As spring comes into view, nature is in full bloom once more. Unfortunately, so is a flurry of ticks and fleas and this isn't great news for dogs. Your pooch is no doubt anxious to make the most of the warmer weather and longer days out, so it's time to make sure they're protected by pests -- the natural way.
Many tick and flea prevention methods contain harmful chemicals, which are not only harmful for your dog, but can also potentially cause health issues for your family. Stay safe and ditch the toxic flea treatments for a selection of natural remedies instead. Here's a quick rundown of the best essential oils for your pooch during tick season and how to use them.
The essential oils that are safe for use on your dog include citronella, lemongrass, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, melaleuca (tea tree), cedar wood, clary sage and geranium. These can be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil to create a solution that will help repel ticks and fleas from your dog's coat. Here are a number of flea prevention treatments you can create at home using any of the above essential oils...
DIY tick spray
For a quick and easy tick spray solution, add 10 drops of any abovementioned essential oil to 1Tbsp (20ml) of a carrier oil. Sweet almond is a great choice of carrier oil as it contains sulphur -- nature's tick repellent!
If your dog has particularly sensitive skin, you can substitute almond oil for 1/4 cup (60ml) of organic hand wash for a gentler form of carrier oil. Keep the solution in a 250ml spray bottle and use this on your pooch each morning before heading outside.
Homemade flea collar
Using a cloth or tea towel (a bandana works great too!), add at least 5 drops of lavender, cedar wood and geranium onto the cloth, making sure they are evenly dispersed across the material.
You can use any combination of 3 of the above essential oils. The lavender and cedar wood in this combo simply creates a pleasant, subtle scent that won't prove too overpowering for your dog. Repeat the process twice a week, as oils evaporate quickly.
DIY spot-on treatment
For a homemade spot-on treatment that applies easily, dilute 10 drops of any essential oil in 1Tbsp (20ml) of carrier oil. Vegetable glycerin can make a great carrier oil for this, as it is very moisturising for your dog's coat and skin. This also helps it carry the essential oil on their coat for longer.
Apply this mixture directly between your dog's shoulders and on their hind quarters. Use this homemade spot-on treatment on your dog every few days to provide them with an effective flea barrier.
Treating tick bites
If your dog is bitten by ticks and fleas, diluted carrot seed oil or tea tree oil is a great treatment for itchy and irritated skin. Both oils are packed with anti-inflammatory properties to bring down redness on sore areas. Tea tree oil (or melaleuca) can be especially soothing, as it houses antibacterial agents to help stimulate tissue growth.
Make a solution using 10 drops of either oil with 1Tbsp (20ml) of any carrier oil for a simple way to soothe bites and scratches. You can either massage this directly into the affected area or use as a treating spray.
Hopefully these safe and natural tick treatments can keep your dog relatively free of fleas this season. To further protect your pooch, why not consider hiring a local pest control service to keep your home free of the nasty critters too? Flea eggs can be notoriously difficult to spot around the home, so if you notice your dog continually scratching or biting their fur, let the experts eliminate them safely and quickly, both for your family and your four-legged friend!Share