All You Need To Know About Tick Prevention: The Natural Way
It’s that time of year again when those pesky ticks are on the rampage.
Would you like to know how to prevent ticks from bothering your canine companion, the natural way?
The good news is there’s a number of natural remedies you can use to make your four legged friend decidedly unappealing to troublesome ticks, which won’t detrimentally impact well-being. As a dog loving hooman you don’t need to make a decision about which is the lesser of two evils; ticks or toxic prevention treatments.
Read on to find out all you need to know about saving your doggo from being insect prey, the natural way…….. We’ve even got you a sweet deal with an incredible natural dog care company Dermadog. For the month of May you’ll get 20% off across their whole product range; all of which are 100% natural ingredients, free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oils and artificial fragrances. Simply enter the code PRODOG20 at check out.
Keep an eye out for our specific product recommendations relating to tick prevention throughout the blog.
There are three routes to prevention: dietary, topical and environmental. The best results are experienced when using a combination of two, or even three methods. Think of it like multi targeted protection.
Species Specific Diet
Healthy dog’s attract less pests, so to start with a wholesome, raw, species specific diet will go a long way to protect from infestations. In simple terms, a bones and raw food diet (BARF) is what your dog is naturally designed to eat. Feeding your dog BARF relieves stress on the digestive system and results in maximum absorption of nutrients to support a healthy immune system. The first step to tick prevention is to ensure that your doggo has a healthy, strong immune system.
If you’re not yet a raw feeder check out our Rawbellion page to find out why raw food rocks.
In addition to establishing a good quality diet there are a number of natural foods which when added to Doggo’s food bowl will render him as an un-attractive target to ticks.
These magic seeds have been used for centuries to treat parasites in humans and animals. These little seed also contain a heap of nutrients such as: amino acids, fibre, iron, copper, phosphorus and magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, folic acid and niacin. They offer:
• Antimicrobial support
• Antioxidant support
• Anti-carcinogen support
In addition to tick prevention they can also be used as a natural de-wormer. They contain an amino acid called cucurbitin, which paralyses and eliminates worms from the digestive tract.
Our top tip for for getting these little gems into your furry friend’s belly is to buy organic pumpkin seed powder, or blend organic seed in your blender and sprinkle on your dog’s food daily. A guide amount would be 1/4 teaspoon per 10llbs of body weight.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has been used for centuries as a natural medicinal remedy and as a dietary supplement. When we talk about apple cider vinegar we are talking about naturally fermented, unpasteurised, organic type which contains ‘mother of vinegar ’- a cloudy sediment-filled liquid which contains the healthful properties. Be cautious to check the label if you buy yours from the local supermarket, chances are it will be pasteurised and over processed thereby removing most of the nutrition value.
This golden liquid will rebalance the PH level of your canine bestie’s blood, thereby creating a somewhat less than appealing feast for ticks.
Far more than simply a tick prevention remedy though, it’s also a fantastic nutritional supplement which:
• Is a prebiotic and helps maintain the proper acid/alkaline balance of the digestive tract.
• Inhibits the growth of bad bacteria
• Helps to clean the blood and liver of toxins
• Helps prevent dry skin
• Promotes the growth and maintenance of healthy fur
Apple cider vinegar has previously been a topic of debate, due to the acidity. As with any dietary change if you closely monitor during the initial introduction you will soon determine any adverse reaction. The main concern is in relation to adding to an already acidic internal environment, however most dogs are notoriously alkaline, in which case ACV will help immensely.
If you’re concerned you can check PH levels yourself. The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog, author Wendy Volhard recommends using pH paper strips to check the dog’s first morning urine. “If it reads anywhere from 6.2 to 6.5, your dog’s system is exactly where it should be,” and no ACV is needed, she says. “But if it is 7.5 or higher, the diet you are feeding is too alkaline, and apple cider vinegar will reestablish the correct balance.
• Small Dogs (and cats) up to 14 lbs – 1 tsp;
• Medium Dogs (and cats) 15 lbs to 34 lbs – 2 ts;
• Large Dogs:
• 35 lbs to 84 lbs – 1 tbs;
• 85 lbs to 134 lbs – 1.5 tbsp;
• 135 lbs to 200 lbs – 2 tbsp.
Brewers yeast is also, not only a tick safeguarding food, but also a nutritional supplement that offers many potential benefits for our four legged friends.
Rich in B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, and B9) and antioxidants, brewer’s yeast promotes healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver function in humans and dogs. Loaded with minerals such as: selenium, potassium, chromium, iron, zinc, and magnesium, all of which are essential minerals for a variety of cell, organ and systems functions.
