Chiggers are the microscopic larvae of harvest mites or scrub mites. Adult mites feed on plant life, but the larvae or chiggers are parasitic; they feed on the fluids found in the skin cells of mammals such as humans and dogs. They attach to pores and hair follicles, inject digestive enzymes and feed on ruptured cells -- and cause small, itchy red bumps on the skin. While you may pick up chiggers while out for a walk, your dog can do the same and transfer them to you whether you went walking or not.
Avoiding the Uninvited Guest
After spending time out in the backyard or on a walk during the summer months, your dog can bring chiggers into the home. To prevent these bugs from hitching rides, apply regular flea and tick treatments. In addition to repelling fleas and ticks, these products also keep chiggers away. If you notice chigger bites on you or your dog, wash with warm, soapy water to remove the chiggers. To reduce chiggers in your yard, keep vegetation trimmed back and mow the lawn on a regular basis. Wash any exposed clothing, blankets or material to remove the chiggers.