Man’s (or woman’s) best friend needs tick protection too, but you don’t have to use expensive chemical sprays to keep your pet safe. Check out our list of common household items that work as natural tick repellents for dogs, and what to do if your dog gets bitten.
Ticks and Dogs: Three Facts You Should Know
- Ticks can carry certain diseases (like anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever) that don’t infect humans but can be dangerous for dogs.
- Ticks are most active from May through August.
- Ticks are most often found in high grass and wooded areas.
Natural Tick Repellent for Dogs: Three Home Remedies
If you want to protect your dog from ticks, but you don’t want to expose your best pal to a bunch of chemicals, head to your kitchen. Chances are, you’ll find at least one of these natural tick repellents for dogs there:
1. Coconut Oil
Most dogs love the taste and the smell of coconut oil, but ticks don’t like the high amount of saturated fats that it contains. To use coconut oil as a natural tick repellent, rub a small amount behind your dog’s ears, on their neck, and on the inner side of their legs before going out for a walk.
Remember: To keep your dog protected, reapply coconut oil regularly, especially if they like to play in the water.
Many dog owners know that garlic can be used to keep ticks off their pets. But be careful: garlic belongs to the allium genus, which also contains onions, chives, and scallions. Plants from this group are poisonous to dogs in high concentrations, so if you’re using garlic as a natural tick repellent for your dog, be sure to only use it in controlled amounts. Too much garlic can lead to anemia.
3. Black Seed Oil
One of the many benefits of black seed oil (also called black cumin oil) is that it can be used as a natural tick repellent for dogs, both because of the high amount of unsaturated fatty acids it contains and the strong scent of its essential oils. But remember, essential oils are broken down by the liver. In order to avoid putting too much strain on your pet’s body, use black seed oil only in highly diluted form. Adding a few drops to their food or drinking water is enough.
Note: Don’t use black seed oil on dogs with liver disease, or that may be pregnant. Ask your veterinarian’s advice before use, since some essential oils can cause allergic reactions in dogs. When buying black cumin oil, make sure that it is the highest possible quality: check the label carefully to make sure that it is cold-pressed and organic. You can buy black seed oil in your local health food store, or online on Amazon**.
Important: If you feel unsure or uneasy about how to best protect your dog from ticks, don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian.
Tick Season: Things To Watch Out For
- Avoid high grass: Ticks like to lurk in high grass and in the brush. Try to prevent your dog from lingering in these areas, or choose a different area to take your daily walks. For example, instead of strolling through the woods, go to the beach or to an open field instead.
- Search your dog thoroughly for ticks after every walk.
What To Do When Your Dog Has A Tick
If you regularly use natural tick repellents for your dog, the chances of your pet getting bitten are much reduced, but if it does happen, here’s what to do:
- Remove the tick as quickly as possible. If you feel unsure, or if the tick is in a particularly difficult place, call your veterinarian.
- Use the proper tool. Don’t try to remove the tick with your fingers. You can buy tick removal tweezers at your local drug store, or on Amazon**.
- Avoid crushing the body of the tick: grip its head with your tweezers, and carefully pull it out.
- Disinfect the affected area.
- To prevent the tick from infecting any other person or animal, you’ll need to kill it. Ticks are incredibly robust and are difficult to squash. They can also stay alive in water for a long time, so flushing it down the toilet won’t cut it. To make sure you’ve really gotten rid of it, you can either burn it or place it in a cup with isopropyl alcohol. To avoid putting yourself at risk, don’t crush it with your fingers.
This article was translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original here: Zeckenmittel für Hunde: Diese natürlichen Mittel helfen.
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