If you're like most people, you find that playing outside with your dog is one of the greatest joys in life. But even though dogs are meant to play, they can get themselves into little scuffles with insects, such as ants. At first you might think that fleas have attacked your dog when you see them scratching a lot. While this may be the case, there are times when ants can bite your dog just as they do humans.
How Ants Access Your Dog
The playfully behavior of dogs can lead to some unwanted attention from ants and other insects. If your dog has been sniffing around on the ground, it may end up shoving its snout into an ant pile. Dogs also love to roll around in the grass and this rolling can expose their stomachs and skin to ants as well. Most regular outdoor play with your dog poses the threat of ants.
Another significant factor in how ants get to your dog is that both ants and dogs are attracted to the scent of food. If ants have created a trail to some exposed food, chances are that your dog will soon be sniffing his way into their trail. This is one of the most common reasons that dogs end up getting bit by ants.
How to Tell If the Bumps Are Ant Bites
Symptoms of ant bites can appear in as little as 20 minutes or up to 12-24 hours later. Reactions to ant bites include the following symptoms:
- swollen eyes, ears, or mouth
- trouble breathing due to swelling
- skin irritations or hives
How to Administer First Aid for Doggie Ant Bites
Mix together some baking soda and a little water in a small bowl. Then use a cotton swab to apply the mix to the ant bite. Doing this a couple times a day should help to alleviate any pain or itching. The baking soda also helps to reduce the swelling of the bite itself and the surrounding area.
If you prefer, administer a little hydrocortisone to the bites with the cotton swab. However, whether you're using baking soda or hydrocortisone, make sure that you apply only a tiny amount, and hold your dog for a few minutes so that the ointment can take effect without your dog licking it off.
After applying the first aid to your dog's ant bites, you'll begin to see improvement in just a few days. Should you feel that any of the bites become infected or the symptoms don't get any better, take your dog to a veterinarian (such as After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic Inc).