Pet-Safe Insect Repellents

Pet-Safe Insect Repellents

With spring in full swing and summer right around the corner, we're spending more time with our dogs outdoors.

That means a lot more fun, of course, but also a lot more bugs! Keep your house, yard, and pet insect-free with pet-safe deterrents—including eco-friendly options you can DIY.


Mosquitoes, spiders, ants, and all those other creepy crawlers that get inside your home can be deterred naturally. While convenient, many of the commercial bug sprays contain ingredients that are toxic to our pets (and, really, to us). But you don’t have to put up with them in your home nor put your pets at risk—like mosquitoes and heartworm transmission, and venomous spider bites. Whip up this all-natural, super simple recipe from ScratchMommy with only water, vegetable glycerin, and peppermint essential oil. Cat owners note: There is some debate about the safe use of essential oils around cats. Don’t risk exposing your cat to something that could irritate her skin or possibly respiration. Spray this only in areas where you know she won’t access the spray, like on the outsides of doors and windows.


Ticks carry some pretty nasty diseases. Mosquitoes can transmit heartworm. Red ants pose allergy risks. Spiders bite. Backyard pests can wreak havoc, but it’s no fun staying indoors just to avoid bugs. You already keep you grass and ornamentals clipped short and have eliminated any standing water (right?). Next, whip up this organic bug spray recipe. It’s an all-natural, pet-safe backyard spray to deter a host of bugs. If you’re a gardener, this spray is food-safe, too, so you can keep those pests from chowing down on your harvest.

Skin and Coat

Your house is protected. Your yard is sprayed. The last step in your bug battle is to protect your skin and your dog’s coat. While there are tons of DIY options, commercial products are super effective and convenient. The All Terrain Company produces a line of bug sprays called Herbal Armor that come specially-formulated for pets, kids, and general use, along with other specialty insect deterring products. Stock up to keep your entire family bug-free this spring and summer. Finally, you can plant loads of fresh-smelling containers around your home, patio, and backyard to try to further deter insects naturally. For example, a container of catnip repels mosquitoes. Basil keeps flies away. And lavender keeps fleas at bay. Plant a variety of your favorites in containers to round out your all-natural bug-deterring arsenal.

Maggie Marton

Maggie is a writer and author, whose first book, Clicker Dog Training: The Better Path to a Well-Behaved Pup was published by Open Air Publishing. When she's not writing (or reading books about grammar), she teaches writing courses to college students and professionals who want to nail down the basics of communication. Outside of work, she hikes, throws dinner parties, plays with her three dogs and cat, and travels as much as possible.
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