Dogs and Bed Bugs

by Amy Burkert

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Hi! We’re Ty and Buster, your faithful pet travel correspondents, and this week sharing what we know about bed bugs.

Ty: If you’ve traveled at all in the past couple years, you’ve probably heard something about bed bugs. Some hotels, and even clothing stores have had problems with the little buggers.

Buster: Bed bugs are really not cool.

Ty: Thank you, Einstein.

Buster: Hey, a lot of bugs are attracted to dogs – fleas, ticks, mosquitoes. Have you ever wondered if your dog could get bed bugs?


Ty: Eeeeewwwwe!

Buster: Well, it’s something to consider if pets are going to be staying in hotels!

Ty: Okay, you’re right.

Buster: Great, so here’s what we know about bed bugs and how to keep them from being a part of your pet friendly travels:

  • Bed bugs are not picky about who they bite. Humans are easier targets because they don’t have fur, but pets can be bitten too – including cats, dogs, mice, rats and birds.
  • Most likely, your pet will not be infested with bed bugs like can happen with fleas or ticks. Bed bug may bite your pet at night, but they usually hide in the crevasses of a mattress during the day – which is why they are called bed bugs! Therefore, you may not see the bugs on your pet during the day, but you will see the bite marks and your pet will be scratching the bites.
  • If your pet has been exposed to bed bugs, the best thing to do is wash their bedding, toys, and anything plush he comes in contact with. Bed bugs will die in heat of 120 degrees Fahrenheit if they are exposed for 10-20 minutes, so the dryer is a good place to pet them.  For things that can’t be laundered, placing them inside a sealed plastic bag in direct sunlight for a day should do the trick.
  • If your pet is still being bitten by bed bugs, you should contact your veterinarian to find out what shampoo you should use to kill any bed bugs that may be hiding in his fur. A dog shampoo for bed bugs may be harmful if used on cats.
  • Unfortunately, topical flea and tick medication will not protect your pet from bed bugs.

Ty: So, bed bugs really aren’t that though – don’t let them stop you from joining your people on their next trip!