Dangerous chemicals aren’t the only way to protect your dog from ticks! Try these safe, natural approaches instead.
Some chemical-based tick prevention methods are harmful to pets, so it’s best to start with a more natural approach! Make your outdoor space less attractive to ticks with these simple landscaping techniques:
- Clear tall grasses and brush around the home and at the edges of the lawn.
- Place a 3’-wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas, and around patios and play equipment. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.
- Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked.
- Stack wood neatly and in a dry area (this discourages the rodents that ticks feed on).
- Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees, and place them in a sunny location, if possible.
- Remove any debris from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide.
For additional tick prevention, consider using essential oils (EOs) topically on your dog. They’ll need to be diluted in a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil. You can then further dilute the mixture with water so it’s not as greasy.
Spray it on your hands and run them through your dog’s coat before he goes outdoors. If you’re outside all day, reapply. Look for sprays formulated specifically for dogs, since not all essential oils are appropriate. And ensure the products contain therapeutic grade EOs, for safety reasons.
Another topical product, Tick Slick, is designed to deter ticks by making hair too slippery to stick to. It contains an emulsifying wax as well as lavender oil.
When using topical products, always avoid the eye area, and carefully follow label directions.
Researchers are also testing out nematodes, microscopic round worms that can wipe out other pests such as fleas. These friendly little bugs, which are harmless to us and our dogs, can be sprayed directly on your lawn to help control populations of undesirable insects.