Tick Control for Dogs

Tick control for dogs is similar to flea control for dogs. You'll need to take steps to remove ticks from the environment. You'll also need to keep ticks off of your dog.

Controlling Ticks Outside the Home

You can control ticks outside your home by making the environment less suitable for them. Ticks like leaves, debris, bushes and long grass; remove these things from your lawn, and from the areas where your dogs live and play. Do what you can to keep rodents, deer, cats and other animals out of your lawn, as these animals can carry ticks onto the property. Since ticks, unlike fleas, don't die off with the first frost, you'll need to continue working to control them in the autumn and winter, at least until the snow falls.

If you choose to treat your lawn with an insecticide to control ticks, do so monthly from April to November. If you find that ticks have infested your home, you can kill them with a flea and tick fogger.

Tick Control for Your Dog and Yourself

You can help keep ticks off your dog by reducing his exposure to long grass, bushes, brush piles and forested areas that provide good habitats for ticks. Check yourself and your dog for ticks thoroughly each day, especially if either of you has been outside and exposed to ideal tick habitats.

You should try to avoid areas where ticks might live during the spring and late fall. Wear a hat, long sleeves, and long pants tucked into your boots to keep ticks from reaching your skin. Tuck your shirt in. Choose light colors so that you can see the ticks on your clothing more easily.

Avoid long grass, bushes and overhanging trees. When you come back inside, take your clothes off right away, and wash them in hot water. Dry at high heat. Check yourself for ticks, especially on your scalp, and remove any you might find.

Using Tick Repellents

Sprays, powders, shampoos, dips and collars can all be good tick control methods for dogs. Sprays may be difficult to apply; the sound of an aerosol can may frighten some dogs. Powders may be dangerous if you, your dog, or any members of your household suffer from respiratory ailments like asthma.

Dips kill ticks that are already on your dog and may be effective in keeping ticks off your dog for up to several months. Some shampoos may keep ticks off your dog for a time after they're used, as well, though many shampoos have no residual effect and only kill ticks that are on the dog at the time of use. Collars can be very efficient, but some won't work if they get wet; read the label carefully. Apply the collar correctly; it should be tight enough that you can fit two fingers under it, and you should cut off any left over length so your dog doesn't eat it.

The most effective tick control for dogs is a topical once-monthly medication, like Advantage or Frontline. These medications keep ticks off your dog and eliminate the need to worry about tick-infested areas.