All Natural Tick Prevention for Dogs

All Natural Tick Prevention for Dogs

Many dog owners today are looking for all natural tick prevention for their dogs. While these owners worry about the dog’s tick problem, they’re also concerned about the effects the tick treatments have on their dog’s digestive tract, internal organs and overall health, both short and long term. They’re looking for more all natural products to alleviate the problem. Here’s a guide to treating tick bites with all natural products.

Use Several All Natural Tick Prevention Products Together

When looking at the all natural tick prevention products, keep in mind that these products will most likely have to be used in combination with each other in order to provide effective coverage. A dietary solution, combined with a topical and an environmental product, provides broad-spectrum protection while avoiding the complications that introducing chemicals into the dog’s system and surroundings can bring.

There are many all natural tick prevention products out on the market and that can be made at home. The following, while not an exhaustive list, can give you an idea as to what products will work best for you and your dog.

Dietary Tick Preventatives

  • Yeast — Brewer’s Yeast comes in tablets and powder, with or without garlic. It’s easiest to give Brewer’s Yeast in tablet form, 1 tablet for every 10 pounds of weight. Tablets can be added to their food or tossed to the dog as treats. The tablets are chewable and dogs like the taste. The Brewer’s Yeast makes the dog’s blood acidic and repels both ticks and fleas.
  • Garlic — Garlic given as a dietary supplement makes the dog less appealing to ticks too. The smell is excreted through the skin and repels both ticks and fleas. However, garlic contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia in dogs. If you use garlic as your tick prevention, use it sparingly.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar — Apple cider vinegar adds acidity to your dog’s blood, making it less appealing to ticks and fleas. Add 2 tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar to the dog’s water bowl as a preventative.

Topical/External Tick Preventatives

  • Herbal flea/tick powder or spray — There are several herbal flea and tick powders and sprays on the market utilizing various herbal combinations to prevent ticks. Apply these powders sparingly to your dog’s coat.
  • Herbal flea/tick collars — There are several herbal flea and tick collars on the market, but you can also make your own at home. Using a web or rope collar or even a bandana, apply several drops of essential oils (Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Citronella, Lavender or Geranium) to the fabric and allow it to absorb. Reapply the essential oil to the collar weekly.
  • Citrus repellent — Cut a lemon into quarters and put into a pint jar. Cover with boiling water and let steep overnight. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray all over the dog, especially behind the ears, around the head, at the base of the tail and in the arm pits.

Environmental Tick Preventatives

  • Nematodes — Beneficial nematodes are a microscopic, worm-like organism that live in soil. They feed on tick larvae so break their life cycle and kill off the parasite.
  • Diatomaceous earth — Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic powder consisting of ground fossils, marine life and fresh water organisms. While non-toxic to humans and animals, this powder is lethal to ticks and fleas.

Preventing ticks doesn’t need to be a chemical based treatment. There a many all natural methods of prevention so your dog can live a healthy, chemical free life.

Tick ​​protection for dogs — prevention methods

It’s hard to miss all the tick prevention ads for dogs on TV, from pills to collars and everything in between. And if you’re a dog owner, you can’t leave the vets office without tick prevention being part of your dog’s preventative health plan. With the flea and tick product market estimated to hit $1.34 billion by 2025, it’s clear pet owners are taking disease prevention seriously. So why are more dogs getting Lyme disease now than ever before?

“Infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, is extremely common in dogs in North America, and is, unfortunately, becoming even more common every year,” said Global Lyme Alliance Scientific Advisory Board member Dr. Richard Goldstein, Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer of U.S. Diagnostics, Zoetis.

Why are tick-borne disease cases increasing in dogs despite a plethora of tick preventative measures, including collars, sprays, pills, powders, vaccines? The number of positive cases of canine Lyme disease has climbed by almost 40% in the last four years (from 245,971 in 2015 to 359,461 in 2019), according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), a nonprofit dedicated to increasing awareness of the threat parasites present to pets and family members.

