Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Is insect repellent with Deet safe to use on dogs?
    aweisberg posted:
    I went camping this past weekend and used Repel 20% deet insect repellent on my 4 year old Jack Russell Terrier (12lb), only 1 quick spray. The following day, in the middle of night, she vomited approx. 3-4 times, mostly yellow/frothy vomit (resembled bile). She has been acting otherwise normal and no vomiting since, which was about 3 days ago. Is there any way that she could have gotten sick from the repellent? Should we see her vet about this since she appears to be acting normal?

    Thank you.
    Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hello aweisberg and thank you for posting.

    If the product was not labeled "Safe for Dogs" I definitely would not use it on a dog. I would definitely suggest you at least call your vet and touch bases about the incident.

    He or she can advise you whether or not your Jack Russel needs to come in and be seen.

    Keep us updated on how he's doing,

    Every dog has his day - but the nights are reserved for the cats ~ Unknown
    pilotmom737 responded:
    I work for the DEET Education Program, Washington. I just saw your post and consulted with one of our toxicologists. He assured me that licking one light spray you have described from her fur would NOT cause your Jack Russell the problems with throwing up. As a dog owner for many years, I sympathize with your concerns. My dogs throw up frothy yellow when they eat grass, eat sticks (which I try to prevent), etc. For future, do not use DEET on your dog.-- use Frontline or a similar product that you apply once a month. These products are specifically formulated for companion animals. DEET-based repellents are intended for use on the bare skin of people, not other mammals. The product label specifies use of these products. Animal uses are not among those included in the safety and efficacy tests that are required by the EPA for registration. Off label uses such as yours are not a good idea and are discouraged. Hope this information helps. Contact me at 800-789-3300 with questions or concerns. WIshing you aond your pet happy camping in the future. Jack Russells are GREAT dogs!
    pennparamedic replied to pilotmom737's response:
    I have been using deet for many years and I have always been instructed to avoid putting it directly on the skin. I use the full strength deet not the watered down stuff like off. The Army told me the same thing using the military issued insect repellent. I usually spray my boots and my outer shirt. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
    pilotmom737 replied to pennparamedic's response:
    I'm curious to know why you are using the 100% DEET instead of a lower-concentration, formulated product. With repellents, more is not "better", more is "longer." A 25% DEET-based product will last many hours (it varies based on your gender, body chemistry, ethnicity, and other factors) and can be reapplied if needed. It's intended to be applied to your exposed skin. You can apply to clothing (read the label first). There are also microencapsulated DEET-based repellents that are @ 34% concentration that will last 12 hours or so. For repelling ticks, the CDC suggests using a repellent with a minimum 20% concentration. For mosquitoes, concentrations as low as 5% will repel for up a couple of hours. Hope this information helps. Call 800-789-3300 if you have questions about this and I'll be happy to try to answer them.
    policetac replied to pilotmom737's response:
    pilotmom737 - I'm kinda hoping you still monitor this post.

    I'm one of those from the older school that knows DEET is really something Saddam got blamed for. Nevertheless, I've always been a bit of a swimmer save the occasional colorful lights. lol
    (Although there are times when you can actually feel it...(Yes folks, it's that strong)

    My question would be this.. Knowing that direct facial contact, over use, or direct contact with skin and mucus areas is verboten, could a very light second hand application to a large breed dog be allowable to treat "Beach crud" (Sand Fleas) for the short time until the K-9 Advantix shows up? This would be a ??Gotta look) 20% solution to the hands then rubbed onto the back haunch and some around the belly.

    Thank you.

    Helpful Tips

    Helping Hospice Patients Keep Their PetsExpert
    Pets are an extremely important part of our lives. And this is especially true when we are at the end of our days. What could be more ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    35 of 47 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    Learn more about the AVMA

    WebMD Special Sections