5 Ways I Prevent Ticks on My Dogs – PETSHORT


I used to live in western Washington with my dogs where ticks are rare (although the encounters are increasing) but now we live eastern Washington where ticks are prevalent.

Since ticks are a standard danger after we hike, I’ve really had to extend my knowledge and learn learn how to prevent ticks from getting on my dogs.

Read: Why and Where You Must Protect Your Dog From Ticks in Washington State

I’ve tried several products, and combos of products, and located the 5 best ways to guard my dogs from ticks.

In this text, I share my tick safety protocol with you.

Disclosure: Among the links in this text are affiliate links (Amazon Associate). As an affiliate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. 

How I Prevent Ticks on My Dogs – My Core Tick Protection Strategy

The first ways I help prevent ticks from biting my dogs are at all times the identical.

Using these three different methods for stopping and detecting ticks on my dogs gives me confidence because:

  • The methods complement one another
  • There may be overlap and redundancy 
  • If one method fails (actually because I forget to do it), there are still two other ways my dogs are protected against ticks

Below are the three primary things I do for tick protection.

1) Apply topical flea and tick preventative

I select to make use of a topical flea and tick preventative that not only kills ticks once they bite my dog but that also repels them.

I would like one which works on contact so if ticks do get on my dog, they’ll die before they bite.

I do still want the treatment to kill a tick if it bites though in case the primary two lines of defense fail.

As well as, I would like to make use of a treatment that’s effective against several various kinds of ticks, not only one like a lot of them are.

The three topical flea and tick treatments that meet my criteria, and that I exploit recurrently, are:

My preferred brand of monthly flea and tick treatment is Vectra 3D (read my Vectra 3D review to see why). 

Previously, if I didn’t plan ahead of time and needed the topical flea and tick treatment instantly, I’d stop at PetSmart and get K9 Advantix II.

I recently discovered TevraPet Activate II for Dogs, which accommodates the identical ingredients as K9 Advantix II. 

Although TevraPet Activate II needs to be ordered online (I’ve never seen it in a pet store near me anyway), it’s cheaper than K9 Advantix II or Vectra 3D.

These treatments are sold in doses for dogs based on weight. 

My small dogs, Summit and Gretel are 10.5 lbs so that they fall right in between the smallest dose (4-10 lbs) and the following one up (11-20 lbs). 

I exploit the larger dose if I do know we shall be climbing in an area where ticks are very bad that month (the first difference is the quantity of liquid within the tube/vial). 

Whichever topical monthly flea and tick treatment I exploit, I don’t use all of it 12 months round. 

I apply it to my dogs spring through fall after I know we shall be climbing in places with ticks. 

I’ll note that we live where it snows and the bottom is frozen as a rule within the winter so the flea and tick risk may be very low through the coldest months.

Should you live somewhere that is still warm all 12 months round, you most likely need to use a flea and tick treatment all 12 months round.

2) Perform regular tick checks

There isn’t any substitute for recurrently checking your dog for ticks. 

No tick repellant or treatment is 100% foolproof, especially if ticks are particularly dense and it’s toward the tip of the topical 30 day treatment period.

Also, though the topicals I exploit are sold as repellants, in my experience, my dogs can still pick up ticks (just presumably not as many as they might have without the topical treatment).

These ticks will die before they’ll transmit Lyme Disease since the monthly treatments I exploit kill the ticks that bite inside 6 hours and ticks have to be attached for over 24 hours to transmit it.

But, there are lots of other illnesses and diseases ticks can transmit inside the 6 hours before they die so I would like to remove them before they’ve a probability to bite.

I also don’t want them to fall off my dog within the automotive or house and roam around only to bite me or my dogs later.

I at all times check my dogs for ticks:

  • After a hike before they get within the automotive
  • Once we get home
  • Again within the morning

Where I search for ticks on my dog:

  • In and across the ears
  • Across the eyelids
  • Under the collar
  • Within the arm pits of the back and front legs
  • Between the toes and paw pads
  • Across the tail
  • Gums (within the mouth)
  • Across the genitals

3) Feed garlic tablets made for dogs

Some consider it to be an old wives tale that the smell of garlic emanating from the body repels ticks and mosquitoes.

But, stories like these likely get perpetuated because they worked for enough people, in enough situations, to turn out to be a standard advice.

I exploit the brewer’s yeast & garlic tablets from Only Natural Pet.

I can’t say with 100% certainty that garlic keeps ticks away from my dog.

Nonetheless, we went for a hike once where my dogs had a topical tick treatment on, I had sprayed them down with a natural flea and tick repellent, they usually were wearing an insect repellent dog bandana.

We hiked for 3 hours and after we got back to the automotive, I discovered 5 ticks on my dog. They usually are very small so there isn’t much surface area!

