Ticks are jerks that latch on to our dogs and crawl all over them and feed off of them. They suck!

Sure, you can give them Bravecto or slap on a tick and flea collar, but these potent chemicals and drugs can cause more harm in the long term, even when used as instructed. Wouldn't it be great if there was a natural way to prevent these pesky little parasites from crawling and causing misery to our dogs? Luckily, we have compiled a list of things you can incorporate in your daily routine, that will help you prevent ticks on your dogs and build immunity from the ground up.

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But why should you be worried about chemical treatments?

Ticks like many other parasites, become resistant to chemical treatments over a period of time. As they become more and more resistant, the dosage of chemical treatment also increases. And come to think about it, do we really want to be putting toxic chemicals in our dogs body as a regular preventative protocol? No right? That's why it's important to understand the available natural remedies that can help us prevent ticks on dogs. 

Here are a few natural ways to prevent ticks on dogs:

1. Dietary Tick Preventatives

GARLIC

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Wait a minute! Garlic? Isn't that supposed to be harmful for dogs? 

Well, yes, this is true. But only if it is fed in abnormally large amounts. The study in particular that created the bad reputation about garlic for dogs, fed four full heads of garlic (or roughly 60 cloves of garlic) to a 35kg golden retriever! That's an excessive amount of garlic! You should definitely avoid feeding such a high quantity! It is however, absolutely safe and effective in moderate amounts.

Ticks hate garlic as it makes the blood unpalatable for them.  Always choose the raw and fresh garlic and not the processed, dried, powdered form. Peel the garlic and chop or crush it and let it sit for 15 mins or so before adding it to your dog's food. This releases allicin, the active ingredient in garlic.

It takes a couple of weeks  for the garlic to start taking effect and build up in your dog's skin and coat. One tried and tested way you can incorporate garlic in your dog's diet is to start feeding garlic each day for two weeks and then bring it down to 2-3 times a week. You can use the following table as a reference to understand how much garlic to give your dog per day.

Upto 2 kg - 1/6 teaspoon

Upto 4 kg - 1/3 teaspoon

Upto 7 kg - 1/2 teaspoon

Upto 9 kg - 2/3 teaspoon

Upto 15 kg - 1 teaspoon

CAUTION: Don't feed garlic to pregnant females, puppies less than 1 year old some specific breeds such as Akitas and Shiba Inus as they are more sensitive to the hemolytic effect of garlic. 

If your dog is under medication like immune suppressants, heart medications, chemotherapy drugs, blood thinners, insulin, antacids, high blood pressure drugs, etc., avoid garlic as it may cause drug interference.

Since garlic affects blood clotting, don't use it two weeks before any schedule surgery. 

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APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Apple cider vinegar makes your dog's blood less palatable to ticks and fleas. They hate the taste of apple cider vinegar. But avoid buying the cheap brands. Choose the one that says it has the "mother". It is usually easy to find on the label itself. 

As you should when introducing any new food to your dog's diet, start small. Start by adding 1/4 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog's diet and see how they respond to it. Slowly and gradually over the next couple of weeks, increase the quantity to about 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to your dog's food.

ALSO READ: Ticks on dogs - symptoms and how to treat them

2. Topical Or External Applications

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH

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Diatomaceous earth is a type of powder that is made from the fossilized remains of algae found in some fresh water bodies. This powder is naturally occuring and is absolutely safe for humans and pets. It has a high concentration of silica and is absolutely fatal for insects like cockroaches, bedbugs, ticks and fleas! It dehydrates these little pests and dries them out. You can place on order on Amazon by clicking this link.

You can sprinkle a small amount on your dog's bed, in the garden, furniture or anywhere that your dog likes to lie around. You can even sprinkle it all over your dog by pulling back the fur and rubbing it on the skin. Although be careful not to get it in your dog's mouth or eyes.

CITRUS REPELLANT

Ticks hate citrus! An easy way to create a DIY spray solution is to cut a lemon or two into quarter pieces and put them in a jar. Pour 300ml boiling water into the jar, cover it and let it steep overnight. The next morning, pour the water into a spray bottle and your DIY anti tick spray is ready!

You can spray this solution all over your dog before taking them out on walks. Be sure to spray behind the ears, around the head, at the base of the tail, around the armpits and toes.

You can also make another simple solution using apple cider vinegar. Pour equal parts of organic apple cider vinegar and water into a spray bottle and use it to spray on your dog before and after their walks.

While these solutions are extremely effective, this requires patience, dedication and consistency for it to show results. Even after long continous application, you're still seeing a lot of ticks, it is always advisable to consult with a vet and try to get an initial triage done.

Remember - when in doubt, always consult a vet.

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