How does DogArmor work ?
DogArmor is a bed for dogs protecting your animal against ticks, fleas and other insects by using minor amounts of insect repellent, allowing a long lasting protection with no risk to the dog’s or humans’s health.
Jurgen Swinckels, the inventor of DogArmor, explains it in his words:
“Being dog owners ourselves we have experienced the nuisance and dangers of ticks, fleas and mosquitoes. Since long have we been trying to find an available safe solution for long-lasting insect protection for our dogs. Unfortunately we couldn’t find it. Ultimately that was the reason for start developing a product that would provide long-lasting and safe insect protection for dogs. Several years of research & development and numerous prototypes later our quest resulted in the birth of the Dog Armor Knockdown concept
We were not very keen on using a toxic agent to assure insect protection. But while developing an effective product it seemed a “necessary evil.” After evaluating numerous different compounds we chose the Insect Shield® technology to add the required anti-insect property to our Dog Armor gear. Insect Shield is a patent-pending technology for treating gear and apparel which repels ticks, fleas and mosquitoes. The Insect Shield protection is built right into the fabric and lasts the expected lifetime of the product. So the Insect Shield stays in the gear, and not on the skin of your dog. Just what we were looking for! DogArmor is presently the only pet product worldwide that uses the Insect Shield Technology.
Only a small amount of permethrin is used in each Dog Armor Knockdown product, and it is bound tightly to the fabric fibers. Independent laboratory tests show that the permethrin remains in Insect Shield apparel even after 70 launderings. Similar to the dye in colorfast clothing, the Insect Shield active ingredient is designed to stay in the fabric. We are proud to have reached our set goals by inventing DogArmor !“
What is Permethrin and why is Permethrin the chosen repellent ?
Permethrin is a synthetic insect repellent. It belongs to the family of pyrethroids which are man-made compounds similar to the natural insect repellents produced by Chrysanthemum flowers (confusingly called pyrethrins).
It is an odorless toxin that is used in veterinary spot-on formulations and topical applications for animals. It is also a prescribed treatment for humans with lice or scabies. In numerous studies permethrin has been found to repel and kill a wide variety of insects. Permethrin is also the most commonly applied impregnant of textile products such as clothing and WHO recommended mosquito nets because of its margin of safety, its effectiveness and its durability once applied.
Finally, permethrin is on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system for humans!
What is the mode of action of permethrin?
Permethrin is a contact and stomach poison effective against many insects, including lice, fleas, ticks, mites and mosquitoes. It is a neurotoxin and causes sensory hyperexcitability, incoordination and exhaustion of the insect, by binding to voltage-dependent sodium channels of nerve cells and extend their opening. Permethrin is selective to insects due to the different structure of the sodium channels. However, it is toxic to fish and in high dose for cats. Permethrin is hardly absorbed through the skin, rapidly metabolized by ester hydrolysis, conjugated and excreted renally.
Why are the products available in color red only ?
Most products of manufacturer Pengolin are only available in red - precisely this hue is called "optimal protective paint" (Optimum Protective Color). This is based on the scientific knowledge that insects, in contrast to most other living beings, perceive colors only from ultraviolet to yellow - thus red hues can not be recognize and the dog becomes literally invisible for the insect.
Why can’t I use DogArmor for my cat ?
Dog Armor gear is solely developed for dogs. This is not because we don’t love cats! It’s because cats have a unique physiology that makes them unable to break down certain toxic compounds. Permethrin, the active ingredient in Dog Armor which is such an effective anti-insect agent, is one of those compounds that is not tolerated by cats. High doses of permethrin can even cause severe adverse reactions in cats. Therefore Dog Armor Knockdown products are not suitable for cats and we do not recommend using Dog Armor gear in families with dogs and cats.
My vet told me Permethrin is toxic for specific dog races, too !?
Several dog breeds such as Collies, Australian Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs and Border Collies are susceptible to a genetic disorder called MDR1. Affected dogs, when treated with certain common veterinary drugs such as Ivermectin and Imodium, are unable to pump out these drugs from their brains resulting in poisoning and neurologic symptoms ranging from tremors, anorexia and excess salivation to blindness, coma and even death.