Since I started feeding my dogs the garlic tablets, I haven’t found any ticks on them.

It might be coincidence – perhaps we haven’t hiked in an area with a high tick density within the last 3 years or perhaps we’ve just been lucky – but I feel just like the garlic tablets really do work to repel ticks.

In case you might be wondering, I can’t smell the garlic. My dogs’ breath doesn’t smell prefer it and I don’t smell it coming from their body.

What I Do Once I My Dogs Need Extra Protection from Ticks

The core prevention measures are the one ways I protect my dogs from ticks 90% of the time. 

Nonetheless, there are some situations where I might want much more protection.

In those cases, I do one or each of those two things.

4) Apply bug repellent spray

Sometimes we hike through plenty of brush where ticks cling and will be “scraped” off onto my dog’s belly.

In this case, I would like so as to add extra protection specifically to my dog’s underside.

For this, I exploit a picaridin-based (20%) insect repellent.

Picaridin is an artificial version of pepper extract and its efficacy is taken into account comparable to DEET for mosquitoes and ticks (DEET should never be used on dogs though).

I should indicate that picaridin has not been approved to be used on dogs and you can find conflicting opinions on whether it’s protected for pets.

Nonetheless, I discovered information that I feel indicates that picaridin is probably going protected for dogs. 

For instance, this text written by a veterinarian says, “… [picaridin] appears to have a large margin of safety when used on dogs…”

Based on the picaridin technical fact sheet by the National Pesticide Information Center,

“Researchers placed technical grade picaridin at doses of fifty, 100, or 200 mg/kg on the backs of beagle dogs every weekday for one 12 months.

The dogs demonstrated no hostile effects at any dose.”

Most “don’t use” recommendations I discovered seem like made out of caution for liability because it’s not 100% tested to be protected on dogs. 

Personally, I’m comfortable using picaridin on my dogs for this reason.

But, please, don’t take my opinion as a press release that it’s protected in your dog. Make your personal decision.

I either use Natrapel wipes and apply it on to my dog’s skin or I exploit the Natrapel spray

If I exploit the spray, I apply it to my hands after which rub rub on their belly (I spray it on my hand first so that they don’t inhale the mist).

Should you would love to try an insect repellent spray that’s more natural, I suggest trying:

I actually have tried each of those on myself and my dogs and I didn’t find them as effective as picaridin but they did make a difference in the amount of insects.

Using an insect spray is a great option in case you only need to use a flea and tick treatment at specific times as an alternative of using a treatment that lasts for a month since you’re not comfortable with that.

5) Put insect repellent clothing on my dogs

It’s normally not cool enough after we hike to place clothes on my dogs but this can be a helpful option when sitting around camp on cool evenings.

I treat my dog’s jackets with the Sawyer permethrin fabric treatment spray (and my very own clothes).

Warning: Permethrin is toxic to cats!

Sometimes, I also treat their dog bed and blankets with permethrin.

I exploit the identical method to treat my dog’s clothes and camping gear as I do after I make my very own insect repellent dog bandanas.

When permethrin is applied to fabric, it molecularly bonds to it.

Note: Such a Permethrin should never be applied on to your dog’s skin

You don’t must treat your dog’s stuff yourself though. 

There are products you should purchase which are pre-treated with permethrin similar to:

The advantage of the commercially treated items is that the permethrin stays bonded to the fabric longer.

Specifically, the claim is that it stays on the material through 70 washes.

The advantage of treating fabric myself is that I can use my dog’s regular jackets, shirts, bandanas, beds, blankets, etc. Stuff I do know my dogs already know and love.

Treating the dog clothing myself at home with permethrin does mean I actually have to reapply it every 5 washes but for many items that may last a pair months. 

What To Do If You Discover a Tick Attached To Your Dog

Should you discover your dog has been bit by a tick, don’t panic.

Remove the tick using a pair of tweezers just like the TickEase Dual-Tipped Tick Remover Tweezers.

DO NOT burn, twist, or smother the tick.

Doing those things may cause the tick to spit more saliva into your dog, which carries any diseases a tick could have.

Watch this video for the correct method to remove a tick.

Wipe the tick bite location and around it with an alcohol swap to sterilize it.

Keep the tick in a sealed container whilst you keep an eye fixed out for a bullseye rash or other signs and symptoms of lyme disease.

Also concentrate to how your dog is acting and call your vet immediately in case you see signs that your dog may not be feeling well.

Keeping the tick:

If the tick breaks apart while you attempt to remove it, don’t panic.

A tick head got stuck in my dog once and I did plenty of research about that. In the long run, there have been no issues and it fell out on it’s own.

Do not forget that prevention is the most effective method to pretect your dog from ticks.


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