The predicted severity of ticks this year has been a tad exaggerated by some, but they’re always a concern for dog guardians nonetheless.  As with any malady, the best route to a natural solution for ectoparasites like ticks, is prevention.  Preventing them goes hand in hand with repelling them.

Natural Tick Repellants

  • Catnip (Nepeta cataria) – Contains Nepetalactone, a very effective pest repellent that even cockroaches don’t like.
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • Opoponax (Commiphora erythraea)
  • Rosewood (Aniba roseadora)
  • Bay Leaf (Pimenta racemosa)
  • Myrhh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) peel tea – Weak tea can act as a repellent without the risk of citrus oils. Most dogs are fine with heavily diluted citrus oil, but it should be avoided for puppies and seniors.

You can make a tea from these ingredients, use oils, or combine the two.  It’s important that essential oils be heavily diluted in carrier oil before being used on pets.  Dogs are much more sensitive to essential oils than humans. To be effective, herbs must be freshly dried and oils must be high quality. We purchase most of our organic herbs and essential oils from Starwest Botanicals.  If you prefer a manufactured natural solution for fleas, ticks and flies, holistic veterinarians often recommend Pooch Protect spray.

Dangerous Natural Tick Remedies

Natural isn’t necessarily safe.  Some of the recipes I’ve seen for natural flea and tick treatments are nothing short of alarming, while others at least demand extreme caution.

Potentially dangerous ingredients in tick recipes and formulations include:

  • Camphor (Camphorated Oil)
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Cedar
  • Rue
  • Thuja
  • Wormwood
  • Pennyroyal

Natural Remedies for Tick Bites

A combination of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Thyme thujanol and Hyssop decumbens essential oils should be applied after the tick has been removed.  The natural mixture will soothe, disinfect, and may help to prevent Lyme Disease. Wash the area, apply the solution, cover with a bandage to prevent licking and supervise at all times. Keep covered for two hours, then remove the bandage and wash the area thoroughly.

Kristen Leigh Bell, Author of Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals, suggests the following natural remedy for tick bites:

1/2 ounce hazelnut or almond oil
5 drops of Thyme thuganol
3 drops of Hyssop decumbens
8 drops of Lavender essential oil

Store in a dark jar and keep cool.

How are the ticks in your area this year?  What are you doing to prevent them on your dog?

Photo: André Karwath
Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Herbal Healing 2012.
Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s Life. 2009.
Engel, Cindy. Wild Health: Lessons in Natural Wellness from the Animal Kingdom. 2003.

You may also be interested in reading:
Dangerous Natural Tick Remedies (Infographic)
Natural, Organic Flea Treatment and Control (With Herbal Rinse Recipe)
Is Pennyroyal Safe for Pets?


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17 thoughts on “Natural Tick Repellents for Dogs (With Anti-Lyme Bite Recipe)

  1. I have found that when I treat my dog’s bedding with flea and egg control spray that he itches less often. That is probably because a lot of the fleas die when he rolls around in his bed. You just have to find a spray that is pet friendly and will not poison them. Im sure this method will help with any pets including ticks too.

  2. I agree Misty. We were so afraid from the reports of a bad tick season but we’ve only seen one all Summer. I’m not complaining either.

  3. This summer wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be and I didn’t see any ticks on either of my dogs. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. I hate ticks! I don’t know why the world needs parasites and would like to get rid of them all including the human variety 😉

  5. Unfortunately we encounter ticks frequently so I really appreciate this information.

  6. Great points. New ideas for keeping my pets in great health is always what I am on the lookout for. I’ll be back to find wide variety of helpful information you have here.

  7. I’m not looking forward to ticks but I’m looking forward to trying natural options. It will be interesting to see how well it works. I hope I can throw away the chemical collars forever.

  8. Wow, I didn’t know there was so much to consider with natural ingredients. Thanks for enlightening me. At least I can pronounce everything that’s natural 😀

  9. I’ve used products with some of your caution ingredients without aproblem. A little risk doesn’t bother me but the big risk with pharma products does.

  10. The lyme disease potion sounds like a great thing to have around for humans too. So far this year we haven’t seen any ticks and I hope it stays that way.

  11. We only get a few ticks every year but that’s enough! They really creep me out!

  12. Ignorance is bliss — natural is supposed to be simple LOL But I’m glad someone is in the know.

  13. Great ideas here for repelling ticks. I’m going to do some experimenting for sure and I’m happy to know the dangers before I do.

  14. It’s so hard to wade through fact & fiction online. Thanks for covering natural tick information so well.

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