Man’s best friend—none other than the loyal dog. From puppy to adulthood, dogs will always show their undying love to their owners. Even after you perfect the headache that is “house training”, you’re still not out of the woods just yet.
Dogs are curious beasts and will manage to get into all kinds of trouble. If you have a dog, you know this. You also know that sometimes you’ll run into problems like ticks. This one’s for those who are running into this little problem.
Here are some tips to help keep your dog tick free.
- Keep Dogs Away from Infested Areas
You’ll find ticks in dense, heavily wooded areas. Forests, overgrown shrubbery, any kind of brush really. They like to occupy areas flooded with dying leaves. I’m assuming you’re thinking about specific areas near home where your dog goes.
Anytime your dog goes into one or all these areas, they run the risk of picking up some ticks.
Ticks easily attach themselves to the hair or fur of your dog when they make contact to where they reside. Typically, this around 1-2 feet off the ground. A technique called “questing”. Essentially, they wait at this height for something to come by.
They use their heat sensors to pick up your dog’s body heat. Then use their legs to grab ahold of the fur and maneuver their way down to the skin. This is where the dig in and suck blood. They use the blood to feed and fertilize their eggs. Ticks carry the risk of disease too.
Remember, even at your home and yard, ticks can stalk and wait for your dog to get close enough. Be careful when letting your dog outside. It’s important to inspect your dog thoroughly each time they venture into such areas. You don’t want them to bring ticks into your home and feed on you and your family. Nor do you want to risk the diseases they can carry.
- Topical Insecticides
The goal with any type of preventive action is eliminated the risk of threat. Basically, you want your dog to be unappealing to ticks. This is where topical insecticides come in.
They are small treatments usually a liquid or gel based substance. They’re applied in-between the shoulder blades or behind the neck of a dog. It’s easy, and are the longest lasting fix.
For most of you, this is how to get rid of ticks. A single treatment can last up to 90 days. Just be careful not to let anyone touch the dog for several hours after application. As it is a poison and can cause problems if it accidentally enters the body.
- Tick Shampoo
Most of these shampoos will be dual-action shampoo. Usually you’ll find shampoo’s for both ticks and fleas. It’s nice to know you can eliminate two problems at once.
You only need tick shampoo if your dog already has ticks. Think of this as “the last line of defense”.
Much like normal shampoo, apply it to the hair and lather it in. Aim to cover the dog completely in suds. This next part will be a real challenge for those with dogs who can’t sit still. You must let the shampoo sit in for about 10 minutes. After which you can wash them off.
It’s a good idea to use a white towel underneath your dog, as white will better show how many ticks fall off your dog.
- Natural Repellant
For those slightly more health conscious, or those looking to save big, a great option is to use natural tick repellants.
Let’s start with anti-tick powder.
It’s simple to make, and can up last up to a month. Just combine three equal quantities of diatomaceous earth (made from water plants fossilized), neem powder (a mixture of a natural pesticide and Indian tree), and yarrow (wild herb used in skin irritation). Pour into a shake-able jar, and apply directly to dog’s skin. Make sure to fluff up the hair on your dog to expose the skin. It must be skin contacted to be its most useful.
- Homemade Tick Collar
Why spend the extra money on buying a collar when you can just enhance the collar already on your dog?
Exactly, Glad You See It My Way
This is a great and cheap way to match the results of bought tick collars. Only downside for the lazier folk, is you’ll have to apply this weekly to your dog. Possibly even more if your dog gets wet.
Again, this is just mixing some ingredients together and applying directly to your dog’s collar.
The citrus method is exactly like it sounds. You’re going to cut a lemon into an even four quarters and toss them into a pint-sized jar. Anything you have lying around works too. Next, you’re going to bring water to a boil and pour it into the jar with the lemons. Let that sit overnight and pour that into an available spray bottle. Then go ahead and spray it onto your dog. Focus on: the head, neck, shoulder blades, armpits, and base of its tail.
There You Go! You made it to the end and have learned 5 ways to help your dog not be bothered by ticks anymore. Whatever method or methods you choose, remember to just be smart. Know the dangerous times of the year for ticks. Keep an eye on your best friend, because they’re keeping a good eye on you.