How you can protect your dog from Black Fly bites

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — This season Black Flies are causing some concern among pet owners. All pets, but most commonly dogs are seeing more bites than usual. Dr. Michael Rickwald explained why and what you can do if this is happening to your fur baby.

It’s not uncommon to hear about animals suffering from bug bites this time of year. Usually you hear about ticks and fleas but this year, Black Fly bites are very common too. Dr. Rickwald told News 4 why. He said, “Black Flies seem to be worse this particular time of year. We had a very mild winter and its warm and wet outside and Black Fly’s come out when it’s warm and wet outside and we have a mild winter.”

Black Fly bites are not harmful and usually do not hurt the animal like they do if a human were to get bit. They do however leave behind am alarming spot. He said, “It’s a little red dot with a little red circle around it. It looks like a little target and it can be very weird looking especially if there are multiple of them in one spot.”

Most times, the owner of the animal thinks this spot is actually ringworm, but Dr. Rickwald explained that animals infected with ringworm actually do not show the same way that infected humans do. He said, “They are the least serious of issues but people see them more commonly because it’s more visible on the dog’s skin compared to a flea bite or a tick bite.”

The fly’s small size, makes them hard to swat away and the spots they go after are usually out of site. Dr. Rickwald said, “They typically go after bare skin on people and on dogs so you see them biting the inside of the ear, the belly sometimes on the bridge of the nose.”

There are a few products you can use to help your pet avoid being bitten. Some are easy to get, others you’ll need to take a trip to your vet for. He shared, “Most veterinarians will sell little fly repellent ointments. Avon sells a line of human skincare product makes a line called Skin So Soft.”

The Avon products are safe to use on your pets, but if you prefer you can also buy over the counter products at your local pet store, just make sure to stay away from any products that contain Pyrethrins as it can be harmful to cats.

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