Natural Tick Repellent

Knowing the difference between a tick and a flea can help you determine the best natural tick repellent or treatment path for your pet. Although fleas and ticks are categorized as external parasites, they are not the same. Fleas jump on and off dogs skin whenever the need to feed hits. Ticks attach themselves to dog’s skin in order to make a permanent meal out of the dog’s blood. Fleas typically feed around the tail, but ticks attach themselves to the areas around the head, neck, ears, and feet. And finally, fleas are wingless insects while ticks are related to spiders.

Fleas and ticks must be treated differently because one parasite can be fatal while the other can cause illness, but rarely death. Fleas may transmit tapeworm, which is easily treated through a round or two of antibiotics, while ticks carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). These conditions can lead to severe anemia, arthritis, chills, damage to the nervous system, paralysis, photophobia (sensitivity to light), diarrhea, and death.

Natural Tick Repellent

It is important to note that natural tick repellent alone might not be enough to protect your pet. Natural tick repellent should only be used as a supplement to treatments prescribed by a veterinarian. Your vet may prescribe prescription grade topical lotions, shampoos and/or oral medications or he might prescribe over-the-counter medications by brands such as Front Line, Advantage, Novartis, or K9 Advantix. The treatment method will depend on the size of your dog, the severity condition, and the region (ticks thrive in hot, humid weather).

Just a few common natural tick repellents include American Pennyroyal (also called tickweed), rose geranium oil, almond oil, vinegar, lemongrass, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, amber, and garlic pills. Almond oil contains sulfur, a natural repellent, while the other types of essential oils and substances mentioned above are unpleasant to the ticks senses. Again, these natural remedies may help repel ticks, but they are not 100 percent guaranteed to rid the dogs body of all ticks.

Removing Ticks from Your Dog

To diagnose or remove ticks from your dog, grab a pair of tweezers or forceps along with a pair of gloves. Never attempt to extract a tick with your bare hands. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease to humans and animals. With gloved hands, part the dog’s coat to expose the skin. Ticks have brown or black oval shaped bodies and they have eight legs. They can be as small as a sesame seed or as large as a pencil eraser. To remove a tick, grasp it at the head with the forceps or tweezers. Do not yank the tick. Pry it away from the dog’s skin slowly and make sure that there are no pieces left behind. Clean the affected area with alcohol and apply a topical antibiotic such as Triple Antibiotic Ointment, which is formulated specifically for dogs.

Vaccinations and Ticks

According to Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, more than 95 percent of cases of Lyme disease come from three distinct geographic regions of the U.S. including the northeastern U.S. from Maryland to Maine, parts of the upper mid-west in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and parts of northern California and southern Oregon. If you live in a high risk area, you should consider having your dog vaccinated.