UPDATE** It's been a little over a month since I've been using this repellent. I do think it works, however, I did still find a tick, 1 on each dog. This is still great because prior to using the repellent I was seeing ticks on them after each hike. I have met with a local dog professional who has created her own natural formula which includes Geranium and have been trying that out this past long weekend on a camping trip. I have not found 1 tick since using her formula. If you would like to know more about her and her tick repellent, read more here.
Ticks! What are they? Ticks are an external parasite that can carry many disease effecting humans and dogs. The most common one you may hear of is Lyme disease. They latch onto their host (mammal) and feed on blood. Ticks will stay on their host from anywhere from days to weeks until they are ready to shed skin or lay eggs. They say ticks sit in trees and wait for the right moment to drop onto their host, this isn't exactly true. While they do wait for a host, they are most likely in the grass holding on with their back legs and waiting to climb onto their host with their front legs. They pick a host based on your dogs breath, body odour, body heat and vibration.
If you are someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, make sure you check yourself and your dog(s) daily.
This year has been bad for ticks. For the last three years I have taken off 1 tick from one of my dogs. This year I am taking ticks off both of them near weekly. 20 minutes ago I took a tick off Cali and had my partner record it so you can see how to remove a tick. I do not give my dogs anything with chemicals, so they do not get flea medication, instead I have made them a natural flea powder. I've been searching online for a tick spray and have found a few and will show you the one I'm trying and will update at a later time with how it's working.
Usually when I see a tick on the dogs it looks like a popcorn kernel with little black legs. First, I wear a headlamp, it helps me see the area bette. I use a tick remover but sometimes the tick will be so small the remover doesn't work well and I use tweezers. If you use tweezers, pinch the tick as close to the base at the dogs skin as possible. Pinch and pull straight up. The video you will see I used the tick remover. Afterwards apply an ointment such as Polysporin. The tick remover has a similar method to the tweezers. Scoop the tick so it's trapped in the remover and pull straight up.
Looking at many different natural remedies I made the following:
In an empty spray bottle add:
- 1 tablespoon witch hazel
- 1/3 cup water
- 30-40 drops 100% Geranium essential oil
Spray on the back of the neck and base of the tail. I have sprayed the dogs tonight and will spray them on every day we go hiking. Will make an update in a few weeks to let you know how well this spray had worked.