How to get Rid of Pesky Mites on Any Pet

a dog and a cat laying together in the grass

Mites themselves are as annoying as lice on children- not only do you have to comb through layers of hair to find the tiny pests, but then you have to deep-clean everything to make sure they are truly dead and don’t come back to haunt you again. Mites can find your pet in a variety of places, mainly outside, but mites can and will travel indoors too if they smell a viable host.

The first step to get rid of mites is to be able to tell when your furry friend has them. Then, you must kill the mites and treat your pet’s skin so they don’t come back. Here we’ll go over all the steps to get rid of mites on cats, dogs, and little pocket pets like hamsters and gerbils. If one of your pets has mites, it’s likely the mites may spread- nip them in the bud as fast as you can to stop transmission from pet to pet. Pull out your magnifying glasses and scissors- here we go!

A tabby cat looking directly into the camera
Is your feline friend a little friskier as of late? They may be trying to rub mites off their skin! Cat mites go for the ears or the skin, so check them all over, as they can travel.

Finding and Fixing Mites on Cats

Ear mites are most common- watch out for itching

Mites themselves are obnoxious for sure, but with your feline friend the biggest risk mites pose is what they cause your cat to do- itch. If you cat scratches and itches enough, they may leave damaging marks and tears on their skin or even go through skin. Mites are not only terribly uncomfortable to your cat, but the itching they cause can irreparably hurt their skin and fur.

The most common mite for cats is the ear mite. If you notice your cat itching at their ears a lot or shaking their heads, they may have them. Other signs include dirty, bloody ears from mite bites. If these signs occur, you want to take your cat to the vet. You could clean their ear out with lukewarm water and soap, but you may damage their eardrum. Vets know how to do this safely. The vet will then advise you towards a mite medication.

You put the medication, like ear drops, in and around your cat’s ears for many days. Wait a week, and then go through the procedure again. It can take a bit to kill mites, and you definitely want them dead and gone. Worth the wait and effort.

Burrowing mites can also attack your cat- these mites attack your cat’s skin, burrowing in. Head to the vet immediately for these; your vet will prescribe an anti-mite shampoo or fur treatment you apply until the mites are gone.

A dog looking directly into the camera
Man’s best friend isn’t immune to pesky mites- but luckily for both of you, you can get rid of the bugs quite easily in a few simple steps.

Spotting and Solving Mites on Dogs

Does your dog suffer from mange?

Mites are very common in dogs and cause the skin condition known as “mange.” Dogs, like cats, have two common types of mites- ear mites, and skin mites.

If your dog is itching themselves more than usual or rubbing themselves against things in a harmful way, they likely have mites. This itching can cause redness and scabs on your dog, so you want to kill these mites quickly. Hair loss, dandruff, irritation, and scratching are other signs of mites.

You may be able to see the mites if you part your dog’s hair and look closely. A vet will be able to further verify and help you out. You can always try to fix your dog’s mites at home with medication, but a vet will be able to figure out exactly what kind of mite your dog has to better prescribe a specific medication.

Fixing dog mites is easy- anti-parasitic washes and shampoos do the trick! Your vet can lead you towards the right one for your specific furry pal.

Two rabbits eating grass together
Tiny animals aren’t immune to mites and lice- check to see how your hamster, guinea pig, or bunny has been acting lately. If they’re itching, take them to the vet.

Pocket Pets Can Get Mites Too!

Rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters- oh my

Signs your little buddy has mites include flaky skin, excessive itching, and/or crusty ears. You may even see the bugs on your pet's skin if you look closely. If your rabbit is picking at their ears, if your hamster is chewing on their skin a bit too much, those are signs.

Treatment for mites on pocket pets is akin to treatment for cats and dogs- pick up an anti-parasite wash or medication and follow its instructions. Patience is key here- many treatments take weeks to fully kill all the mites on your pet, but it’s so worth it in the end.

Head to a vet if you want to be truly sure you’re treating your pet right- it can’t hurt. They’ll be able to tell you exactly what ails your friend and give you the perfect medication.

If your furry companion has been whining more lately, itching and scratching and showing red patches of skin, they likely have mites. Before freaking out, take a deep breath and remember that mites can be easily killed and fixed. Simply take your friend to a vet or search online for anti-parasite washes, shampoos, or ear drops. Each pet is different and will react differently to treatment, so be patient with your pals- they don’t like the bugs crawling over them as much as you don’t!

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