May 4, 2022 by Pinnacle Pet
Pet parents are always worried for their dog, from what’s in their food to the chemicals they use in the yard against pests. Which leads to the idea of trying to find natural options instead of chemicals. Luckily there are several types of natural repellents and preventative measures you can take to protect your dog during flea and tick season. Also keep in mind that instead of using one or two preventative steps, use a combination of several to be most effective. So here are some easy ways to get started!
The easiest and cheapest way to kill fleas and ticks is simple, use shampoo. Having your dog take a bath regularly is actually good for your pets overall health. So using a flea and tick shampoo during your regular bath schedules is an easy way to protect your pup. You can even save more money by creating your own shampoo with a few easy ingredients.
Instead of buying a flea collar at the store, you can actually make one yourself with cotton or nylon fabric that is soaked in a diluted solution of essential oils and water. Lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, and cedar oils are naturally repellent against fleas and ticks. The mixture does have to be reapplied weekly.
Lots of dog owners love to dress up their pup in adorable clothing but did you know the clothing can also help to keep ticks from latching on to your dog’s body as they pass by? Using old t-shirts and socks will help keep ticks off and while it won’t keep every tick and flea off, it will slow them down, hopefully enough for you to spot and remove them before they find a place to bite. Using bright color clothing can also help make ticks easy to spot!
Another easy and natural way is to simply add apple cider vinegar or garlic to your pet’s diet. Just be sure to check with your vet before adding something new to your dog’s diet as adding too much garlic can cause serious issues or your pet could have an allergic reaction to an ingredient.
If you are interested in making your own pest repellent, use citrus based recipes to put into a spray bottle. Be sure to cover important areas like behind the ears, around the head, at the base of the tail, and in the armpits.
To help control the population of fleas, ticks, and mosquitos in your yard, establish a regular mowing and trimming schedule. Ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and other parasites thrive in moist, shaded areas, so removing leaf litter, overgrown brush, and tall grass is key to making sure they don’t feel at home. Using cedar chips mulch is also helpful if you decide to mulch your garden or landscape as cedar is naturally tick-repellent due to its oils.
Another great tip for protecting your dog, and yourself, from ticks is to take a lint roller with you when you’re out for a walk with your dog. The sticky tape is an easy way to remove ticks from your skin, clothing, and your dog’s fur before they find a place to bite. On your way back inside, and if your dog is allowed inside your home, be sure to rinse your dog using an outdoor hose as it will help reduce the possibility of transferring any insects to your carpet or couches.
The good news is, your risk of a flea/tick infestation is closely related to the cleanliness of your home. So the less food available to any pests means the less chance they have to survive if they do make it into your home. It is recommended to wash the bed and all bedding materials of your pets in laundry soap and hot water then heat dry as often as twice per week. If your pets sleep with you or in blankets on the couch this means you also need to wash your own bedding as well as any other blankets and furniture covers. Completely vacuuming the sofas and carpets on a regular basis will also help to control the population of fleas. Remember to always dispose of the content in the vacuum, since fleas can continue to live (and possibly escape from) inside the container.
Using nature is a perfect way to repel a range of harmful pests. There are several plants safe for dogs that also have natural insect repelling properties or you can buy/raise insects like ladybugs which eat other harmful insects such as fleas. You can also raise domestic chickens and other birds or promote habitats for encourage wild birds to stick around and eat their fill of ticks and other insects.
When it comes to preventing illness from ticks and fleas, your dog’s health and immune system is critical. So not only does washing and grooming help remove harmful pests but it also helps maintain your dog’s overall health. Check with your vet for recommended bathing schedules as it differs between breeds. Consider adding a type of dietary supplement, such as local honey, for immune support and a natural allergy remedy too! A healthy immune system is necessary for preventing infections from the various diseases from ticks and fleas.
Be sure to treat your dogs all at the same time if you have multiple pets living in the same area. The problem will only spread from one dog to another if the problem isn’t handled completely with additional precautions. So keep the tick and flea season in mind while out playing as keeping your dog away from other dogs can also help your pup from the risks of ticks and fleas. If you have any questions or concerns, always check with your vet to find the preventive that fits with your dog as there are several factors to consider, such as your pet’s age, health, breed, and even any potential allergies.