People own dogs for various reasons and regardless of their individual reasons for owning dogs, the average dog owner seems to enjoy taking regular walks with their dogs. This is a normal practice in the world of dog owners and is usually a beautiful experience. Beyond simply being a great experience, taking your dog for a walk is great for its health. Well, most good things also have a bad side and walking your dog is not an exception.
When you take your dog out for a walk, there is a likelihood that it could get in contact with ticks. Due to the likelihood of dogs getting in contact with ticks when taken for a walk, lots of dog owners might simply choose not to take their dog out for regular walks. This might seem like an easy way to fix the problem of ticks. However, it is not the right way to get things done. You do not have to deny your dog the experience of going for regular walks because it could make contact with ticks.
Instead of preventing your dog from taking regular walks, you should learn how to keep ticks off your dog. Before we go on to talk about how to keep your dog away from ticks, it is important that you know what exactly ticks are.
What are Ticks?
Contrary to popular opinion, ticks are not insects. They are arachnids. This means, technically, they are spiders. Also, they measure 3 to 5 mm, have round bodies and have eight legs. They could come in various colors. These colors are tan, brown, and black.
Ticks basically stay alive when they are in constant contact with blood. This could be the blood of amphibians, reptiles, birds, people, or animals. While it is bad enough that ticks have to survive off the blood of their animals, they do more than just take blood of animals. They also transmit diseases in the process.
How Do Dogs Come in Contact with Ticks?
Beyond just sitting on the body of animals, there are various places ticks can be found. As a matter of fact, the body of an animal is simply a secondary abode for ticks. Before getting attached to the body of an animal, ticks live in parks, gardens, meadows, and forests. So, if your dog makes its way through shrubs or tall grasses, it will most likely pick up some ticks.
How Do Ticks Feed off Dogs
A good understanding of how ticks feed off dogs will help you make the right move when looking to keep ticks away from your dog.
Generally, when looking to feed off dogs, ticks are always on the lookout for warm and soft parts of your dogs’ skin. Additionally, they prefer parts of the skin that have no hair. Once they get a perfect spot, they latch on to it. This is followed by the release of a chemical which makes that part of the dog’s skin numb. This way, the dog has no idea of the activities of the tick.
Once the tick establishes a perfect landing on its host’s body, it goes on to feed on blood through a tube-like mechanism. After getting full, the tick falls off your dog’s body.
Keeping Your Dogs Tick Free
Keeping your dog free from ticks might seem quite complex. Regardless of what you think about this process, it is not a difficult thing to do. With a couple of adjustments, you can keep your dog free from ticks. Below are some activities that can help ensure you dog is free from ticks.
Make Use of Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Keeping your dog’s living area tick free is a great way to ensure it is totally free from ticks. While this method works, there is no guarantee that your dog will always remain in a part of your compound that is tick free. It could wander out of tick free zones and straight into an area that is densely infested with ticks. While it might seem like things are out of control at this point, you are still very much in charge if you do the needful.
If your dog will be walking into a tick infected area, you can always take advantage of the existence of lemon eucalyptus oil. The reason for this is lemon eucalyptus oil naturally keeps insects away. It is effective in keeping mosquitoes, biting flies, and ticks away.
To make use of lemon eucalyptus oil in keeping your dog free from ticks, you will need to fill a 32 ounce spray bottle with distilled water. Once this is done, put in 7 drops of lemon eucalyptus oil into it. With this mixture prepared, go on and spray it lightly on your dog’s bedding. That’s not all. You will need to spray it between your pet’s shoulder blades. Doing this will go a long way in helping you keep ticks away.
Ensure the Weeds in Your Environment are Kept Low
It is not out of place for ticks to live in scrubs and tall grasses. This is because tall grasses and the likes give them the freedom to attach themselves to people, as well as pets while they walk past. Going by this, if you do not want your dog to pick up ticks in the compound, you simply need to cut down the weeds in your compound.
You might want to have some weeds in your compound. If this is the route you want to go, you will need to keep the weeds in your compound really low. That’s not all. You must ensure there is ample space between any shrubs in your compound. This will make it difficult for the ticks to get very good hiding space. Furthermore, when the scrubs in your garden are made as sparsely populated as possible, your dog will be able to walk past without having to make contact with ticks.
