Ticks are not new to many of us in Arizona, they are found here year-round in most of the state. They can be even more bothersome after seasonal rains. How do these creatures get onto our dogs or ourselves? Well, some ticks can hang out on the leaves of vegetation, they will extend their front legs and grab our clothing or our pet’s fur as we brush by them. Once on their host, they “drill” into bare skin using a specialized mouthpart that has beak-like projections. If left alone, they can stay locked tight for days, until fattened up on a blood meal. Other types of ticks live in nests, burrows and caves and, like fleas, feed from their hosts for brief periods of time.
Since we have to live with them, how do we deal with them when we find them on our beloved pets? Below are some gathered remedies for repelling or removing these bothersome creatures.
Here is the most common and basic way to remove ticks:
Part the hair (if possible) to make removing easier, you can spray the hair with water to keep the part. Use a pair of tweezers to grasp the head of the tick where it attaches to the skin. (Wear gloves if you plan to use your fingers to remove the tick.)
Pull on the tick gently and steadily. If you yank the tick away from your dog too quickly, you’ll leave part of the tick’s mouth behind, which can cause an infection.
In about 20 to 30 seconds, the tick’s mouth will release its grasp and the tick will come away cleanly.
Dab some disinfectant on your dog on the bitten area, being extremely careful if you’re around your dog’s eyes.
Kill the tick by placing it in alcohol.
Save the dead tick in a resealable plastic bag, labeled with the date on which the tick was found. This may sound weird, but if your dog becomes ill, you may need to identify the species of tick that bit him.
*Never remove a tick with your bare hands, and never crush a tick between your fingers. If you do, you put yourself at risk of contracting Lyme disease or one of the other tick-borne diseases
There is also a special tick remover tool that can make tick removing a little easier, but standard tweezers work as well.
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How to Get Rid of Ticks on Dogs Naturally
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a great tick remedy commonly used to kill them naturally. This can be used in the form of a spray.
Apple cider vinegar dog tick repellent:
Depending on the size of your dog, mix one portion of apple cider vinegar with half its amount in a bowl.
Add into the mixture a teaspoon of salt and some baking soda.
Put this mixture in a spray bottle and shake well before using it on the dog.
Lavender oil and neem oil can also be used together with apple cider vinegar.
This spray will help to kill the tick, then remove the tic with tweezers as mentioned above.
Or you can simply use a solution of Apple Cider Vinegar and water:
Dawn Dish Soap Bath
Any type of dishwashing liquid can be effective in killing ticks on your pet. However, Dawn has been a favorite work horse is so many home remedies, and has been said to work really well. Apply a generous amount to the animal. It needs to be quite a bit more than you would normally apply for a bath. Let the soap sit on your pet for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse well and allow your animal to dry indoors. Use tweezer method to remove the stuck on ticks.
It is among the most popular of the natural ways on how to get rid of ticks on dogs. It also contains antiseptic and antibacterial properties which help to sanitize the bitten area. This oil may be too harsh for dogs that have sensitive skin. If this is the case, dilute the oil with a carrier oil before applying.
Simply pour some drops of the oil on your palm and rub it on the skin.
You can also make a spray for your pet. Mix two tablespoons of neem oil with an equal amount of a mild detergent and mix well. Add a cup of water into this mixture and shake well. Use this spray on your dog immediately and up to a maximum of eight hours later.
Use tweezer method to remove the stuck on ticks.
Food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE):
You can sprinkle this safe alternative to package chemicals on your dog before trekking to the park, on walks or into woodsy areas. Diatomaceous Earth is made up of fossilized remains of microscopic shells act as shards of glass to ticks, fleas and other irritating insects. You can purchase a salt shaker from your local store and fill it with the DE, sprinkle this onto your hand and into your dog's coat. You can purchase Food Grade DE online or at your local home improvement store.
Word has it that this is a good bedbug deterrent, so might try traveling with it, too. (be sure to get the food grade)
Ticks love warm, dry conditions. They also love tall grasses and woody areas. A simple way to cut down the ticks in your yard and on your pets is to mow the grass regularly. Keep your yard and any adjacent properties mowed short. Since ticks thrive in dry conditions, try watering your yard in the evening to ward off ticks longer.
I hope some of these options are helpful to you. Please know that using a store bought flea and tick medicine is still a fantastic idea, these are simply options to use in conjunction with, or give alternatives for a more natural chemical free tick fighting scenario.
If you have a surefire flea and tick removal method, please let us know! We would love to hear it!
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