3 Natural Treatments for Insect Bites on Dogs

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The Can Dogs Eat It Team

3 Natural Treatments for Insect Bites on Dogs
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Dogs are bound to have run-ins with bugs, whether they are simply relaxing indoors or exploring the great outdoors. In unfortunate circumstances, they may suffer from insect bites.

This can be an unpleasant experience for them and in some cases, excruciatingly painful. Let us take a look into the most common bugs that inflict bites on pooches and learn how you can treat them at home.

7 Common Bug Bites on Dogs

a dog is scratching himself

1. Ants

Some ant bites are more painful than others depending on the ant species doing the biting. Fire ants, carpenter ants, and harvester ants are known to give agonizing bites. These can form swollen pustules on the dogs’ skin containing a white or yellow fluid.

2. Bees

Bee stings on dogs cause pain and swelling of the affected area. First aid must be performed to keep them from experiencing further pain. Here are the general steps to follow:

  1. Check for bee stingers. Safely scrape them off using a blunt object like your fingernail or a credit card. Do not use tweezers as they can squeeze out more of the stinger’s venom into your dog’s skin.
  2. Rinse the stung site with clean water.
  3. Reduce the swelling by applying a cold compress or an ice pack to the affected area for up to 10 minutes. Avoid placing ice directly on your dog’s skin as it can damage his skin tissues.
  4. Let your dog wear an E-collar to prevent him from licking the site.
  5. If your dog continues to experience discomfort, it’s advisable to take them to a veterinarian for allergy medication.

3. Fleas

Flea bites are often minuscule and easily missed. However, if dog owners look closely, they will appear to be small, red spots. It can be difficult to tell them apart from other insect bites unless you can confirm the presence of fleas on your dog’s coat.

Some dogs are hypersensitive to flea saliva and can develop an allergic reaction. Dogs that constantly bite and scratch flea bites are bound to experience secondary bacterial and yeast infections.

4. Mites

Mites are microscopic organisms and so are their bites. Tell-tale signs of mite infestation in dogs include hair loss and bald patches accompanied by severe itchiness and inflammation.

Secondary infections are likely to occur if dogs relentlessly scratch and lick the affected areas of their body.

5. Mosquitoes

Mosquito bite on a dog takes the form of a raised red welt on the skin. Mosquitoes usually target less hairy areas on your dog’s body like the ears, abdominal area and inner legs.

One of the biggest dangers mosquito bites present to dogs is the spreading of heartworms.

These internal parasites tend to be inconspicuous until they have overpopulated the cardiovascular and respiratory systems of affected dogs.

For this reason, pawrents are strongly encouraged to let their furry pals take routine heartworm tests and heartworm prevention medicine.

6. Ticks

Tick bites on a dog are characterized by a rash surrounded by a red ring. You may also observe signs of scabbing once the tick is removed.

Ticks are some of the many parasites that carry transmittable diseases to canines such as tick paralysis, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Regularly giving your canine companion flea and tick preventatives will reduce his chances of contracting any of these ailments.

7. Spider

Spider bites on dogs look like reddish pea-sized bumps on the skin. Although these eight-legged critters have fangs, they leave no fang marks after biting.

Most species of spiders are venomous but not enough to cause fatality.

However, 2 notable species can deal life-threatening bites to both dogs and humans namely the black widow and the brown recluse spider.

3 Natural Home Remedies for Insect Bites on Dogs

1. Aloe Vera as a Natural Remedy for Insect Bites on Dogs

aloe veraAloe vera is a well-known traditional medicine for various types of skin injuries, including insect bites. Its therapeutic ability is not unfounded as studies indicate that the plant has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and wound-healing properties.


  • 3 aloe vera leaves
  • 2 teaspoons vitamin E (optional)


  1. Rinse the aloe vera leaves thoroughly.
  2. Place them in a glass jar for 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure that their cut ends are facing down to drain out the yellow latex called aloin, which is a skin-irritating compound.
  3. Wash the leaves again, then use a knife to peel off their thick skin carefully.
  4. Once done, the aloe vera gel will be visible. Scoop it out using a spoon.
  5. Put the aloe vera gel in a blender and blend until no lumps form.
  6. Run this natural home treatment for insect bites on dogs through a sieve to remove any leaf remnants.
  7. Transfer it to a small glass container.
  8. Administer it on the insect bite or insect sting on dogs 4 times a day.

Additional information

  • Aloe vera can be used to treat other canine dermatological problems such as hot spots, dry and flaky skin, and eczema.
  • If applied to dogs’ coats, it can moisturize their fur and skin.


  • Without vitamin E, aloe vera gel will spoil quickly. It can only last for up to 1 week. To increase its shelf life by 2 to 3 weeks, you can place this home remedy for insect bites on dogs in the fridge or freezer.

2. Witch Hazel as a Natural Remedy for Insect Bites on Dogs

Witch Hazel plant

According to studies, witch hazel is a natural potent antioxidant and astringent because of the chemical components found in its leaves and bark, such as kaempferol, quercetin, choline, and catechins.

These compounds allow witch hazel to soothe different types of skin problems, such as insect bites.


