Natural Tick Solutions for Dogs
If you decide to go the natural route for your dog rather than rely on topical, chemical tick preventives, it's important to thoroughly check your pet after every excursion outside during tick season. Going the natural route is far more time-consuming than using commercial tick repellents, but it's feasible. Ticks don't just consume your pet's blood, they can transmit serious diseases. Always consult your vet regarding your dog's flea and tick protection needs.
Cover Him Up
Ticks live on blades of grass, attaching themselves to warm-blooded animals passing by. If you take your dogs on walks through fields or woods, cover him up beforehand for tick deterrence. You can use an old T-shirt -- preferably light-colored, so ticks are easily seen -- along with socks that have the feet cut off to form canine leg warmers. Covering him up isn't foolproof, but it's a natural means of keeping the number of ticks latching onto him significantly down.
Regular shampooing -- as often as twice a week during prime tick season -- can keep these creatures off your pet. Use natural shampoos containing citrus and other tick-repellent products. It's not simply a matter of lathering and rinsing: You must keep the suds on your dog for a significant amount of time, perhaps as long as a half-hour, before washing them off. Besides shampooing your dog, weekly wash his bedding in hot water with natural cleaners.
The essential oil rose geranium can help keep ticks off your dog, according to the Pet MD website. You must apply this oil to his collar, not his body. Pennyroyal, also known as tickweed, is another essential oil with tick repellent properties. Don't use either oil on a pregnant animal, though. Herbal solutions, which you can apply topically to the dog, include mountain mint, which also is not safe for pregnant pooches. Another herbal homemade tick repellent recommended by "Dogs Naturally" magazine consists of equal parts of powdered rue, rosemary and wormwood.
Natural tick solutions involve more than just treating the dog. His entire environment needs maintenance. Keep your grass mowed short, and get rid of tick hiding spots, such as wood piles, in your yard. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your property to kill ticks. This natural substance dries out tick bodies -- you need the food grade, not the type sold for swimming pools. Indoors, vacuum your house several times a week. It's important to empty the bag and properly secure and dispose of the contents each time.