Not only do flies irritate a dog trying to rest by continuously buzzing around and attempting to land on the dog, but some types of flies may also resort to biting. Stable flies, blackflies, deer flies and houseflies are some types of flies that may cause an annoying condition known as ''fly strike.'' This condition is mostly found in farm dogs living near livestock. These flies bite the tips of a dog's ears, causing painful bumps, bleeding and visible crusts. These bite wounds also make a good place for flies to lay their eggs, which will hatch as maggots.
Test a small area of your dog's skin with the citronella oil. Some dogs (and even people) may develop allergic reactions to it.
Watch the area carefully. Look for signs of skin irritation, itching, scratching and redness. If an allergy occurs, wash the area with diluted dish detergent, the product of choice often used to gently clean aquatic birds affected by oil spills.
Mix all the ingredients together, replacing the 1 ounce citronella with 2 tablespoons of lemon-scented dish detergent if signs of allergy developed earlier. Place in a spray bottle.
Shake the spray bottle well. Call your dog to you and spray on the coat making sure to avoid his eyes, nose and mouth.