Increases in the numbers of some other tick-borne diseases affecting dogs are even more alarming. These include canine anaplasmosis, which have nearly doubled from 117,203 in 2015 to 221,568 in 2019— and canine ehrlichiosis, up from 107,985 in 2015 to 200,410 in 2019. Keep in mind these numbers likely represent just a fraction of the actual number of cases.

Ticks are now a year-round threat

Dr. Mary Labato, veterinary internist and clinical professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, believes multiple factors such as climate change, reforestation, and new suburban developments that push into local fields and woods are playing a role in the increase of tick-borne diseases.

For one thing, not all pet-owners realize that black-legged ticks—the primary carrier of the Lyme disease bacterium—have become a year-round threat. Although winter is underway, ticks can still be found in leaf litter, brush and decaying vegetation—all areas where pets are at risk of picking them up and passing them on to you and your family.

Many people think that ticks die in winter and so they do not need to use tick-control medication during traditionally cold months, like January or February. But stopping anti-tick medications during the winter months is risky. Ticks are quite resilient and most manage to get through the winter just fine. All they need is one day with temperatures of 40 degrees or higher to emerge and begin searching for a blood meal. This past January, for example, in New York State alone more than a dozen days were sufficiently warm for ticks.

“In the past we didn’t expect to come across ticks in the dead of winter,” said Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, staff doctor at New York City’s Animal Medical Center. “But the past couple of winters have been mild, which means ticks are active for more months of the year, increasing the risk of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in pets.”

Moreover, Lyme disease is spreading to areas once not considered to be at high risk for tick-borne disease. Historically, ticks were mostly found in the Northeast and Upper Midwest. But starting in the second half of the 20th century, developers increasingly pushed into forested areas to build housing. Therefore, more homes and businesses now exist in previously forested areas, which are home to animals such as white-footed mice, deer, and chipmunks which host ticks. “Suburbia has now moved into fields and woods taking away wildlife-exclusive areas,” said Dr. Labato. “So people and dogs are spending more time together in areas where they come in contact with ticks both from the foliage and the wildlife.”

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According to a new study from CAPC, Lyme disease prevalence has also been spreading in states not traditionally considered to be at high risk for the illness. These include regions in Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee. Two decades ago, you would never have seen ticks, for instance, in Northern Minnesota, and now you do.

Tick prevention only works if used consistently

Dr. Goldstein emphasizes that in Lyme-endemic areas, every dog should be protected by their owner by “administering high-quality tick products and taking them [their pet] to their veterinarian to receive an annual Lyme vaccine.” However the use of the vaccines for dogs has been widely debated so talk to your vet about what’s best for your pet.

Yet despite the many anti-tick products on the market, some pet-owners are reluctant to use those that contain pesticides. Instead they may opt for a natural remedy, such as a product with essential oils, whose efficacy is unproven. There is no proof, for example, that apple cider vinegar, which is recommended by a number of websites as a tick preventative, works at all.

For that matter, not even highly effective brand name products will stop or kill 100 percent of the ticks your pets encounter. A 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiative surveyed 2,727 households in three states where Lyme disease is endemic—Connecticut, Maryland and New York. More than half had a dog, cat or both in the residence and about 88% of those households reported using some form of tick control. Despite this about 20% of households with pets still found ticks on their animals.

Veterinarians are quick to point out, however, that preventatives only work if they are conscientiously used. “Market research indicates that pet owners are not 100% compliant,” said Dr. Hohenhaus. “Just because pet owners have the medication doesn’t mean they apply it on the schedule prescribed by their veterinarian.”

Check for ticks daily

Moreover, Dr. Labato says: “With more options for prevention, we become complacent and rely on the sole activity of the tick preventative. But you still need to check each day for the presence of ticks on dogs, cats, and people.”

