Note: Sawyer provided a sample to us at no charge in order to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
Mara here. Like Ronin, my dog does not like bugs! She hates them landing on her, buzzing around her, and of course biting her. I’m super intrigued by this Sawyer dog repellent. Ambassador Cheryl reviewed the product read below to see what she and Shelby and Ronin thought.
Hiking, camping, off-roading, climbing, trail running… if it’s done outside, we do it. When we decided to get smaller dogs, we went with Shiba Inu because they’re mountain hardy, fierce little hunting dogs. Shelby is true to the breed, and even figured out how to catch hornets midair with her front teeth, squeeze and give them one good shake, dispatching their stingers and killing them in one foul swoop! Ronin however, is… not. He would rather wait in the car or hide in the house than be outside with nasty little bugs. You can actually see his anxiety level rise; his ears pin back as soon as he hears a buzz, then he’s quickly spinning circles and snapping at gnats, flies and mosquitoes before making a mad dash for the car or house; even a steak dinner on the patio isn’t enough to keep him outside!
When I heard that Sawyer had made a bug spray for dogs, I was ecstatic about trying it! I admit that when I got the repellent, the “warning” to not apply to skin had me concerned so I researched it thoroughly. Permethrin, which is the synthetic form of a naturally occurring insect repellent found in chrysanthemums; it’s safe for mammals – including humans and dogs (the exception is cats) and is approved by the EPA. The human body breaks it down in about fifteen minutes, so it does not provide any benefit when applied to our skin; however, it can be used on dogs. The best thing about that? It lasts up to six weeks, so you don’t have to reapply it to your fur buddy every time you plan on going out!
To apply it, start at the tail end, spraying and fluffing the fur like your petting him the wrong way. Avoid spraying it on their faces or genitals. Work it in a little bit with your hands (wear gloves; this is a good reminder to not touch your eyes or eat with residue on your hands); the dog should be sprayed thoroughly but not to the point they are wet. I then keep Ronin entertained with the ball while it dries.
We sat to dinner that evening on the porch and good news: he was still hyper-aware but did not get up to run for the door! ]They next day we went on a hike that usually has a lot of gnats; Ronin seemed unphased for the most part and has been more likely to hang out in the yard with his sister! It has definitely improved his quality of life outside and has made life easier on the rest of us. I found that I needed to re-apply it closer to one month later than six weeks; however, this may be due to the fact that he is small and Shibas groom themselves like cats, so I apply the product rather conservatively.
In addition to being a great pest control for your dog, permethrin is great for treating gear! Our favorite annual camping trip in Colorado is known for biting flies; the views make it worth enduring, but just barely… we usually need to wear layers regardless of temps and it’s tricky to keep them out of the tents. Because we went during monsoon season this summer, we brought a cook tent which I sprayed as soon as we set it up. We went on a hike while it dried and for the first time in the six years at the site, had very few flies in the tent; it worked all weekend, in spite of heavy rains all three days. The permethrin can be sprayed on tents, packs, sleeping bags and even your jackets, pants, etc., and is a great alternative for those who can’t tolerate insect repellent on their skin. Just like on your dog, you only need to apply it gear every six weeks, or after six washes.
While you can’t use the permethrin on your skin, you can use the Sawyer Picaridin. It’s available in a small spray size or larger aerosol; my favorite though has been the individual size lotion packets. Their mess free and perfect for carrying in your pocket or pack; I make sure I always have some tucked away in mine, just in case!
I’m happy to recommend Permethrin for your dog and your gear, just $14.99, as well as Picaridin for you and your family members! Be sure to go to www.Sawyer.com to learn more about their outdoor products, see application instructions and for distributors.