jack russell dog sitting on the pavement scratching

Do Bed Bugs Bite Dogs?

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Bed bugs are a world-wide pest that can cause a lot of pain, discomfort and worry. It is important to understand the risks and symptoms for people and their pets. These tiny insects not only feed on the blood of humans and animals, their bites can cause redness, itching, swelling, and disease. Many pet owners frequently ask do bed bugs bite dogs? The answer is YES, THEY CAN AND DO!  In this article, we’ll expand upon that answer.  We’ll also inform pet owners what they can do to prevent bed bug infestations and much more, so please read on.

Bed bugs are attracted to warm, dark places and carbon dioxide which is why they prefer to infest the places where people and pets sleep. Bed bugs will certainly bite dogs if the chance arises and they can’t sense a human blood meal. Bed bugs normally prefer attacking humans over dogs and typically only bite dogs if humans aren’t nearby.  It is thought that since dogs have thicker skin and hair it is a struggle for bed bugs to feed on them.

There are several signs to look for if you suspect your dog has been bitten by bed bugs. These signs include red, itchy skin bumps, lots of scratching and licking, and unusual fidgeting or whimpering. You should know that these symptoms might be caused by other things so it’s always best to take your dog to a vet.

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What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are tiny, insidious, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They are nocturnal and typically hide during the day in the cracks and crevices of homes, in closets and clothes, and in beds and bedding.  Bed bugs feed at night.  Like mosquitos, they are attracted by the body heat and CO2 given off by people and pets.

Bed bugs probably don’t transmit diseases to humans or animals.  But, bed bug bites can cause allergic reactions, nasty skin itching, general discomfort, and serious infections due to frequent scratching.

Bed bug infestations are very hard to get rid of once they invade a property.  These nocturnal insects can live for months without feeding and typically hide in large numbers in small, dark spaces.  This makes them hard to see and eliminate even for professional pest services.

do bed bugs bite dogs? Image showing a bed bug under sheet

Do Bed Bugs Bite Dogs?

Yes, bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and warm-blooded animals like pet dogs. While they are known to bite humans, pet owners often ask if bed bugs also bite their furry friends. Bed bugs don’t miss a blood meal so they will bite dogs when humans aren’t present.  Because bed bugs are attracted to CO2 and body heat emissions, dogs are just as vulnerable as humans. However, bed bugs don’t live on dogs like mites, fleas or ticks. So, while bed bugs can bite dogs, it’s more likely that they will bite people when people are present.

If you think your dog has been bitten by bed bugs, then look for small, red, itchy bumps on their skin. These bites are often clustered together and can be found on any part of the dog’s body. Even though bed bug bites on dogs are not dangerous, your furry friend will be itchy and very miserable.

Very importantDo not let your dog suffer and carry these pests into your home, take your pooch to the vet! Then, be sure you’ve completely rid your home of this pest.  Remember–prevention is the best medicine!

If you have a bed bug infestation in your home, it’s important to take steps to eliminate it as quickly as possible.  If necessary, hire a pest control pro to eradicate these pests.

Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites on Dogs

Bed bugs are blood-sucking parasites that will feed on dogs just like they do on humans. If you suspect that your dog has been bitten by bed bugs, then go to the vet pronto. It may be some other problem, but it’s important to know so you can treat the bites and prevent further home infestation.

A common symptom of bed bug bites on dogs is intense scratching. The bites can cause your dog to scratch and bite at the affected area, which can lead to hot spots or other secondary skin issues.

Other symptoms may be:

  • Red and swollen skin bumps
  • A skin rash or hives
  • Skin blisters or pustules
  • Hair loss
  • Anxiety or restlessness


If you notice any of the above symptoms, take the dog to the vet right away. Bed bug problems can quickly spread in your home.  You should immediately tackle the problem head-on and quickly in order to prevent a worsening infestation.

It’s important to know that bed bug bites on dogs can be hard to recognize, even for a vet. That being said, it is still important to keep an eye out for bed bugs in your home if you have a dog.

Do bed bugs bite dogs? Yes, they do, so always consult your vet if you suspect bed bugs have bitten your dog.  Bed bugs will hitch a ride on a person. luggage, clothes, bedding, and even a dog. They will infest your home if you are not diligent and this includes checking your dog for possible invading bed bugs at the same time you check for the usual flea, tick, and mite culprits.

Want more on this topic? Head to our post Can Dogs Carry Bedbugs?

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