If a tick bites your dog, it can transmit Lyme bacteria. That’s why Dr. Goldstein also stresses the importance of checking for ticks and removing them every day. “Go through your pet hair by hair,” he said. “Look at the paws. Look at the ears. Look around the muzzle, the face.”

Dr. Goldstein also suggests setting up perimeter boundaries in yards. “If you’re up against woods in your yard,” he explains, “a barrier of wood chips or pebbles will prevent ticks from going across your property. They can be carried across it by an animal, of course, but at least they won’t cross such a barrier like that without assistance.”

“The most important thing to stress is prevention.”

Best Flea And Tick Prevention For Dogs – Reviews & Ratings!

Fleas and ticks are among the biggest nuisances for dogs — and their owners. Unfortunately, fleas and ticks can easily take over your dog. If your dog goes outside a lot or is in the presence of other dogs with fleas and ticks, his chance of becoming infected by the critters is even higher.

However, flea and tick prevention and control has come a long way in recent years. Your dog no longer has to suffer with the annoying pests, thanks to shampoos, collars, medicines, and more.

But, finding the perfect treatment for your dog can be tricky. With thousands of different types of fleas, some are bound to be resistant to certain medications. So, it may take a bit of trial-and-error, but the flea and tick preventions in this review are excellent products to start with.

Types Of Best Dog Flea And Tick Medicine

There are several forms of best flea and tick treatment for dogs. The best flea and tick control depends on your dog and your preference for treatment. What is the best flea and tick medicine for dogs? The most common types of best flea and tick prevention for dogs includes:

  • Spot Control. These medications are placed on your dog, usually between the shoulder blades and running to the tail.
  • Shampoos. You can bathe your dog with medicated flea and tick shampoos to prevent and kill pests.
  • Collars. Collars provide long-term medication to prevent and kill fleas and ticks.
  • Chews. Chewable flea and tick medication can begin to kill pests within a few hours after administering.
  • Sprays and Wipes. Flea and tick sprays and wipes can provide short-term solutions to controlling the pests.
  • Home Treatment. Home flea and tick treatments can kill the pests and their eggs that come off your dog to prevent re-infestation.

For the purposes of this article, I’ll be focusing on the best flea and tick medication for dogs in the categories of spot control, shampoos, and chewables, which are some of the more common forms.

Reviews of Best Flea And Tick Medicine For Dogs

Capstar Flea Tablets For Dogs

Capstar is a medication for fleas only, so I wouldn’t recommend it if ticks are present in your area. However, as a flea medication, it’s one of the best oral medications on the market.

Capstar is safe to use on pregnant or nursing dogs, and any dogs over 4 weeks of age. In about 4 hours after administering the chewable tablet, adult fleas will die off. If re-infestation occurs from hatched eggs or growing larvae, you can administer another tablet once per day until your dog is flea-free.

K9 Advantix II Flea & Tick Treatment For Dogs

K9 Advantix II is a flea and tick treatment that veterinarians recommend for most dogs because of its effectiveness. The monthly, topical application kills and repels adult fleas, ticks, and mosquitos, as well as all life stages of fleas. Additionally, it provides protection against lice and biting flies, so your dog has prevention against several common pests.

The K9 Advantix II formula will help prevent flea infestations in your home, since it kills fleas within 12 hours of application and continues to work for a month.

Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Treatment For Dogs

Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Treatment for Dogs is another popular topical treatment. Made with fipronil and (S)-methoprene, it kills adult fleas as well as their eggs and larvae. It also kills adult fleas and one dose protects your dog for up to a month.

Frontline Plus is recommended for dogs 8 weeks and older. And, your dog is able to bathe or swim shortly after using the medication, as its formulated to be waterproof.

TropiClean Opti Neem Flea & Tick Shampoo For Dogs

TropiClean Opti Neem Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs is a popular medicated shampoo safe to use on dogs 12 weeks or older. This formula is 70% organic and its main ingredient for preventing fleas and ticks is neem oil. Neem oil works to actually prevent fleas and ticks from making their home on your dog.