Some of these drugs such as Ivermectins, which vets prescribe extensively for the treatment of parasite infections, are able to cause toxicity at only 1/200th of the dose required to cause toxicity in healthy dogs.
There are many publications about the sensitivity of dogs with the MDR-1 gen defect for certain active ingredients but so far none of them have reported permethrin or any other pyrethroids as a problem causing agent.
My vet recommended the effective spot-on-products. How does DogArmor perform in comparison ?
The Insect Shield technology used on Dog Armor Knockdown gear represents a responsible way of using insect repellents. The Insect Shield technology makes sure that insect protection is right where it is needed: around your dog. Dog Armor Knockdown products are capable of repelling ticks, fleas and mosquitoes with only a small amount of long-lasting active ingredient. The permethrin concentration that we use on our Knockdown gear is only 0.52% w/w.
By comparison, permethrin spot-on preparations for dogs are commonly offered in concentrations varying from 45 to 60%, and even up to 75%. These highly concentrated spot-on solutions have to be applied directly onto the dog’s skin. They spread in a thin layer over the dog and remain locked in the oil on the dog's skin. This process takes roughly 24 hours. During that time the dog should not be shampooed or get wet. Until the spot-on dries dogs should be kept off the furniture and away from hardwood floors. Treated dogs should not be handled, especially by children until the application site is dry and, finally, treated dogs should not be allowed to sleep together with their owners, and especially not with children. The spot-on formula remains effective for just 28 days against fleas and only 2 weeks against ticks.
Fortunately Dog Armor Knockdown gear does not require these kinds of precautions. This is partly because the permethrin concentration on Dog Armor Knockdown gear is only 0.52% and partly because the permethrin of Dog Armor is bound tightly to the fabric fibers. This not only ensures an improved safety profile but also an efficacy for more than 70 launderings!
So compared to topical insect repellents such as spot-on, Dog Armor Knockdown gear can help reduce overall pesticide and repellent use.
Do I have to wash my hands after handling DogArmor ?
The amount of permethrin that will stick to your hands after handling the Dog Armor Knockdown coat will be insignificant due to the fact that it is bound to the Knockdown coat nylon fabric. In addition, the human skin breaks down permethrin within fifteen minutes of contact with skin. This is also the reason why permethrin is of no value to you as a personal protection insect repellent when applied to the skin. Therefore no significant skin effects are expected from handling your permethrin-treated Knockdown coat. Nevertheless, from a hygiene point of view it is always advisable to wash your hands after handling the Knockdown coat.
Studies in animals have demonstrated that no skin irritation or sensitization should be expected following the direct application of liquid permethrin. Also the U.S. Marine Corps has not received any reports of skin rash after four years of issuing permethrin impregnated uniforms. In a controlled human study, permethrin did not cause significant skin irritation or sensitization when tested on 200 subjects so it’s safe to say that even this minor health risk is highly unlikely.
Is there any evidence that the DogArmor concept is effective ?
Yes. Research results show that the insecticide permethrin as a pour-on concentrate, whole body spray treatment as well as impregnation on fabrics is effective for insect control on mammals such as dogs and horses. Permethrin is applied to the Dog Armor Knockdown coat along with a polymer binding substance that makes the insecticide available to repel and knock down insects. Therefore it will remain effective for a long period, thereby withstanding a large number of washings. Consequently it’s not necessary to re-apply the insecticide as is the case with pour-on concentrates.
Can DogArmor be used with other tick / flea concepts ?
There are some situations in which using two flea and tick approaches together may be more effective than only one. An example would be tick prevention in a heavily tick-infested area.
Of course combining the Knockdown coat with the Dog Armor Knockdown bed or Dog Armor Light bed is recommended in such case. However, also other products may be used – for instance a Dog Armor Knockdown coat in combination with topical product – especially if these products are administered differently and have different mechanisms of action. Nevertheless, the Dog Armor Knockdown coat has not been tested for use together with other flea and tick control products than Dog Armor products, and no information on the safety and efficacy of using them together with other products is available.