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Lemon, Natural Mosquito Repellent for Dogs

Unfortunately most commercially produced products (oral and topical preventatives) – designed to repel Mosquitos from your dog contain powerful chemical-based pesticides and other toxic / carcinogenic ingredients that are very harmful to your dog’s well being.
If you are in a zone in which you must use heartworm pills due to high-incidence of infection (such as New Orleans, or Florida)I suggest that you off-set the harmful side effects of heartworm pills by introducing foods into your dog’s diet that will help protect against the toxins and carcinogens found in heartworm pills. See 3.0 further below for more on using diet to offset the harmful ingredients in heartworm pills.
If you are notin a high-incident zone for heartworm infection you can try using the following lemon-based alternatives to repeal mosquitoes and subsequently the infestation of heartworms…
As an alternative you can use fresh lemon to discourage mosquitoes from ‘visiting’ your dog. Even better, use organic fresh lemons!

Use Lemon in Two Ways to Help Repel Mosquitoes…

One Topical Application;
TwoIngested as part of your dog’s daily diet.
Read on below to find out how lemon can be your dog’s best friend…
1.0 Topical Applications
Lemon when applied topically can be used to repel insects and parasites.
Mosquitos do not like the scent of citrus…
1.1 Spot Treatment
  • Cut a fresh lemon, (lime, orange, or grapefruit) in half and rub the cut fruit onto your dog’s fur.
  • Avoid the area immediately around your dog’s eyes and do not apply to open wounds/cuts – citrus stings!
  • Make sure you pay special attention to favourite/vulnerable spots like ears, nose, under the tail and tummy.
  • Lemon is non-toxic to dogs so, unlike most commercially manufactured mosquito repellents – your dog will not be harmed by licking/ingesting the lemon juice!
1.2 Spray Application
What you will need…
  • 6 lemons, or you can use a mix of citrus
  • 1 quart of water (.95 litre)
  • 1 pot
  • 1 spray bottle
  • Cut the lemons and/or other citrus fruit in half;
  • Place the cut fruit and 1 quart of water in a pot;
  • Bring to a boil and then allow too steep for two hours;
  • Allow the resulting liquid to cool;
  • Once cool, strain the liquid to remove any pulp;
  • Pour the resulting liquid into a spray bottle;
  • Spritz your dog’s fur – remember to protect your dog’s eye from the spray;
  • To apply the spray to your dog’s face:
  • Spray the palm of your hand with the solution;
  • Rub your hands gently over your dog’s nose, around their eyes, behind the ears, around the base of the tail, under your dog’s legs, etc.
  • If your dog is going to be outside for a good portion of the day – repeat the spray application every 2 to 3 hours.
1.3 Mosquito Repelling Collar Drops
You can put a few drops of lemon-oil or 1 drop of essential lemon-oil on your dog’s collar to further discourage misquotes.
To make your own lemon-oil…
You will need…
  • 2 lemons,
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Peel the rind from the lemons;
  • Place oil and lemon rinds in a sauce pan;
  • Place on very low heat for 20 minutes;
  • Allow to cool;
  • Strain and pour into a bottle.
2.0 Ingested Treatment
Adding fresh lemon to your dog’s daily diet is simple…

Preparing the Lemon

  • Freeze a whole lemon and grate a little over your dog’s food;
  • Add fresh lemon juice to your dog’s water bowl – remember to change the lemon water on a daily basis.
  • Add fresh-finely minced lemon to your dog’s food.
  • Peel the lemon and slice it into 4 to 6 pieces;
  • Remove the seeds;
  • Finely chop/mince the sections of lemon – I use a food processor to do this;
  • Add the finely minced lemon to your dogs’ food once a day;
  • Store any remaining minced lemon in an air tight glass container (in the refrigerator) for several days.  

