Fleas and ticks can be a real problem for pet owners. These little bugs feed off the blood of warm-blooded mammals, including animals like your dog or cat. When your pet spends time outdoors, fleas might collect on their coat, leaving your pet with multiple bites and increasing the odds of a flea infestation in your home.
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Ticks burrow their way into the skin of both pets and humans. They can carry and transmit several diseases, including Lyme disease, according to VCA Hospitals. Your best line of defense against these tricky critters is a pet-safe shampoo that will protect your dog or cat from being attacked by any blood-sucking insects.
Here's how to make an affordable, homemade tick shampoo for dogs and protect your pets (and yourself) against disease.
Make tick shampoo for dogs
You can make tick shampoo for your dog with a few basic ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen. To make the shampoo, you'll need water, white vinegar, and liquid dish soap (make sure it's a non-toxic kind).
Mix one quart of warm water, one cup of white vinegar, and one cup of liquid dish soap together. This mixture works well as a pet shampoo because the vinegar will kill fleas and ticks immediately. The dish soap helps the mixture lather up like shampoo. It will also smother any fleas or ticks that are on your pet's coat.
If your dog has patches of dry skin and you've noticed him scratching more than usual, try adding a few tablespoons of aloe vera gel to your shampoo. This can help moisturize and soothe those itchy patches. Just don't let your dog ingest the aloe vera — this plant is toxic to pets, according to the Pet Poison Helpline.
Once you've mixed up your shampoo, you're ready to use it on your dog or cat.
How to use tick shampoo
Place your pet in the bathtub and wet their coat with warm water. Next, squirt the shampoo into the palm of your hand and lather it up on the pet's coat. (You could also use a spray bottle for the shampoo, suggests the American Kennel Club.) Stay away from sensitive areas of the face (nose, eyes, and mouth) as well as the genitals.
Once you've worked the shampoo into a good lather, let it sit for five minutes. Then rinse it off and thoroughly dry your pet. For best results in repelling fleas and ticks, you'll want to bathe your pet with the tick shampoo every one to two weeks.
Flea and tick prevention for dogs and cats
Tick shampoo for dogs is helpful in killing fleas and ticks. Ideally, however, you want to prevent fleas and ticks from ever getting on your pets in the first place. Keep your yard trimmed and get help from a pest control service to find the best tick repellent for your yard and reduce the number of critters outside.
It's essential to deep clean your house — especially any areas where your pet spends a lot of time — to combat infestations. You'll also want to find a tick repellent for clothing and a tick soap for humans to kill any fleas or ticks that may have moved from your pet to you.
Another homemade flea and tick remedy is a spray-on solution made by pouring a quart of water and one cup of white vinegar into a spray bottle. Between baths, spray this solution directly onto your pet's coat, suggests Reader's Digest. You can also spray it around your home and yard to repel ticks and fleas from your home.
By using tick shampoo for dogs and taking extra preventative measures, you can protect your pets from fleas and ticks and the diseases they carry.