Home » Bed Bugs On Dogs & Cats – Should You Worry?

Bed Bugs On Dogs & Cats – Should You Worry?

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Bed Bugs On Dogs & Cats – Should You Worry?

Bed Bugs On Dogs & Cats – Should You Worry?

Bed bugs are a common nuisance for humans and their homes, but did you know that these vampiric critters can also target our furry family members? Emerging research indicates that cats and dogs can be affected by these parasites, and the worrying news is that bed bugs may be able to live on them for days or even weeks.

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped insects which feed on human and animal blood. They are mostly active during the night — emerging when it is dark and returning to their hiding places once the sun rises. They can survive two to three months without a blood meal, and can travel quickly between rooms via furniture, clothing and even by hitching a ride on people!

Do Bed Bugs Affect Dogs & Cats?

Unfortunately, new research has found that bed bugs can also target cats and dogs. A recent study conducted by the University of Kentucky found that these parasites were able to survive on cats and dogs for up to two weeks. In some cases, they were even able to reproduce!

The authors of the Kentucky study concluded that, while cats and dogs can provide a short-term refuge for bed bugs, people should treat them as if they were harboring the organisms. That is, pets should be checked for bed bugs — especially after being around visitors who have a history of bed bug infestations.

What Are The Signs Of Bed Bug Infestation?

If your pet is suffering from a bed bug infestation, there are a few signs to pick up on. Keep an eye out for:

  • Bite marks: If your pet has multiple red, itchy bites, this may be a sign of bed bugs.
  • Strange odors: Bed bugs emit a musty, sweet smell — similar to cinnamon — so if you notice this coming from your pet, it could be a sign that bed bugs are present.
  • Shed skin: Bed bugs shed their skin as they grow, so if you find any left on your pet’s fur, this could also indicate an infestation.

How To Protect Your Pet From Bed Bugs

Fortunately, there are ways to protect your pet from bed bugs. Here are some of the best ways to keep them safe:

  • Keep your pet away from areas where you know bed bugs are present.
  • Clean your pet’s fur regularly. This includes brushing, washing and combing to limit any possible infestation.
  • Vacuum regularly and launder your pet’s bedding in hot water.
  • If you suspect an infestation, contact a professional to inspect your home and treat any affected areas.


Though cats and dogs can be affected by bed bugs, the good news is that there are steps you can take to protect your pet. Keep an eye out for any signs and take action if you suspect an infestation.

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