Adding The Lemon to The Daily Diet

  • Start by using the half the recommended lowest dosage in your dog’s size range – see ‘Daily Dosage’ below;
    • Over the space of a week to 10 days gradually increase the amount of lemon to the lowest recommended dosage for your dog’s size range;
    • You can then increase to the higher dosage in your dog’s range if you would like to do so.

Daily Dosage (non-therapeutic)

  • X-Small dogs – 1/16 to 1/4 tsp/day
  • Small dogs – 1/4 to 1 tsp/day
  • Medium dogs – 1 to 2 tsp/day
  • Large dogs – 2  to 3 tsp/day
  • X-Large dogs 3 to 4 tsp/day
If you would like to know more about the health benefits of lemon for your dog – the benefits are numerous…you can read more here ᵔᴥᵔ

If you would like to look at additional DIY options for repelling mosquitoes you can take a look at this article.

3.0 If You Must Give Your Dog Heartworm Pills…
I recommend that you expand your dog’s diet to help off-set the damage that the toxins and carcinogens in heartworm pills can reek on your dog’s long-term health. Include some simple, natural foodstuffs in your dog’s diet that boosts this/her immune system, detoxifies the body and protects against cancer…
The following foods can be added to your dog’s daily diet – simply top-off your dog’s existing food (kibble, raw-food, or home-made cooked food) with the following once a day…
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – organic, unpasteurized
    • Small size dogs – 1 tsp
      Medium size dogs – 1tbs


  • Large dogs – 1.5 to 2 tbs
  • Cranberries – fresh/frozen finely chopped cranberries (no sugar added)
    • Small size dogs – 1 tbs
      Medium size dogs – 1.5 to 2 tbs tbs
    • Large dogs – 2 to 3 tbs
  • Coconut Oil – read more about coconut oil here – benefits, dosage
  • Garlic – fresh, chopped – read more about garlic here.
    • Dosage for Garlic…
    • 1 clove/1 tsp chopped garlic per every 30 lbs of body weight;
  • Lemon – fresh, finely chopped
  • Small size dogs – 1 tsp
  • Medium size dogs – 1 tbs
  • Large dogs – 1.5 to 2 tbs
  • Small size dogs – 1 tsp to 1 tbs
  • Medium size dogs – 1 tbs to 2 tbs
  • Large dogs – 2 tbs to 4 tbs
  • Kefir – read more about kefir (and/or sauerkraut) and how to introduce it to your dog’s diet here. Kefir is a powerful probiotic and should be introduced in small amounts, building up to the full dosage…
    Dosage for kefir:

    • Small size dogs – 1 tsp
    • Medium size dogs – 1 tbs
    • Large dogs – 11/2 to 2 tbs
  • Omega Fatty Acids – make sure your dog is getting the right balance of Omega fatty acids – I have yet to see a commercially made dog food that has the Omega 3:6 Fatty acids properly balanced. You will need to add some good-source Omega 3 fatty acids to your dog’s diet – read more hereand choose the Omega 3 you want to use.
  • Turmeric – read more about turmeric here– benefits, dosage
For items such as cranberries, garlic and lemon…
  • I chop (the finer the better) enough of the foodstuff in the food processor to last several days to a week;
  • Then I put the chopped food in containers – plastic (BPA free) or glass;
  • I leave the appropriate sized measuring spoon in the container – this little convenience makes it faster to prepare the meal at feeding time

Additional Assistance

If you require additional support and guidance I would be pleased to assist you via my In-Person or On-Line Services…

Dog Obedience Training and Behavior Modification Services:

Diet, Nutrition Wellness Services:

  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice is available via this service
  • Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans are available via this service