You can also use this in addition to a topical treatment, if you prefer, as its non-soap formula won’t wash away the medication. TropiClean Opti Neem shampoo will also relieve itching and burning from insect bites and soothe your dog’s skin with oatmeal.

Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Shampoo

Richard’s Organics provides a popular flea and tick shampoo save for dogs over 12 weeks of age. The natural formula is free of sulfate and paraben, so you don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals affecting your dog’s coat and skin.

This shampoo also uses no artificial colors or scents, and instead uses essential oils that are great for use on dogs. Peppermint oil helps deter pests naturally, coconut oil soothes the coat and skin, and clove, cedar, and cinnamon oils can help prevent and treat fleas, ticks, and mosquitos.

What Is The Best Dog Flea And Tick Prevention?

The best dog flea and tick prevention method depends on your dog and the area you live. With 2200 different flea species, not all will react to the same treatment. Additionally, your dog’s skin may have a reaction to certain flea and tick medications.

The best methods of prevention protect against adult fleas and ticks and their eggs and larvae. In doing so, your dog will be better protected against re-infestation if the eggs hatch.

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Also, consider the types of pests in your area. If ticks are a big concern, a medication labeled as “broad spectrum” can help kill a number of pest species and prevent them from infesting your dog. This video explains more about fleas and ticks and how they work:

Final Thoughts​

Flea and tick prevention is an important part of caring for your dog. In addition to being a nuisance, the pests can pose some serious health risks to your dog and family members if not treated properly. Although it may take some time to find what is the best flea and tick prevention for dogs, it’s essential that you do so.

Flea and tick medications come in a number of forms, from home treatment to collars and shampoos. For large infestations, you may consider talking to your vet about combining treatments for maximum effectiveness. The treatments in this review are great products to start with if you’re looking for the best flea and tick medicine for your dog.

Lyme Disease Prevention: Know Your Options, Protect Your Dog

Ticks are out and about! After a mild winter and now a warm early spring in many parts of the country, it’s suddenly tick season. If you and your dog enjoy a romp in long grassy or wooded areas, your dog (and you) can pick up these disease-transmitting parasites. They may even be lurking in your back yard. Last weekend I grabbed a couple that were starting to crawl on my dogs, and I picked some off my own arms too.

Ticks are disgusting creepy-crawlies at any time – especially if they attach to your dog (or you) and become engorged with blood. But they’re also dangerous.

They can transmit Lyme disease as well as other illnesses like erlichiosis, babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, bartonellosis … the list seems to get longer each year.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has named April “Prevention of Lyme Disease In Dogs Month” … and we’re all for preventing Lyme disease … but not using the pharmaceutical products the AVMA suggests.

First, take a look at the risk where you live.

Where Is Lyme Disease Prevalent?

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) declares on its home page:

CAPC’s map shows the forecasted prevalence for 2017

According to CAPC, endemic areas for Lyme disease are not only expected to experience higher caseloads this year, but are now expanding beyond the northeastern and central Midwestern US to include Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh, as well as the following states:

  • The Dakotas
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • Southern Illinois
  • Ohio
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee
  • North Carolina

The map below shows Lyme disease cases in dogs for the year 2016

By the way, tick disease is scary but there’s another reason for all this alarming data. CAPC is sponsored by … Idexx Labs plus a bunch of pharmaceutical companies – all of whom stand to gain from getting the pet owning population riled up about the dangers of tick disease (as well as heartworm and intestinal parasites). CAPC encourages year round tick protection as well as vaccination against Lyme disease.

So … just in case you’re thinking about using some of these pharmaceutical companies’ pest control products, let’s talk about why you should think twice about doing that. And then we’ll tell you about some safe and effective natural alternatives.

(Here’s another great article with more natural solutions to help protect your dog this tick season.)

Dangers Of Pharmaceutical Tick Products

These are the primary ingredients found in popular spot-on pest control products, and the reasons why it’s best to avoid using them on your dog.


