Repel fleas and ticks in dogs: All natural, without chemicals?
Many dog owners have reservations about using chemicals to repel fleas and ticks in their pets. But can the tiny parasites also be driven away without chemicals? There are a few natural home remedies against vermin that you can try.
Natural defenses against ticks and fleas in dogs include, for example, essential oils or the good old flea comb. If you fail in getting rid of fleas and ticks without chemicals, you can ask your vet. He can recommend remedies that will scare away or keep away the uninvited guests without harming your dog’s health. Before doing so, however, you can try the following tips.
Repel fleas and ticks with essential oils
Caution. Essential oils are only suitable for fighting fleas and ticks in dogs. They can be dangerous for cats. In this case, ask your veterinarian for advice. However, for dogs, you can put a mixture of 500 milliliters of water and one to two drops each of lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil in a spray bottle.
As a preventive measure, spray your pet with it. Be sure to spare the eyes and mucous membranes to irritate them. Other effective essential oils include citronella, peppermint, and rosemary oil. A decoction of boiled lemon or orange peel and a mix of vinegar and one part water also helps against fleas.
Essential oils are not a panacea for ticks and fleas.
However, dogs can develop intolerances to natural parasite repellents as well. Therefore, try the essential oil mixture on a small skin area first. If your dog shows signs of allergy, such as reddened skin or even an itchy rash, it’s better to reach for medicated parasite repellents from the vet.
Veterinarian-approved products are also more effective against fleas and ticks than natural home remedies. It would help if you sprayed your dog extensively and several times a day for these to work. Even then, there is only a little protection. In addition, dogs with their delicate noses often find the essential oils unpleasant.
Coconut oil against ticks in dogs: More harm or benefit?
As a means of parasite defense without chemicals in dogs, coconut oil is often recommended. This is indeed not too far-fetched since coconut oil contains lauric acid. This substance is also found in medicinal tick repellents and can keep the bloodsuckers away from your dog. For coconut oil to be effective against ticks, you need to rub it all over your dog’s body every day.
However, this natural method is not entirely uncontroversial. It may be that the oil gums up the dog’s fur and disturbs the heat balance of the four-legged friend. Especially in summer, this can be dangerous. Therefore, talk to your veterinarian before regularly rubbing your dog with coconut oil as a precaution. In case of doubt, the medically tested means are the better choice.
Caution rip-off: Amber chains, energy fields, and Co.
Completely ineffective and nonsensical are products from the esoteric area such as amber chains or magnetic pendants that create a so-called energy field. The amber chains look pretty but leave ticks and fleas unimpressed. Also, they help against depression, inflammation, gastrointestinal problems, and eye problems is not scientifically proven and gross nonsense. Amber necklaces are suitable at best as jewelry.
The mysterious energy fields that the tiny magnetic plates supposedly emit are also nonsense for parasite defense. Ticks react to scents and are not deterred in the least by magnetic fields and the like. It is simply a lucky coincidence if your dog wears a magnetic tag and is spared from ticks.
In addition, there are still herbal collars that are supposed to repel fleas and ticks in dogs without chemicals. True, they contain fragrances that the parasites usually do not like. But these substances are held in such low concentration that their effect is close to zero.
Food supplements against parasites: Does it do any good?
Occasionally, brewer’s yeast and garlic granules as dietary supplements help against ticks. After all, brewer’s yeast makes for a beautiful dog coat and can contribute to healthy skin. Whether the parasites can be deterred by it, however, is questionable. Garlic granules can even be toxic to dogs in high concentrations. As a precaution, you should rather refrain from this “natural remedy” for this reason.