Can Dogs Carry Bed Bugs?
[Everything you need to know]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

So you just found out that your dog has bed bugs. What next? You need to understand how they turn up, survive, and what steps you can take to get rid of them.

Without any delay, let’s get right into it.

What Are Bed Bugs?

A bed bug, scientifically known as Cimex lectularius, is a blood-sucking insect found worldwide. Bed bugs are most commonly found in warm temperate regions of the world due to the warmth and availability of potential hosts. There are also tropical bed bug populations in more arid and sandy areas. 

The female bed bug can lay up to five eggs per day and up to 200 eggs in her lifetime. Bed bugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but rather their eggs are commonly laid on any protected surface that is available, including the cracks in furniture or seams of mattresses. 

Bed bug bites are not poisonous, but rather they are extremely itchy and can cause skin irritations. They will also cause skin rashes in some individuals. The color of the bed bug can range from red or brown to yellow or gray. Bed bugs have no wings and are about 4-7 mm in length when fully grown.

Can Dogs Carry Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are mainly found in warm temperate regions of the world and can be found commonly in hotels, motels, apartments, shelters, and even schools. These insects can hide almost anywhere that there is warmth and darkness, including under mattresses or behind picture frames. 

Beds are one of their favorite hiding spots because they like to lay their eggs in the seams of a mattress or the fabric of pillows. Some individuals will even find bed bugs living inside televisions or radios because they like to hide there as well. 

If you have a pet dog, you are at risk of having them carry bed bugs. Dogs can pick up bed bugs from their environments and bring them into their own homes. They may also find bed bug eggs in less protected areas like underneath furniture or cracks and crevices in the baseboards and walls. Bed bugs can also be brought into your home by moving furniture and luggage.

Dogs may experience a variety of symptoms if they are carrying bed bugs. These symptoms may include, Hair loss on the affected areas of the body (legs, stomach, neck), Itchy skin/scratching/rubbing to relieve itching, rash-like lesions on the skin Infections secondary to scratching.

Although these symptoms are common, their severity can vary. Some dogs may only have a few of these symptoms, while others will have several of them. While they can occur in any breed, they are most commonly seen in small dogs like the Chihuahua with lesser hair.

Information about where the dog has been staying and what they have been doing will help to take a deeper look into if your pet was exposed and if they may have brought any infestation in with them. 

How do you get rid of bed bugs on your dog?

Bed bugs are not poisonous but rather itchy. Their bites can cause irritation to the skin of an affected animal, which will make them scratch their skin frequently. This will sometimes result in skin infections, as well as general discomfort for your dog.


Firstly, make sure that your dog is protected from being bitten by using a special collar that can stop the bed bug from getting close to them. One way of doing this is by using protective gear like insect repellent dog collars. 

There are several collars on the market which are designed specifically for this purpose. Your vet will be able to recommend one if you aren’t already familiar with them.

Secondly, be sure to inspect your dog’s bedding for signs of bed bugs. If you find any reason why a beg bug might come there, be sure to remove it as well as the possible source of the infestation. This can include your dog’s bed linens and blankets, as well as their pillow or favorite toy. No time for emotional attachments!

Thirdly, be sure that your dog is not exposed to any suspected infested materials which might have been brought into the home by visiting guests or people in the house. Avoid allowing your dog to roam throughout the house and keep them separated from these objects during their stay in your home.  

Adams Flea and Tick Collar For Dogs

Fourthly, it is highly recommended that you vacuum and clean regularly, especially at night, because this is when a bed bug is most active and visible.

Fifth, it is also recommended that you use steam or high heat to treat your dog’s bedding, toys, and blankets. You can purchase a steam cleaner from a local department store online or you can simply buy a regular household steamer that will do the job just as effectively.

Lastly, you should also be sure to treat any other surface areas of your home where your dog usually spends time, which may be harboring bed bugs. This includes items such as carpets, rugs, and mattresses.

If these items are infested with a bed bug or many, they can easily transfer from one place to another, from your stuff to your dog’s stuff, or the other way round. So this needs to be done with caution.

Cleaning, Hygiene, and a regular bath for your dog are your best friends! Brush and Bath your dog as regularly and thoroughly as possible. Your furry friend might be hiding many other tiny friends under their coat, so get cleaning and scrubbing!


How to get rid of bed bugs on your dog? The Cure.

If it is suspected that your dog has bed bugs, there are several potential health risks. It is important to know how to treat this situation the earliest in order to avoid any serious health complications from occurring. 

Hot is Clear

The hotter the temperature, the better the chances of bed bugs dying. Bed bugs don’t die when they are cold.

If you are concerned about your infestation, even in a hot climate, you should use a heater to heat up bed bugs’ hiding places and make them more uncomfortable. This can also help kill any other insects that might be living there with them, like roaches and ants. 

If you are in a cold climate, it is important to heat up the bedding and wash your dog’s bedding materials. This will help kill any remaining bed bugs and other insects that may have survived being boiled. 

Most importantly, always keep all items used for your dog beds or bedding away from other people’s pets. If you do not want your pet to be exposed to bed bugs, do not allow these items to be anywhere close to other pets. 

Bed bugs are infamous for spreading from one animal to another very easily.


Many of my customers realize too late that they have bed bugs living with and around their pets. And what they want to know is what will instantly kill bed bugs? You too? Well, I got you.

Bed bug powders or granules are a good option to use against bed bugs. These insecticides can be used outside of your home or even inside. 

They come with various formulas and strengths, so you can select the one that will deliver the best results for you, according to your requirements.

Some popular ones are the Defence Bed Bug Killer and this odorless bed bug and egg killer spray.

HARRIS Bed Bug and Egg Killer

Wash Off

While bed bugs by themselves are not that harmful to your pet, the scratching and irritation to the skin are what make it supremely dangerous. Your pet won’t pause and be patient with the itchiness, and that’s going to increase the problem.

At such times, you must go beyond your dog’s normal hygiene routine and add some extra strong (but safe) products to their skincare inventory. 

My favorites are this vet clinical care shampoo for pets (please consult your vet before using it) and this one that works on fleas, ticks, and other pests.

SENTRY Oatmeal Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs


There are multiple ways in which you can choose to get rid of bed bugs. It is essential to act fast and use the best methods and products available. 

Bed bugs are known for spreading very easily, but using the right method, it should be relatively easy for you to eliminate their presence from your home, and particularly your dog’s space.