Fipronil is the primary active ingredient in products like Frontline Plus, PetArmor, Sentry and FiproGuard.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pesticide Division has found that fipronil enters the body and can be contained in the fat, organs, urine and feces of dogs.
  • Pets treated with fipronil have developed skin irritation, lethargy, incoordination, dilated pupils, facial swelling and convulsions
  • Fipronil can also cause nervous system and thyroid toxicity, thyroid cancer, altered thyroid hormone levels, liver toxicity, kidney damage, whining, barking, crying, loss of appetite, locomotor difficulty, reduced fertility, fetus mortality, smaller offspring, loss of hair at or beyond the point of application, moist inflammation, chemical burn and itching
  • The EPA classifies fipronil as a potential carcinogen because it has caused benign and malignant thyroid tumors in laboratory animals.
  • One of fipronil’s breakdown products (fipronil-desulfinyl) is ten times more toxic than fipronil itself.
  • Scientists at Murray State University found that people can be exposed to fipronil when they pet an animal that’s received a treatment. Fipronil persists for at least 56 days on pets.

Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids

This group of ingredients include permethrin, penothrin, etofenprox, fenvalorate. Permethrin and etofenprox are in BioSpot Active Care Spot-on and K9 Advantix II contains permethrin.

Most people consider the natural alternative, the pyrethrins (naturally occurring compounds from the chrysanthemum plant) and pyrethroids (the synthetic counterpart), as less hazardous than fipronil. But that’s not the case. CPI, the Center for Public Integrity, found that from 2002 through 2007 at least 1,600 pet deaths from pyrethroid spot-on treatments were reported to the EPA. In addition:

  • An EPA survey of poison control centers found pyrethrins cause more insecticide poisoning incidents than any other class of insecticides except the organophosphates. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.
  • Pyrethrins can trigger life-threatening allergic responses including heart failure and severe asthma, brain damage and seizures.
  • Pyrethrins can cause anemia and disrupt the normal functioning of sex hormones.
  • The EPA classifies pyrethrins as “likely to be human carcinogens” because they cause thyroid tumors in laboratory tests. Farmers who use pyrethrins have an increased risk of developing leukemia.


Imidacloprid is in Advantage II and K9 Advantix II as well as the very popular Seresto Flea and Tick Collar.

  • It’s a systemic insecticide that acts as an insect neurotoxin and belongs to a class of chemicals called the neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides acting on the central nervous system of insects. Despite the claim of lower toxicity for mammals, it’s still a neurotoxin!
  • In laboratory animals, symptoms of acute (short-term) oral exposure to imidacloprid included: apathy, labored breathing, loss of the ability to move, staggering, trembling, and spasms. Some symptoms lasted for five days following exposure.
  • Also in laboratory animals, symptoms of breathing imidacloprid (for four hours) included difficulty breathing, loss of the ability to move, and slight tremors.


This ingredient is used in flea and tick collars like Preventic®.

  • It kills ticks by interfering with their nervous systems and can be deadly to dogs if they eat their tick collar!
  • Other side effects include low blood pressure, decreased body temperature, high blood glucose, dilated pupils, slow heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea or seizures.
  • Amitraz has also been classified as a potential carcinogen.

[Related:Why Essential Oils Outperform Antibiotics For Treating Lyme Disease In Dogs]

Convenient Oral Preventives?

There are three fairly new drugs in the category of oral flea and tick preventives:

Nexgard (active ingredient afoxolaner) and Bravecto (fluralaner) were approved in the US in late 2013 and early 2014. Simparica (sarolaner) was introduced in March 2016.

These handy chewable drugs are designed to be taken every month or three months. And while that may sound convenient, it’s a big problem.

The drugs work by destroying the insects’ nervous systems … and if they’re deadly for fleas and ticks, think about what they can do to your dog. And once your dog takes one of these drugs, if he has any side effects, you can’t remove it from his body … it stays in his bloodstream for weeks or months.

