Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles
Seven Ways to Keep Your Dog Tick and Flea Free Without Chemicals
If you want to protect your dog from fleas and ticks, but don’t want to use harsh treatments, know that there are all-natural alternatives. (Helena Lopes/)
Many chemical-based dog products available today ward off ticks and fleas. They’re effective, and many dog owners use them without incident. But not all dogs, or dog owners, are the same. Some dogs have skin reactions to the chemicals. Some dog owners are concerned about the long-term effects of their use, or simply don’t want to use anything on their dog that they wouldn’t use on themselves. Or some owners just don’t want to have a dog with chemicals on it hanging around the house.
Fortunately, there are numerous products that will keep ticks and fleas off of your dog. Many dog owners will use a combination of these and make them part of daily, dog-care regimen. Here are a few choices.
A Fine-toothed Brush
A de-shedding tool has closely spaced teeth that catch crawling ticks and reveal fleas. (PetNeat/)
It’s always a good practice to brush your dog regularly to remove loose hairs and keep its coat looking good. A fine-tooted wire brush, with its narrow, closely spaced teeth, will not only remove loose follicles, it also will catch any ticks that aren’t embedded and reveal any fleas in the fur. This is an important first step in controlling ticks and fleas naturally, and one you should practice regularly.
Tick Removal Tool
The Tick Twister comes with two tools sized to remove both engorged and unengorged ticks from an animal. (Tick Twister/)
If you find an embedded tick on your dog, use a dedicated tool to remove the parasite. Embedded ticks latch on and often don’t let go, and it’s much easier to use one of these tools to remove it—and it also greatly reduces the chance of leaving the tick’s mouth parts in the dog, which can cause an infection.
The Zuba tick and flea spray is made entirely of natural ingredients and will repel mosquitoes as well as fleas and ticks. (MDX Concepts/)
Natural tick- and flea sprays are useful for if you only occasionally have your dog in places where it may encounter the parasites, such as in a kennel or the woods. You can spray the dog as a preventive before the trip or get rid of any hitchhikers after such an outing.
Oral tick and flea treatments are designed to keep pests away, not kill them. (Colorado Dog Company/)
Some oral tick and flea treatments contain natural ingredients that change the dog’s natural odor, so parasites aren’t attracted to the animal. They are designed to keep pests away, not kill them. Other oral treatments work by actually repelling the parasites.
Some tick collars use peppermint, lemongrass, clove, and other essential oils to prevent fleas and ticks from infesting your dog. (SOBAKEN/)
Tick and flea collars have been available for decades, but collars that use natural ingredients to repel fleas and ticks are a relatively recent development. Such hypoallergenic collars use plant-based derivatives that are natural insect repellents and are designed to be comfortable for dogs to wear.
The Greenfort topical tick and flea treatment is made from natural oils and is safe for dogs of any size. (Greenfort/)
Topical ointments contain natural tick and flea-repelling ingredients and need to be applied once per month to the dog. They work to repel lice and mosquitoes as well as ticks and fleas.
The Vet’s Best flea and tick home spray is plant-based and can be used on carpets and upholstery. (Vet's Best/)
These work to repel ticks and fleas from wherever the dog may be in the house. Because they’re made from natural ingredients, you can use them anywhere.