You don’t have to be a dog owner to understand the problem ticks pose. In fact, it doesn’t take venturing into deep brush or grass to encounter ticks – they can be anywhere, from short grass to your neighborhood plants. Here you will learn about some of the best dog tick home remedies. A tick bite’s effects can be devastating; diseases from Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, to Rocky Mountain spotted fever, to name a few.
Unfortunately, there are many different ticks, making disease transmission and risk of infection substantially higher in some geographic areas than in others. In fact, the chance for you and your dog to develop an illness depends on many factors, including the specific type of tick and how long the tick was attached to the skin.
Table of Contents
- Common Species of Ticks
- How to Remove a Tick
- Natural Tick Remedies for Your Dog
- How to Get Rid of Ticks in the Home
- In Conclusion
- Read Next: The Ultimate Dog Fleas and Ticks Survival Guide
Common Species of Ticks
American Dog Tick “Wood Tick”
These ticks prefer to attach themselves to dogs as their host and can carry significant illnesses. They are a reddish-brown color and are typically seen east of the Rocky Mountains. These ticks become inactive during the fall and winter, preferring warmer months to find hosts. They are capable of transmitting tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Their size changes substantially, depending on whether they’ve filled with a blood-meal. Unfed, they are approximately 5mm long. After eating, the American dog tick can reach 15mm in size.
Lone Star Tick
The lone star tick is another type that typically attaches to dogs when outside. All three stages of lone star ticks will bite both dogs and humans, from larvae to adult. They are often found in brush areas, especially around creeks and river bottoms. Although these ticks are found all year round, they typically peak in numbers during the spring. A second period may occur in July or August.
Deer Ticks (also called “Black-legged Tick”)
Lyme disease’s common transmitter, the deer or black-legged tick, feeds on both dogs and people. Typically, adults will feed on deer (hence the name) and are found in wooded areas. These ticks are approximately half the American Dog Tick’s size, measuring about 1/8 inch long. There are possible reports that these ticks can transmit Ehrlichiosis in both dogs and humans.
Brown Dog Tick (also called “Kennel Tick”)
This tick is found throughout most of the United States, preferring to feed on dogs. It rarely bites people. These ticks can transmit ehrlichiosis, so it’s important to use tick prevention to prevent potentially fatal complications. Unique to this species, the life cycle of this tick can be completed entirely done indoors. They are often found inside homes or kennels, in cracks, under rugs, draperies, walls, and behind radiators. It doesn’t survive long outdoors in the cold winter environment.
The brown dog tick will typically bite between the toes or behind the dog’s ears to feed. A female brown dog tick may engorge to ½-inch long. After engorging, female ticks can lay as many as 3000 eggs in hiding.
How to Remove a Tick
While it may make you squirm, removing the tick from your dog is essential. Removal is first before using any dog tick home remedies.The longer a tick remains attached to the host (in this case, your dog), the higher the chance of transmitting disease. It also increases the likelihood of irritation of the skin. If you discover a tick, it’s important not to panic.
Create a barrier between your skin and the tick using disposable gloves or paper towels. The disease can transmit through the mucous membranes or by handling ticks. Use blunt tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the dog’s skin surface as possible. Don’t squeeze too hard, but ensure you have a firm grasp on the pest.
Use even pressure to pull the tick straight out from the skin. Do not twist or jerk to tweezers as the mouthparts may break off and remain in the skin (increasing the infection risk). Continue applying even pressure away from the dog’s skin, even if the tick doesn’t release immediately.
If you want to have the tick evaluated for disease-causing agents, keep the tick in an air-tight container with a moist paper towel. To dispose of the tick, simply drop it into rubbing alcohol or flush it down the toilet. Take time to clean the area with disinfectant and wash your hands with soap. Now, you can start a dog tick home remedies
Caution: There are many do-it-yourself methods for removing ticks from both dogs and humans. Some of these methods include petroleum jelly, matches, or “suffocating” the tick. These methods may increase the amount of saliva released by the tick, increasing disease transmission risk. As such, following these techniques is not suggested or recommended.
Natural Tick Remedies for Your Dog
Before you rush to the store to purchase a mass-produced commercial product, it’s essential to know that many natural dog tick home remedies are available.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt
Apple cider vinegar works by balancing a dog’s pH levels, creating an environment unsustainable for ticks. It is safe for your pet, creating an optimal condition for your dog’s skin. To start this dog tick home remedies, simply mix four cups of water to six cups of apple cider vinegar. Add a dash of sea salt (only add a small amount as this can dry out your dog’s skin). Spray this directly on the dog’s coat, taking care to avoid the eyes.
Any Lathering Tick Shampoo
If you suspect your dog has ticks, removing them prior to applying preventative measures is essential. After all, tick bites cause itching and irritation; it’s vital to resolve these issues before they progress.
It’s important to select a natural product when bathing your dog, as harsh chemicals can irritate the skin. Lather the soap on your pup from head to toe, leaving the product on for several minutes. Using this dog tick home remedies, ticks that have not attached or bitten your dog will suffocate, killing them.
