If your dog is infested with mites, a lot of trouble might result. It can happen to the best of us, these tiny arthropods are pretty much everywhere and the results of their actions are generally harmless both to us and to our beloved animals. Unfortunately, some varieties can cause complications which makes it important for anyone who shares their home with a canine to be know How to get rid of Mites in Dogs.
What You’ll Need
The treatment plan that we’re going to outline here is remarkably simple, and it doesn’t require a whole lot in the way of materials.
- Hydrogen Peroxide - 1% is best if you can find it immediately, but any solution 3% and under will do just fine. We’ll show you how to dilute it to the proper concentration in just a bit.
- Borax Powder - Borax is going to be our workhorse here, but you don’t need to purchase a kilogram of it.
- Your Dog's Cooperation
- Optional - A soft cone for your dog
This really shouldn’t end up being too expensive of an affair, and if the treatment works properly then you’ll also be saving some money on veterinarian bills at the end of the day.
Borax is mostly sold as a detergent and it’s pretty easy to find it in stores. If you’re really stretched and can’t find it, then you can find it online in bulk amounts for super cheap.
The soft cone is labeled as optional, but if your dog licks itself frequently no matter what the consequences might be then it’s time to make the investment. They can be found online or at your vet’s office without breaking the bank.
1) Determine if it’s Really Mites
As a general rule, mite complications which result from mite infestations will manifest themselves as skin disorders. The bugs themselves are pretty much invisible to the naked eye, so you’ll have to keep a look out for the various symptoms which might result.
It really wouldn’t do you much good if you could see them anyways, dogs will almost always have mites present on them and the majority of them are fairly harmless scavengers that eat dead skin. Some of them can cause your dog a lot of grief, though.
If you’re worried your dog might have developed a mite infection, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- Hair Loss
- Itchy Skin
- "Scaling" of the Skin
There’s a pretty wide variety of symptoms but nearly all of them will have something to do with the skin. This is because some mites will colonize your dog, making their homes on or under their skin or ear.
Not all skin conditions in dogs are caused by mites, but you’ll find the majority of the time these symptoms are present, mites are at the source. Your vet can take a skin sample to determine if it’s actually a mite infestation, even if the mites are of a variety too small to see with the naked eye.
2) Create the Base for the Solution
Now, if your dog has mites, make sure not to panic. Grab the chemicals we told you that you’d need above and we can get to work.
Your first step is going to be to mix the base for the solution. This isn’t rocket surgery, trust us, you’ll be fine.
The hydrogen peroxide solution we mentioned above should be at 1% before we begin, so if you were unable to purchase something at that exact concentration you’ll need to dilute the solution. You’ll need to add enough water to bring it to roughly that level.
Most solutions are sold at 3%, so the simple addition of two parts of water to one of the chemical will be enough to get you at the right concentration. For instance, if take two cups of water and add it to one cup of the peroxide.
3) Finish the Solution
After this, you’ll be adding the borax. Add a tablespoon of the powder for every two cups of solution you’ve made. It’s best to make up at least 1.5L(or six cups) at a time in order to have enough for the treatment itself.
Larger dogs will require more, and particularly small dogs may not require as much. You can always store the excess if you make more than necessary, so we’d advise not worrying too much about making an exact amount.
Borax can be notoriously hard to dissolve in solution. It should dissolve pretty well at one tablespoon per 500mL but if you’re having trouble with getting it to dissolve then it might be a good idea to gently warm the solution and stir.
Don’t use the stove for this, it’s complete overkill and might remove the hydrogen peroxide, instead place the solution on a window sill or somewhere else where it can get direct sun for an hour or so and come back to stir it.
You’ve now got yourself a pretty effective treatment on your hands, and it’s time to use it.
4) Apply the Treatment to Get Rid of Mites in Dogs
The treatment is amazingly easy to apply. Use it to wash your dog, get their fur soaked all over. Make sure to apply it even in areas where the symptoms aren’t yet present in order to ensure that you kill all of the mites you can.
Don’t rinse the solution off with water at the end of the session, you’ll need to leave it on in order to maintain its efficacy. This does present a complication, however, if your dog licks enough of the solution off of themselves it can cause them to become mildly ill.
Since none of us are big fans of dog vomit on the floor or sick pooches for that matter, you’ll want to make sure to find some way to prevent them from licking themselves until the solution is settled in.
Many people opt to use those cones you get from the vet when your dog gets stitches, they’re readily available online and make for a simple solution. Most dogs won’t like it much, but it’s better than letting them get ill by a long shot.
Protip: Don’t towel the dog off, but when they’re dried apply some kind of lotion. Borax is pretty dehydrating for their skin.
5) Disinfect Your Home
The hard stuff is mostly over at this point. The easiest way to disinfect your home is hardly going to be a surprise at this point.
Sprinkle some borax powder in your carpets and around the house in general anywhere you think mites might be hiding. It’s probably best to apply some extra to anywhere that your dog sleeps or lays down often, or even spray them with some of the leftover solution from the medicated bath.
Some people go so far as to cover their furniture and go through all sorts of protocols, but in a lot of cases, they’re just going overboard. Feel free to do so if you’d like, but as long as you give it a good shot you’re likely to be able to prevent reinfestation for your unfortunate dog.
Protip: Right now might be a good time to keep your dog in a single room that you disinfected before applying the solution. Ingestion of borax powder by a curious dog is just going to make them sick.
6) Repeat the Treatment
With all of that done, you’ll want to repeat the treatment once or twice a week for a few weeks. At this point they should be showing obvious signs of getting better, and their hair should be coming back in.
Remember not to let them ingest any of the borax solution and you’ll be fine.
It might seem a bit tedious to repeat this without absolutely immediate results, but unfortunately dog medicine, much like human medicine, rarely just works without any complications right off the bat.
7) When To See the Vet
Most of us use home remedies to try and avoid vet bills. While the mange caused by mites is unsightly, it rarely becomes life threatening. However, if your dog isn’t responding to the borax treatment within a few weeks it’s time to bite the bullet and see the vet.
From there it will be up to you to follow their instructions, just be sure to let them know that you’ve tried the borax solution when you go in so they have adequate information to work with.
Mites can cause some pretty irritating problems, but with this simple remedy, many people have been able to arrest and reverse the conditions which come with them. Knowing How to get rid of mites in dogs might not be a great party trick, but it’s something you should know to make sure that your dog can enjoy the best quality of life possible.