They’ll tell you the best line of defense against ticks on your pets is a chemical repellent. What isn’t well advertised is that some ticks will be resistant to it: you can get around that by adding a spray for after you’ve been out, and reapplying as needed. You can also add to your chemical defense by spraying your yard.
Or, you can use a heavy dose of prevention as well as a few natural tricks:
-Clear debris around your yard, and keep it trimmed and tidy to discourage ticks from getting your dog when he’s out. Depending on your climate, research strongly scented plants you can plant to help keep pests away (mint, citrus, eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender…).
-You can also use these same strong scents to make a natural tick collar.
-If you live in a tick infested area, check your dog daily. If you catch a tick bite early, you might be able to prevent the transmission of disease, and you’ll at least know to watch for it. Check your dog after walks.
-Dogs who go on walks/runs/hikes are more at risk. You can help by avoiding tall grass, weeds, and debris.
-Keep your dog well groomed—hair brushed, short, and shampooed regularly with a strong eucalyptus or citrus smelling shampoo. The smell will keep the pests away, and well brushed hair makes it easy to search for ticks.
-Talk to your vet about feeding your dog brewer’s yeast and apple cider vinegar to help him taste bad to fleas and ticks.
-Have you vet do a tick check whenever you have a visit.
Failing the above, watch for signs of Lyme Disease (which could take months to appear). In dogs, symptoms include swollen joints, fever, and out of character behavior. Any illness should be evaluated by your vet, as there are other diseases that ticks can spread.
And remember! You’re at risk too. Ticks on dogs can be brought into the home, and if you’re not careful removing a tick, you risk spreading whatever disease it carries.
How do you protect your dog from ticks? Do you go natural, or for the mainstream chemical route?