Trim Your Pet’s Hair
Ticks generally pose a problem to dogs. However, beyond being a problem for dogs, they are more problematic for dogs with long hair. This is for obvious reasons. Ticks find it very easy to hide it the long hair of dogs.
So, the first thing you might want to do to keep ticks away from your dog is cut its hair low if it is long-haired. In as much as cutting your dog’s hair can keep it relatively free from ticks, you should not cut the hair too low. Doing this might expose it to the sun.
If you are not comfortable cutting your dog’s long hair, you just might have to keep it indoors. If this does not really work for you, then ensure your dog only roams about n a confined space.
Keep Guinea Fowl or Chicken in your Compound
It really might seem like there is no correlation between keeping a bird in your compound and having your dog free from ticks. Well, the fact is keeping birds in your compound can go a long way in ensuring that your dogs are not attacked by ticks.
Birds are known to feed on anything they can handle comfortably and fortunately, ticks are some of the things they can comfortably feed on. Chickens do not only love eating ticks, they also do not struggle to eat ticks. A chicken can comfortable eat up to 10 ticks in one hour. Going by this, if you have a couple of hens in your compound, you will be able to comfortably deal with the issue of ticks in your compound.
Make use of Apple Cider Vinegar
There are no complications associated with using apple cider vinegar. Also, it is a substance that can come in handy when looking to repel tick naturally.
If you are looking to keep your dog free from ticks by using apple cider vinegar, there is really not much that is to be done. You can get started by adding one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to one quart of water. Once this is done, pour the mixture into a water bowl dedicated to your dog.
Once you have this mixture ready, feel free to apply to your dog’s body before you take it for a walk.
Natural Citrus Fruits
Citrus works as a natural repellant for lots of insects. Although ticks are technically not insects, citrus can also go a long way in keeping them away.
When looking to make use of citrus in keeping your dog free from ticks, the first thing you need to do is boil pills of orange and lemon. After getting this done, you should let this mixture get cold.
As soon as this mixture gets cool, it is only normal for the citrus oil to find its way into the water from the fruit rinds. With this done, you are free to strain this water and get it poured into a spray bottle. Once you have this spray ready, feel free to use it on your dog, as well as in various parts of your compound.
Powders Can Work
If you are not comfortable making use of tick sprays, you can take advantage of the existence of tick powders. Tick powders come in handy both in killing, as well as repelling ticks from your dog’s body.
When looking to make use of tick powders, you will need to be really careful as a wrong move could cause your dog some degree of harm.
There are different tick powders for dogs of different ages and for different dogs generally. The implication of this is you should take out time to look through a label when getting a tick powder for your dog. Additionally, ensure you get the right powder for killing ticks. You will be able to avoid mistakes if you go through the labels properly.
Although these powders work effectively in keeping ticks away, they could irritate the lungs and mouth. The implication of this is you will need to make use of this powder in small amounts. Furthermore, you should take time when rubbing it on your dog’s skin.
Tick collars might not be as famous as sprays and powders in keeping ticks away. Nonetheless, they are very effective. Although generally considered effective, tick collars only come in handy when looking to keep your dogs’ head and neck protected from ticks. This collar only works after coming in contact with your dog’s skin. This is because once in contact with your dog’s skin, it is able to transfer chemicals to its skin and fur.
When wearing tick collar around your dog’s neck, ensure there is space for tow fingers to go under the collar. That’s not all. Once the collar goes around your dog’s neck, every excess collar should be chopped off. This way, you can keep your dog from chewing on the collar.
Wearing this collar around your dog’s neck successful is great. However, it is good enough. Once you have this collar around your dog’s neck, you should look out for any form of discomfort. Additionally, you should go through the label on the collars properly to ensure you select the right collar for your dog.
Shampoos Work Too
Shampoos are strongly associated with grooming dogs. While they can come in handy when you are looking to groom your dog, they can actually do a lot more than just help in grooming your dog. They can help in keeping ticks away.
When looking to keep ticks away through the use of a shampoo, you will have to get shampoos that contain ingredients for killing ticks. This method of keeping your dog free from ticks is not one the most expensive. However, it is one that requires a lot of effort. If you decide to go through this route, then, it is something you migt have to do once in two weeks to get the right results.
There are quite a number of other ways you can keep your dog free from ticks. However, you might have no need for the other methods if you master those already stated in this article.