Even though these drugs haven’t been available for long, there are already reports of many side effects for both Nexgard and Bravecto (Simparico is too new for there to be any reports). For just a three month period from January through March 2016, several hundred cases of vomiting were reported for each drug. Other common side effects reported are lethargy and diarrhea. Seizures are quite high on the list, with 22 each reported for both Nexgard and Bravecto. Nine deaths are reported for each drug for the same period. For Nexgard, five of the nine deaths were by euthanasia.

So, it’s pretty clear that these products carry high risks for your dog and even for you!

Ingredient Summary

The chart below summarizes the anti-tick ingredients, common side effects and which product they’re found in.

Note: some of these products also repel fleas and other biting insects so may contain other active ingredients not included below.

What About The Lyme Vaccine Your Vet Recommends?

Many vets, especially in Lyme-endemic areas, highly recommend the Lyme vaccine. But it’s a high risk vaccine that can itself cause Lyme disease symptoms.

See also:  Fleas, Flea Facts and Flea Prevention in Animals

Humans are actually much more susceptible to illness from Lyme infection than dogs are, and yet there’s no Lyme vaccine for humans. Ever wonder why your dog can get a Lyme vaccine but you can’t?

Well, in the 1990s a Lyme vaccine, LYMErix, was developed for humans. But only four years after it was introduced, the manufacturer (Smith Kline Beecham – now Glaxo Smith Kline) withdrew the product, citing low demand. However, the real reason was almost certainly the adverse events associated with the vaccine. These included arthalgia, myalgia, pain arthritis, arthrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, facial paralysis, hypersensitivity reactions, thrombocytopenia, anemia, kidney compromise, heart disease and even some deaths – and one suicide.

Lyme Vaccines For Dogs

Despite the problems with the human Lyme vaccine, there are several Lyme vaccines for dogs on the market and they are just as risky for dogs as they were for humans.The vaccine itself can cause Lyme disease symptoms, and may also cause autoimmune disease in some cases.

According to holistic veterinarian Patricia Jordan DVM, the vaccine in this case is worse than the disease itself.

“The Lyme vaccine was never safe. The adverse events that occurred in people are happening to dogs every day but not recorded.

“There are cases of Lyme vaccinations given, the dog subsequently dying from Lyme nephritis (kidney disease) but no infective bacteria being retrieved. Why is this? It is caused by the action of the immune system itself: the immune cells, reacting to the provocative antigens in the Lyme vaccines, are capable of causing the pathology of Lyme disease.

“There is no justification for taking this serious vaccination risk with our dogs. The Lyme vaccine is all risk and no benefit; there is a high chance of severe adverse events like a lifetime of non-treatable arthritis pain just for getting the jab in the first place.”

Even the New York Times wrote about the need for caution in using the Lyme vaccine for dogs, in an article in June 1991.

Dr Michael Garvey of the Animal Medical Center in New York said that within days or weeks after being vaccinated, some dogs suffer temporary Lyme-like symptoms, making him reluctant to use the vaccine in elderly patients or dogs with chronic disease.

The article also stated, “Scientists have also raised concerns about possible longer-term dangers. Evidence is growing that some ill effects of Lyme disease in humans are not caused by the bacterium directly, but by the responses to it of the body’s immune system — autoimmune effects — said Dr. Richard H. Jacobson, a veterinary scientist at Cornell University. In theory, he vaccine might promote similar effects over time, he said.”

Despite the fact that many veterinarians recommend and even push Lyme vaccines, it’s clear that there’s a high risk trade-off if you choose to vaccinate your dog against Lyme disease. And even if you do, it won’t protect against other tick-borne diseases that may be more common where you live.

The Best Prevention

So how do you protect your dog from Lyme disease as well as other tick-borne diseases? Prevention may be better than cure, but the best method of prevention is to keep the ticks off your dog!

