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Natural Mosquito Repellant For Dogs

Updated on December 13, 2012

Quick facts about the danger of DEET:

  1. DEET has a negative impact on our environment, and is toxic to wildlife and water sources. It has been found in 75% of US water sources.
  2. There have been reports of allergic reactions to DEET, including skin rashes and (although rare) seizures with long-term use.

How to Make Natural Mosquito Repellant for Your Pets

My dog, Oakley, and I are outdoor buddies. We walk everywhere together, from parks, trails, and even Yosemite National Park. Since he is very prone to mosquitoes, fleas and other bugs, once in a while he would come home to a few bites.

Although there are many strong and effective mosquito repellants on the market, most are heavily saturated with the chemical N, N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, also known as DEET. It is a common and a main ingredient in bug repellents that "repels" and not kill insects. According to a study from France, it "inhibits the activity of a key central nervous system."

Fortunately, there are much safer alternatives found in natural food store, however they can be quite pricey. In my home, I try to avoid using too many chemicals that are not only harmful to our body but also our planet. So it makes sense to make my own homemade insect repellant for Oakley.

I am obsessed with DIY formulas and have been experimenting with various solutions. By making my own natural homemade insect repellent, I am protecting my dog against toxic chemicals, saving money, and best of all, guarding him from those pesky mosquitoes and insects.

There are many different formulas for natural mosquito repellent. I will share with you the solution that is most effective for my Pit bull, as well as two other formulas.

Choose your essential oil

Essential oil for homemade mosquito repellant recipes.
Essential oil for homemade mosquito repellant recipes. | Source

When mixing your insect repellant, the rule of thumb is to choose an essential oil that repels insects and mix it with a carrier, such as olive oil, castor oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil.

Oils such as clove oil and citronella (rose geranium), tea tree oil, cedar, peppermint, and lavender are the most effective in keeping the pesky bugs away.

The first recipe requires the use of a mixture of all the essential oils mentioned above. I love the effective use of essential oils in creating a homemade mosquito repellant. Insects and bugs hate the smell and will not go anywhere near your pets.

You can use whichever favorite essential oils that you have on hand, or experiment with new ones. I already have lavender in my bathroom cabinet from my homemade soap solutions. Besides, I just love the smell of lavender. And Oakley doesn't mind it either.


Homemade Mosquito Repellant #1

This recipe is the most recommended.

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 drops cedar
  • 5 drops eucalyptus
  • 4 drops lavender
  • 4 drops rosemary
  • 1 drop peppermint
  • 1 drop cinnamon
  • 1 drop clove

Mix the oil with these essential oils in a spray bottle. Spray liberally on your dog, especially around the legs.

More Homemade Mosquito Repellant

The next two recipes for natural mosquito repellant are simple due to less amount of ingredients. Mix in a spray bottle and shake well before use.

  • 15 drops of essential oil of your choice
  • 3 tablespoons of pure vanilla
  • 4-5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup of water


  • 1 cup witch hazel
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
  • 10 drops citronella essential oil
  • 10 drops lemongrass essential oil


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    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 4 years ago from California

      Yes essential oils are safe

    • profile image

      Sandra 4 years ago

      Can you use these on any aged pets? We have two 6-week old puppies.

    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 4 years ago from California

      Hi Carey, I just spray it on him (and myself-wink) whenever we head out to the park or evening walks. Unfortunately it's not like flea medicine where you can just apply once a month. The smell of the essential oil will eventually fade so if you stay out all day, you can even spray it twice.

    • profile image

      Careytoo 4 years ago

      Hello! I'm giving your suggestion a shot, as it seems to be a plausible solution for my little mosquito magnet, Wink! My one question is, how often do you apply the recipe to Oakley? I'm unsure of whether it's an everyday application or otherwise. Your recommendation would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      There seems to be a labrador theme here, I was bilberry picking with the dogs the other day and Bruno labrador was the one perpetually snapping at mosi's which were harassing him. He'd have appreciated some of your repellent!

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      I voted up and Awesome! I also shared this hub for my other dog loving friends. You did a terrific job on this one, Turtlewoman. Oakley is lucky to have you.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Very good hub! My yellow lab is bothered by mosquitoes and bitting flies when we go out. I feel sorry for her as she gets so irritated by them. I am definitely going to try one of your recipes for repellant for her. I would love to find something that works. Voted up and useful!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      This does look like a recipe for humans, too. And the dog must smell great when you use it. I'll try mixing it up. So glad you gave the recipe to us.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Thank you. I will use this for me! Mosquitoes eat me up! My cat is 17 though and fleas nor mosquitoes seem to bother her and I attribute that to raw garlic in her diet (in her favorite food) so maybe you want to try that for your dog, it is also supposed to prevent heart worms, etc. I use it just every few days, maybe more in summer months. Again, thanks!

      Up and sharing.

    • ShootersCenter profile image

      David 5 years ago from Florida

      Useful and informative hub, I would never have thought about treating my dog with natural ingredients. I'm going to have to give this a try.