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
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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