How to Get Flies Off a Dog

Protect your pooch from the perils of fly strikes.
i dog image by Krzysztof Gebarowski from

Flies are pesky little critters that can be both a nuisance and a health hazard for dogs. Fly strikes, which occur most frequently on the ears and face, can break the skin, leaving your dog vulnerable to infection. Getting flies off your dog is part of keeping him comfortable and healthy.

Control Environmental Factors

Step 1

Keep your dog indoors during the hottest times of the day. Since flies are most active during daylight hours and particularly in high heat, keeping your dog indoors during that time will greatly reduce his exposure to flies.

Step 2

Remove dog feces and other waste products from your yard as soon as they're deposited. Flies are irresistibly attracted to decaying matter, so picking up after your dog and maintaining a thoroughly clean yard will make it significantly less appealing to flies.

Step 3

Pick up and clean your dog's dish after each feeding. Leftover food scraps will sound the dinner bell for flies if left for prolonged periods of time, so cleaning up after your pooch is done eating will help to prevent a fly frenzy.

Ways to Repel Flies

Step 1

Apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly to your dog's ears. Since flies are unable to bite through it, petroleum jelly serves as a deterrent for fly strikes.

Step 2

Use apple cider vinegar as a natural fly repellent. Dilute 1 part apple cider vinegar with 1 part water and use a spray bottle to apply the vinegar to the affected areas on your dog.

Step 3

Use a commercial fly repellent made for dogs. There is a wide variety of commercial products currently available to repel flies and give your pooch some much needed relief.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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