A Lemon Bath
A lemon bath takes regular, pet-friendly shampoo and brings it to the next level of pet care. Simply dilute half a cup of lemon juice with two cups of water. Add a small squeeze of your favorite pet soap and mix well. Bathe your pet like usual, taking care to rinse well. This dog tick home remedies of tick prevention works by changing the pH level of your dog’s skin. As the ticks can’t tolerate the new pH level, they die.
Neem oil is well known as a natural insect repellent and tick treatment. This dog tick home remedy is a fantastic, natural solution to tick issues. This product can be diluted as a tick spray, added to natural dog shampoo, or applied directly to your pet. Make sure to apply the product between the dog’s shoulder blades, where he can’t lick the oil off the skin.
If you’re looking for an easy to apply dog tick home remedies prevention method, consider using the rosemary dip method. Simply collect a bushel of fresh Rosemary and steep it in boiling water. Strain the rosemary leaves from the boiling water and mix with several cups of warm water. Pour the mixture over your dog and let him air dry.
Coconut Oil Rubs
Known for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties, coconut oil isn’t just for tick prevention. To help with treating ticks, apply a generous amount of coconut oil to the dog’s coat. The lauric acid found in coconut oil kills and repels ticks. For additional protection, add one teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight to your dog’s food twice daily.
This method can be applied topically or ingested as a tick prevention method. For topical application, mix vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio. Simply spray on the dog’s coat. For oral ingestion, mix one teaspoon per quart of water. Mix the vinegar into your pet’s drinking water for added tick protection.
Everyone knows that garlic keeps vampires away, which may explain the tick prevention technique for these little bloodsuckers. Garlic can be added to your dog’s diet for additional tick protection, with the safe amount depending on your dog’s size and weight. Use no more than half a clove of garlic per 20 pounds of body weight daily. Do not exceed two cloves of garlic for any size dog.
Caution: If your dog has had a history of hemolytic anemia, avoid using garlic in any form.
Lavender or Cedar Oil
Rather than spending money on commercial tick and tick collars, consider making your own using high-quality essential oils. Lavender or cedar oil offers high levels of tick protection without the use of harsh products. Take a few drops of either oil and dilute in water. Spray the mixture directly on a cotton bandana or nylon collar. Reapply to the collar as needed.
Vodka Tick Collar
For dogs that are sensitive to essential oils, unflavored vodka brings tick protection without the scent. Simply soak the collar in vodka and allow the collar to completely dry. If your dog is not sensitive to smells, consider adding a few drops of oils to the collar as well, for double the protection.
Healthy dogs are less likely to be tick hosts, which is why optimizing your pet’s health is so important. Simply add a small amount of brewer’s yeast to your dog’s food as an effective tick remedy.
How to Get Rid of Ticks in the Home
If you’re looking for a safe, non-toxic method to get rid of ticks within your home, look no further than diatomaceous earth. Made of finely ground exoskeletons of fossilized sea organisms, it acts as a drying agent when in contact with ticks. Essentially, it dehydrates the ticks, killing them. If you’ve found ticks in sheds, doghouses, or other structures outside of your home, simply apply the powder to the floor.
This product can also be used within the home if needed. Simply sprinkle the product on to carpets, taking care to push it deep into the fibers. It’ll kill any ticks that may be lurking beneath the surface. This product is harmless to people and pets, although care should be taken not to inhale it.
Always Use Caution When Killing Ticks
While many pests can be exterminated simply by squishing them, the tick has a hard exoskeleton that makes killing them exceptionally difficult. If you happen to find a tick, simply use a pair of tweezers and drop the tick into rubbing alcohol or down into the toilet.
Identify Key Areas for Infestation
Ticks are drawn to warm, humid environments, particularly those environments that aren’t frequently disturbed. If you happen to have a covered, protected area undisturbed, consider moving the environment around. Turn over logs and rocks in the backyard, keep the grass cut short, remove brush and garbage from the area.
For areas inside the home, apply the diatomaceous earth to windowsills, baseboards, moldings, underneath cabinets, corners of rooms, and surfaces in warm, humid environments. Ticks can thrive in environments rich with humidity, particularly above 75%.In homes where the climate is controlled, ticks will typically die within a few days (without a host).
While ticks can cause a wide array of diseases and irritation, it’s important to remember that prevention is much easier to handle than dealing with a long-term illness like Lyme disease. Ensure that you use flea and tick prevention to limit the risk of tick bites when your dog is in high-risk areas.
Always take your repellant with you when out on hikes, outdoor activities, or walks through a well covered, brush-filled, or grassy area and reapply when needed. If your dog ends up wet through swimming or rain, ensure reapplication of your dog’s preventative remedy.
If you notice your dog developing any symptoms after a tick bite, contact your vet immediately. Many diseases are treatable (if not curable) if caught early. A vet will ask questions like the tick bite location, any notable symptoms in your dog, the frequency of symptoms, and the date you noticed the tick on your dog. Likewise, your vet may order blood testing to confirm or rule out any tick-related illnesses or diseases. Should the result come back positive, your vet will prescribe proper medications for your dog. Always ensure you follow the directions carefully to prevent reinfection.
Read Next: The Ultimate Dog Fleas and Ticks Survival Guide