  • 1 tablespoon witch hazel leaves or tree bark
  • 1 cup distilled water


  1. Chop the witch hazel leaves or tree bark finely.
  2. Place the plant parts in a small pot and pour in a cup of distilled water.
  3. Bring the contents to a boil before lowering the heat.
  4. Let the concoction simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat, then allow the homemade witch hazel extract to cool down.
  6. Use a colander or cheesecloth to strain this natural remedy for insect bites on dogs to filter out any remaining plant materials.
  7. Apply the witch hazel extract on the affected areas of your pet 2 times a day.

Additional information

  • Witch hazel extract can be used to clean up after expressing your dog’s anal glands.


  • Store this homemade remedy for insect bites on dogs in the fridge and use it within a week.
  • Witch hazel extract has a drying effect on the skin if administered excessively.
  • Make sure to keep it out of your dog’s reach since it is not safe for internal use. Ingesting witch hazel can cause gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

3. Green Tea as a Natural Remedy for Insect Bites on Dogs

green tea leaves

Research has determined that the polyphenolic compounds in green tea called catechins possess antioxidative, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory activity, which help with alleviating insect bites in dogs.


  • 3 teaspoons green tea leaves
  • 1 tablespoon raw manuka honey
  • 1 cup distilled water


  1. Boil a cup of water in a small pot.
  2. Add the green tea leaves and allow them to steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and carefully strain the contents of the pot into a cup.
  4. Let it cool down before mixing in the raw manuka honey. Stir until both ingredients are well combined.
  5. Pour this natural home remedy for insect bites on dogs into an ice cube tray.
  6. Put it in the fridge to harden overnight.
  7. Place the green tea ice cubes in an ice pack and then apply it on insect bites or insect stings on dogs.
  8. Use this home treatment 2 to 3 times a day.

Nutritional information

  • Green tea is abundant in antioxidants that bolster dogs’ immune system function and reduce their vulnerability to illnesses.
    However, it’s crucial to always consult a veterinarian or a certified pet nutritionist before introducing green tea supplements to dogs orally. This precaution is essential because oral ingestion of green tea extract could potentially lead to unforeseen morbidity and mortality.
  • Aside from antioxidants, green tea is also a rich source of vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as manganese, selenium, and zinc.

These natural home remedies serve as an initial treatment for minor insect bites or stings on dogs.

If you suspect that your dog has been bitten or stung by a highly venomous bug, drive him to the veterinarian straightaway.


Also, if possible, take a sample of the insect so the veterinarian can identify whether or not the bug is truly venomous.

When to Bring Dogs with Insect Bites to the Veterinarian

a vet is treating a dogMost cases of insect bites on dogs are harmless. However, in rare situations, some dogs may suffer from severe anaphylactic shock or allergic reactions, which can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of this condition to watch out for are:

  • Facial swelling
  • Pale gums
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypersalivation
  • Breathing difficulties

These clinical signs usually appear 20 minutes after dogs get stung or bitten by an insect.

Severe anaphylactic reactions can result in significant swelling of the airways. Swift and decisive treatment is imperative to prevent the risk of intubation, ventilation, and even fatality.

FAQs About Insect Bites on Dogs

a dog is looking uncomfortable

1. What Does an Insect Bite Look Like on a Dog?

Insect bites often look like small reddish marks on a dog’s skin. But their appearance may vary depending on the bug that inflicted the bite. Some tend to contain pus while others only swell.

Take note that some insects do not cause visible bites on dogs like mites. Thus, dog owners need to observe their dogs for other symptoms, such as bald patches and hair loss.

2. Do Bug Bites on Dogs Go Away?

Bug bites on dogs can go away without intervention. But the itchiness and pain they bring may force dogs to scratch and lick the affected area, which puts them at risk of secondary infections.

Applying home remedies can aid in easing irritation and inflammation. This in turn prevents bug bites from causing prolonged discomfort in dogs.

3. What to Put on Dog Insect Bites?

Natural home remedies like aloe vera, witch hazel, and green tea are some pet-safe options you can put on dog insect bites.

Aloe vera and green tea have anti-inflammatory properties that can ease the swelling of the side. Moreover, aloe vera can aid in hastening the healing of the bite wound.

Lastly, witch hazel is an astringent that helps with soothing irritations caused by insect bites on dogs.

4. Can an Insect Bite Cause a Hard Lump on a Dog’s Back?

Certain insect bites such as bee stings can cause a hard lump on a dog’s back. However, other factors can lead this condition to develop, such as tumors and abscesses or granulomas. Get it checked by the veterinarian to get peace of mind.


a dog owner is treating a dog with topical medicine

Treat insect bites on dogs before they become a gateway for secondary infections and other health complications. Aloe vera, witch hazel, and green tea are dog-friendly natural home remedies for this type of problem.

However, in cases of highly venomous bug bites, taking your dog to the animal clinic for immediate treatment is important. The same applies to dogs with hypersensitivity to insect bites since they may quickly develop anaphylactic shock.

Download our Can Dogs Eat It app to learn more about natural home remedies for different kinds of ailments in dogs.