Fortunately there are a number of natural alternatives to keep ticks, fleas and other biting insects off your dog. Keep reading to learn about some easy home remedies.

And always check your dog for ticks after he’s been out playing in wooded or grassy areas. If you remove the ticks within 24-36 hours they’re less likely to transmit disease.

Home Tick Repellent Remedies

There are many commercially available natural remedies you can use to spray on your dog to keep the ticks off, but here are some easy things you can do at home. If you’re using these homemade remedies, it’s a good idea to use more than one. For example, feed garlic and also use the tick shampoo or citrus spray.


Feeding your dog some organic, raw garlic every day can help keep the pests away. It’s safe in moderate amounts as listed below. Peel and chop the garlic and let it sit for 15 minutes before adding it to your dog’s food. This releases allicin, the active ingredient in garlic.

Using a level measuring spoon, feed the following amount per day, according to your dog’s weight.

  • 5 lbs ⅙ tsp
  • 10 lbs ⅓ tsp
  • 15 lbs ½ tsp
  • 20 lbs ⅔ tsp
  • 30 lbs 1 tsp

Caution: Don’t use garlic in pregnant females, for puppies under 6 months, or for Akitas and Shiba-Inus who are sensitive to the hemolytic effects of garlic.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) makes your dog’s blood less appealing to ticks (as well as fleas). Buy organic ACV if you can, and add 2 tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food or water bowl as a preventative.

Diatomaceous Earth

DE is a natural mineral compound. To us it’s just a dust, but to insects it’s razor sharp and cuts them. If they eat DE it shreds their insides. Using care to keep it away from your dog’s mouth and eyes, sprinkle DE on your dog, pulling back the hair to get it on the skin. Always use food grade diatomaceous earth (DE), never pool grade (which has been heat treated and can be toxic).

Tick Repellent Powder

You can also combine DE with two powdered herbs well known for their insect repellent properties: Neem and Yarrow. Combine equal quantities of DE, powdered Neem and Yarrow, and rub the mixture into your dog’s skin – again, pulling back the hair to get it on the skin. A little goes a long way – about 1 tsp should cover a medium sized dog. Here’s more detail about these ingredients.

Homeopathic Ledum palustre

Homeopath Joette Calabrese recommends using Ledum if you find a tick embedded in your dog.

First remove the tick, using tweezers or a tick removal device like the Tick Key. (I love this gadget as I can keep it on my key ring so it’s always with me, and it works fast and easily). Dispose of the tick in a jar of alcohol to make sure it’s dead … they will crawl out of your trash can and you don’t want them walking around your house and back onto your dog or you! Read more about tick removal.

Buy Ledum palustre in a 200C potency (or 30C if you can’t find it), and dose as follows:

  • Give the first dose at the time you remove the tick.
  • Continue dosing with Ledumevery 3 hours for the first day
  • Then, dose twice daily for a week
  • After the first week, dose twice weekly for a month
  • Then once per week for another month

Joette says this many doses is probably overkill, but worth the extra effort to be certain.

A dose means 2-3 pellets tipped straight into your dog’s mouth but if your dog spits out the pellets, just stir them into a little spring water and use a dropper or syringe to put some on your dog’s gums. Keep the water mixture on the counter for 2-3 days and stir each time before redosing.

Tick Shampoo

Mix several drops of Palo Santo essential oil with your favorite organic lavender shampoo (Dr Bronners Castile soap is a good option). Let the suds sit on your dog for twenty minutes before rinsing. This will kill any existing ticks or prevent new ones.

Citrus repellent

Cut a lemon into quarters and put into a pint jar. Cover with boiling water and let steep overnight. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray all over your dog, especially behind the ears, around the head, at the base of the tail and in the arm pits.

There are lots of options to protect your dog from ticks and other biting insects … without resorting to toxic chemicals with harmful side effects, or vaccines that can cause the same symptoms as the disease itself.

(We have another great article featuring some great natural tick prevention solutions for your dog. Click here …)

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