Scientists have tried to establish the repellent properties of brewer’s yeast as none of the vitamins or minerals in brewer’s yeast alone repel ticks and fleas. The consensus at present is that the interaction between different components creates the tick targeting power.
In large dogs, the amount of brewer’s yeast needed to have an effect may cause stomach and intestinal upset. Gas is the most commonly reported side effect in all dogs. Brewer’s yeast can interact with some types of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications. It should not be given if your dog is immunocompromised, prone to yeast infections, or has yeast allergies. It is also inadvisable for dogs with colitis and other types of bowel disease.
1 teaspoon per 30 pounds of body weight.
A few words of caution
When making any changes to your dogs diet be sure to pay attention for any adverse reactions during the initial stages of introduction.
If your dog is on any medications, check with an holistic vet or dog nutritionist before adding anything new to the diet.
Natural Ingredient Tick Spray
There’s a whole range of non-toxic tick repellent sprays made with all natural ingredients and essential oils on the market.
We recommend this insect defence spray and tick pick tool by Dermadog
For ProDog customers they’ve agreed a sweet deal too. 20% off across their whole product range during the month of May!
We love Dermadog not only for their quality natural products, but also their dedication to the environment; using strictly eco-friendly products and packaging only.
If you’re a dog loving hooman who loves to make concoctions yourself, you can create your own spray at home too. Here’s a couple of our favourite recipes
Citrus Repellent – Cut a lemon into quarters and put into a pint jar. Cover with boiling water and let steep overnight. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray all over your dog, especially behind the ears, around the head, at the base of the tail and in the arm pits.
Essential Oil Blend – One of our favourite blends comes from “Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils and Hydrosols with Animals” by Kristen Leigh Bell.
• 15ml base oil (hazelnut or sweet almond)
• 2 drops geranium essential oil
• 2 drops rosewood essential oil
• 3 drops lavender oil
• 2 drops myrrh essential oil
• 2 drops opoponax essential oil
• 1 drop bayleaf essential oil
Once all oils are blended, store in a dark coloured glass jar. Clear glass will allow light in which will alter the composition of the oils. Add 2 to 4 drops to neck, chest, legs and base of tail daily.
Herbal Tick Collars
There are also several herbal flea and tick collars on the market. Here’s how to make your own at home:
1. Buy a woven fabric dog collar. Ensure it isn’t made of plastic, or woven with plastic threads. Fabric is essential in order to allow the oils to soak in
2. Mix your oils in a bowl 1 Tbsp Witch Hazel
2 drops each of these essential oils : lavender, cedarwood, thyme, melaleuca (tea tree)
1 tsp garlic oil
3. Soak doggo’s collar for around 5 mins
4. Allow to dry overnight before putting on
5. Repeat once per month
Again there are a range of natural ingredient shampoos available on the market, so take your pick, look out for those with zero chemicals.
We love Dermadog Itch Shampoo
Don’t forget during May you’ll receive 20% off all Dermadog products. That means £11.96 for this shampoo instead of £14.95. Great deal right? Simply enter the code PRODOG20 at checkout
Or alternatively to make your own:
Simply mix several drops of Palo Santo oil with your favourite organic lavender shampoo. Let the suds sit on your dog for twenty minutes before rinsing to kill off those pesky ticks.
Is a non-toxic natural substance. It’s made from crushed fossils of freshwater organisms and marine life. Through a microscope, the particles look like minuscule particles of broken glass. Deadly to any insect, yet completely harmless to animals. It can kill fleas, ticks, lice or mites.
In order to combat ticks, dust doggo’s skin with diatomaceous earth. Make sure the area is nice and dry. Once wet it won’t be effective. An easy method to apply is to use an empty plastic bottle, cut a small hole in the lid, add the powder and squeeze away.
The powder should also be dusted over your dog’s bedding and any other fabric areas your bestie spends time in regularly. Leave for 3 days then vacuum. Any dead insects or eggs will be sucked up along with the powder.
Diatomaceous earth can dry skin so use oil based moisturising shampoo. Repeat this process weekly and additional times when doggo has been out exploring tall grassy areas, woodlands or near rodents.
So there you have it!!
You complete guide to natural protection from pesky ticks. No need for harmful chemical based treatments. Don’t forget, for best result use a combination of 2 or even 3 approaches dietary, topical and environmental.
Let us know in the moments below, or in our ProDog Canine Collective Community on Facebook if you have any of your own natural tick remedies.
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