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Ticks, an incredibly common insect in North America, can pose serious risks to both humans and animals. A single tick bite can give our best friends Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. They can also cause arthritis in dogs.
For humans, avoiding a tick is much more simple. Not only can we use a spray, but we can also wear clothing that covers most of our bodies in areas with high tick traffic. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t so lucky.
It is our responsibility to protect our dogs from tick bites. Read on for recommendations on how to pick the best tick repellent for dogs.
Why a Tick Repellent for Dogs is Important
Tick repellents are necessary in order to keep your large breed dog safe.
Some areas of the world are prone to ticks more than others, and ticks can bring home a variety of diseases. Not only can these diseases affect your dog, but if your dog hosts a tick, more can hitch a ride on him and potentially affect other members of the family.
If you think your dog has been bitten by a tick, take him or her to the vet immediately. Removing the tick at home can lead to parts of the tick staying embedded in your dog’s skin. If you’ve got a lot of experience, you can remove it by yourself, but this isn’t necessarily recommended.
Best Tick Repellent for Dogs
1. Oral Tick Medication
You can purchase oral tick medication for your dogs at any local pet store or online. Your vet’s office might also carry some of the medication. For many pet owners, this is the best tick repellent.
These oral medications kill small fleas and ticks on contact with the dog. An oral tick medication is often an easier option, as it doesn’t involve shampoos or spray, both of which can take a long time to apply.
Some medications can also kill fleas, hookworms, roundworms, heart-worms, and whipworms.
While oral tick medications are easy to administer and dogs often like the taste, there may be concerns about your dog’s health while taking the medication.
This is something to discuss with your dog’s vet, as they know all about your dog’s medical history. They can either recommend another method for your dog or let you know which oral tick medication is best for him or her.
Oral medication is a nice option for pet owners who don’t want to think about constant shampooing and spraying. It is an effective, no-fuss solution for the busy pet parent.
2. Tick Spray
Tick spray works for many pet owners who prefer a natural approach to pet parenting. You can purchase organic tick sprays from your local pet store, or from the Internet. Many of these contain natural essential oils that keep fleas and ticks at bay.
When using an all-natural product, it is best that you speak with your vet before completely relying on it. This way, you can discuss the effectiveness of the spray before applying it to your furry friend with total confidence.
Some vets warn against using essential oil-laden sprays to fight dangerous insects like ticks, so it is important to get the best advice possible from your dog’s healthcare professional.
There are other tick sprays that do not claim to be all-natural and provide chemicals proven to kill ticks. If you feel comfortable spraying it on your animal, sprays are a good way of ensuring your dog stays safe.
Tick spray is especially good for between shampoos, if you’re controlling the insects by washing your pet weekly or bi-monthly. Most of the time, they do not leave a residue or sticky fur, which can be a concern with other pet sprays.
When spraying your dog with a tick spray, make sure you keep it away from his or her face.
3. Tick Shampoos
Tick shampoos exist for the pet parent whose big dog doesn’t mind being in the water, or can’t tolerate the oral medication. Tick shampoos have an active ingredient that kills ticks on contact, and generally, protect your dog for about two weeks.
As stated above, you can top up your dog’s protection with a spray-in between shampoos.
Often, shampoos are less expensive than most other options, though it does require you to bathe your dog a little bit more often. For some pet owners, bath time is bonding time, so there is no issue with making sure it gets done.
The effective ingredients in shampoos also don’t last as long as other treatments, so it is important that you stay on top of shampooing your dog as much as possible.
4. Tick Dips
Tick dips are strong chemical solutions placed on your large breed dog, typically after he or she has had a run-in with a tick. Pet parents can also use them to deter ticks if they live in a particularly tick-laden area.
The chemicals in the dip are so potent, that they shouldn’t be used on young, ill, or pregnant and/or nursing dogs.
Some pet grooming salons will give dogs a tick dip as an extra during a treatment. You can also do a tick dip yourself if you want to save money and are feeling a little bit adventurous.
Before putting your large breed dog in a tick dip, make sure to discuss it with your vet. As the chemicals are harsh (but effective), it is important your dog’s health is looked after in the process.
What is the Best Tick Prevention for Dogs?
When searching for the best tick repellent for dogs, there is no perfect solution for everyone. How you choose to protect your canine will depend on a variety of factors. It is important you make sure you choose what is best for your dog and his or her health.
If your dog goes outside often during tick season, make sure to check him or her for ticks to ensure they aren’t tracked into the house. Take your dog to the vet immediately if you see one that has latched onto their body.
For more information about large breed dogs and how to care for them, check out our informative blog.