About Karen Rosenfeld

My name is Karen Rosenfeld. I am an holistic diet nutrition health and wellness practitioner for dogs and cats. I am an holistic behaviorist for dogs. I offer a wealth of real-time, real-life experience. 30 years working and living with dogs and cats. Companion animals are my life, my work, my passion. Maintenance of Health Health Issues and Conditions Custom designed whole food diets, raw and cooked. Recommendations for commercial whole food diets. Consultations available worldwide via FaceTime, FaceBook video and voice, Skype, Phone and email Recommendation and specification of... Species Appropriate: Whole foods Treats Herbs Alternative medicines Supplemental foods Treatment and Remedy Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs Include: Obedience Training Behavior Modification Psychological Rehabilitation In-person Sessions Sessions available worldwide via FaceTime, FaceBook video and voice, Skype, Phone Affiliations to Companies None. I don’t sell food or supplements. I am NOT aligned with any companies. I prefer to select best solutions for my individual clients’ situation. My client services are available around the world. 🇺🇸USA 🇨🇦Canada 🇬🇧UK 🇦🇺Australia 🇪🇺Europe 🇨🇷Costa Rica and other Central American Countries 🇦🇪United Arab Emirates 🇸🇪Sweden and other Scandinavian Countries 🇸🇬Singapore and other Countries in Asia etc. Consultations and Sessions 📧Email: karen@ottawavalleydogwhispererer.ca 📞Phone: 1-613-293-3707 📱FaceTime 📱FaceBook video or voice 💻Skype 📖Holistic Wellness eBooks custom designed to suit 🚶In-person Sessions only available in Ontario, Canada.

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  1. Is this lemon spray safe for cats? We are trying to help a cat outdoors whose owners abandoned him out there, and mosquitoes are bad down here in the south.

  2. May I use the lemon juice on fur, ingested or as a spray on my cat?

  3. Hey
    I’ve heard a lot of people say that lemons are toxic for dogs and not to give them any.
    Is it a case where only some dogs react to it or do these people not know what they are talking about?

  4. Hi Karen,

    How long does the lemon spray last before it expires? Also, I wrote you a few days ago regarding my schnoodle Louie and how he was just diagnosed with acid reflux. I read your article on GERD and can’t wait for the results to kick in! I’m positive the changes in his diet will help Louie tremendously. Thanks so very much for taking the time to write these articles 🙂

    Rachel & Louie

  5. Hi Karen,

    I was wondering if lemon would help deter deer flies from biting my GSD. They seem to be very attracted to her.


  6. We were wondering if the lemon juice will dry out the dogs skin ?

  7. We were wondering if the lemon juice will dry out our dogs coats ?

  8. We were wondering if the lemon juice will dry out the dogs skin ?

  9. Dear Karen,

    I have several dogs at my home and wanting to know if giving the version of lemons in my dogs food can I still use the spray? I have long haired dogs and would like to know how to spray a dog with lemon on a long haired dog. Thank you!

  10. Hi Nimmy, Yes you can mix fresh lemon juice with fresh lime juice, grapefruit, orange. You can also check out these other DIY repellants http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/05/diy-natural-herbal-homeopathic-flea_18.html Cheers, K

  11. Hi Karen,

    Can i use lime juice as a mosquito reppelent for my 1.5yrs old yellow labrador??
    Kindly advice

  12. Can I use lemon juice instead??

  13. Hi Karen, I do live in high heart worm and tick area here in New York state and only feed my two dogs raw diet. They also only get the rabies vacc every 3 years due to the law and no other vaccs. My question to you is, do you put all of the above foods in the dog’s daily diet or only some of them? Thank you very much!

  14. Hi Nancy, yes lemon and citrus can be used on humans too to repel mosquitoes and other insects:>)

  15. Would lemon ward off Mosquitos from kids? My grandson like my brother for some reason bugs are attracted to his skin and he gets bit all the time! He is also allergic to bee stings and we have to keep an eppie pen with us at all times. All though we don’t get Mosquitos like they do in the south, we still get some. I know their are certain smells they don’t like and you can use essential oils on cotton balls around your home, I put mine in those tiny glass containers made for the small candles, works great!

  16. Hi Karen,

    If you lived in a medium to high risk area for heartworm, would you feel confident enough with the lemon alone? I really don’t want to continue to use these toxic heartworm preparations, but the medicines used to get rid of heartoworm in dogs are even worse.

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