Recently we went to France with all 5 dogs and I had a big dilemma about how to decide what flea & tick treatment to use (you can read about it here). I really wanted to go down the natural route however a few people warned me that the ticks in Europe are much worse than here in the UK so despite my misgivings I bought a collar for each of the hounds which I ended up barely using.
Basically, I really don’t want my dogs to either ingest pills that stay in their system for months, wear collars that can cause fur loss or put on a ‘one spot’ treatment which has actually burned my hounds and their fur hasn’t grown back.
It all started after reading this blog about how both her and her dog go hiking in a high tick area both had contracted Lyme disease. She started using this natural method with 8 months success so far.
I’ve since been researching other ways and have had recommendations from people who swear by some of the following methods, I guess it may work for some dogs and not others, but here are some options you can consider :
This is the one from the blog; she uses a drop on each shoulder blade and on the base of the tail - Rose Geranium is one of the few essential oils which can be used ‘neat’ without a carrier oil.
Before I go out on a walks I dot oil on my fingers before rubbing it into the shoulder / tail as the hounds have got short fur I want to be careful of the dosage. I have just come back from a walk in the woods with lots of ferns and long grasses. There were squirrels to be chased so the hounds were in and out of the ferns during the hour, I checked them at the end, no ticks that I could see. This is the one I have been using regularly.
I got a lovely book sent to me called Dogs’ Dinners by Debora Robertson (full of great little treats and tips as well as full dinners) and in it there is a mention of Brewers Yeast not only being great for a glossy coat of fur, but also being a natural tick repellent. Brilliant, two jobs for the price of one! I have been popping some Aniforte Brewers Yeast in with the dogs dinners for a couple of weeks and on a couple of walks where I had forgotten the Rose Geranium, I noticed ticks on the dogs however they weren’t latching on for some reason, I wonder if this is why?
Dorwest Herbs kindly tweeted me recently after I asked other people how they keep the ticks off, and they recommended their Garlic and Fenugreek tablets as Garlic is a well known repellent. The great thing about this supplement? It also helps joints! High qualities of raw garlic can be dangerous to dogs so don’t think about taking a shortcut!
I’m a big fan of all the products of the Dog & I, they recently launched a dog cologne with essential oils and have been getting feedback from their customers; when using ‘Walking on the Sunshine’ their dogs don’t seem to be getting ticks, possibly because of the essential oils Lavender, Rosemary and Lemongrass, are all said to be repellents! So your hound will smell gorgeous as well as keeping pests at bay.
I know a few people who swear by Billy No Mates - it may take a little longer to start working so start using before you think you need to. It uses a heap of natural herbs that seems to be off putting to ticks, fleas & mites. Lots of properties for a healthy coat too with Fenugreek and Neem being two of the ingredients.
While were were in France, I also took bandanas for all the dogs, one so that we could wet them if it was hot to keep them cool, but also to dab on Cedarwood or Lemongrass oil which are two other essential oils that ticks and fleas don’t like, these shouldn’t be used directly on the dogs fur though. We get our essential oils from Amazon & our bandanas are from Redhound for Dogs.
Ticks must be engorged from 24 to 36 hours before they are able to transmit Lyme disease and only 25% of nymphs and 50% of adults carry Lyme in the highest endemic areas. This might seem like a high number, but only 5% of dogs who are naturally exposed to Lyme disease become clinically ill. This means that if you find a nymph on your dog, the risk of Lyme disease in endemic areas is 1.25 out of a hundred and 2.5 out of a hundred if you find an adult tick on your dog. Of course, the risk will be lower in other areas. (Source: https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/ticks-natural-prevention/ - it’s a really interesting read and includes herbal methods to boost the immune system against Lyme disease)