recently had Shadow tested for heartworms, the mosquitoes are a vector in China, which turned up negative. WOOOHOOOO!!!. Now, he gets a monthly treat of HeartGard.

My point is you may need to try a topical with a repellant. Otherwise, your next defense is finding and dumping all standing water and cleaning up the property of high weeds. You have a great habitat for the little blood suckers. The flies will begin to dissipate when all the horse dung is gone. Search and bury.
 
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