Ticks are foul little parasites that hide in your dog’s fur and attach themselves to your dog’s skin to feed. Because they feed for hours while attached to your dog’s skin, they have plenty of time to transmit whatever disease they are carrying to your dog. Ticks can cause health problems for your dog as well as others in your household, whether four-legged or two. They are known for carrying Lyme disease and other nasty diseases that can cause short term and long term health problems for anyone bitten.
Keeping ticks off your dog is easier than you may think. You can ask your veterinarian about flea and tick repellents from their office, but why fill your dog with chemicals to repel ticks when you can do it just as well naturally?
Essential oils have been used for centuries as natural remedies for various ailments in humans and animals. Essential oils are easy to obtain from your local health food store. These oils are highly concentrated, so they are typically measured by the drop.
Rose geranium is a sweet, yet strong smelling, essential oil. Because ticks live off their sense of smell, and they evidently do not like the scent of rose geranium, this essential oil works wonders to keep ticks away from you and your dog while being all natural.
You can place one drop of rose geranium essential oil behind each shoulder blade and on your dog’s tail to keep ticks away. This will need to be done every day as he heads outside. If you plan a hike with your dog, you may want to update the drops of oil before you head out for extra outdoor activity. You can also make your own tick repellent spray using distilled water, drops of geranium essential oil and either vodka or witch hazel to disperse the oil throughout the water. Use a ratio of 40 drops of geranium essential oil to ½ cup of water and 1 tablespoon of witch hazel or vodka.
Rose geranium is one of the most popular essential oils for repelling ticks, however, because of their strong scents, you also use lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, and lemongrass. Be careful using any essential oil which is citrus based because some essential oils are photosensitive, which means they attract the sun to the oil and can cause sunburn.
Natural Citrus Fruits
Citrus is a natural repellent for many insects. Citrus works against ticks too. Boil the peels of lemons and oranges, then let them cool at room temperature in the water for 24 hours. Once your mixture is cool, the natural citrus oil will seep from the fruit rinds and into your water. This water can be strained and poured into a spray bottle. Your citrus spray can be used on your dog’s fur and skin and around your house, in doorways, and in your yard. Cats do not typically enjoy the smell of citrus so they may not be as excited about a citrus tick repellant as you are.
Lemon juice can also be added to a spray bottle with witch hazel to ward off ticks as well. Adding peppermint oil to the mixture will help keep other critters, such as spiders, away from you and your dog too.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an easy-to-use natural tick repellant. You can add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar per quart of water to your dog’s water bowl to keep ticks away from your dog. Apple cider vinegar can also be mixed with water to make a tick repellant spray. Mix ½ apple cider vinegar to ½ water and mix before spraying your dog’s coat. If ticks are present on your dog’s skin, they should come to the top of the coat to escape. This simple spray can be applied once every morning before heading outside to keep ticks off your dog.
Upkeep and Maintenance
If you feel you cannot keep up with a daily tick repellent regime daily, you might want to talk to your veterinarian about medicinal tick repellants. If you are dedicated to a natural repellant, your dog can be free of ticks as other insects without harsh chemicals and nasty side effects.
If you live in an area where ticks are prevalent, you may want to check for ticks every day. Dogs living deep in the woods or dogs who are outside much of the day may need to be treated more than once a day. With dedication, natural tick repellents can work to keep ticks away, keep unwanted chemicals out of your dog’s system, and provide a sweet or citrus smell to your dog’s coat. Natural remedies often have multiple benefits, giving you more reasons to try a natural repellant for the ticks in your area.