Skip to main content
Dog with bugs flying around in a park

Don’t DEET dogs

Q: May I apply DEET insect repellent to my dog? Since we switched from a topical flea-tick product to an oral one, the mosquitos and flies have been biting her.

A: Many human insecticides contain DEET, which isn’t recommended for dogs. It’s absorbed through canine skin, and high concentrations can cause drooling, vomiting, hyperactivity, loss of coordination, tremors and seizures.

If it’s accidentally sprayed into a dog’s eyes, DEET can cause inflammation, squinting, tearing and corneal ulcers. If it’s inhaled, it can induce airway inflammation and breathing difficulties.

A better idea is to return to the topical product you were using earlier. When applied to a dog’s skin, products like Vectra 3D and K9 Advantix II repel and kill biting insects.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com.

Protect your pet from the unexpected with Figo Pet Insurance, rated “Best Pet Insurance” by Reviews.com since 2017.

samoyed dog standing in the snow

Do you live in an area where you're...

Child and dog sitting on stairs dressed in costumes

Halloween is a time for ghoulish family...

depressed pug with head on pillow

Can dogs suffer from depression? Could...

Small dog chewing on a red toy bone in front of Christmas tree

Recreating the perfect Christmas scene...

Advertisement for pet insurance.

More From Figo Blog
Dog and pet parent listening to music in front of speaker

Whether you’re rocking out to your favorite...

Dog and child dressed for Halloween up on bed

Halloween brings cooler weather, carved...

Woman drinking coffee and holding small cat near

On any given day, between 50 and 70 million...

Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...

Woman with dog looking at tablet

Since 2017 Americans have spent between $17...

Kristin Levine with dog

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

Labrador Retriever retrieving a blue frisbee from the yard

One of the best things about owning a dog is...