On a walk, what can I do to avoid my dog getting ticks?

Dog in long grass, tick risk
Here’s how to avoid dog ticks! ©️Gary Sandoz, Unsplash

A major concern when it comes to walking their dog, owners want to avoid dog ticks in the first place, rather than have to learn how to remove them. Here are the different ways you can prevent your dog from picking up ticks on their walk…

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Dog tick collar types

There are three main types of collars designed to avoid dog ticks. The first kind contains a gas that repels ticks and fleas. The second contains ingredients that spread onto the dog’s skin; if a tick lands on and bites the skin, it is killed by the tick pesticide. The third collar emits high frequency waves that repel ticks and fleas.

Topical insecticides

As opposed to buying a collar to dissuade ticks and fleas, many dog owners apply a once-monthly topical insecticide, normally on the back of the neck. Other variations come in the form of a spray, applied all over the dog’s body (be careful around the eyes, ears and genitals). Less common methods are shampoos, dips and rinses. Ingredients used in topical insecticides are usually permethrin, pyrethrin, imidacloprid, or fiproni.

Avoid dog ticks with natural repellents

Many dog owners prefer to avoid chemical tick insecticides, and opt for more natural preventative ingredients. These include apple cider vinegar, garlic and citrus fruit concentrate – all natural anti-tick pesticides. But always remember to fully dilute the ingredients in water before applying to your dog’s skin. Carry out a test patch first to check for potential skin irritation.

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Watch where you walk to avoid dog ticks

There are certain environments to avoid if you want to prevent ticks on your dog. Ticks are most commonly found in woodland (especially if there are deer), areas with high grass and heath land. However, they can also be found in everyday gardens and yards, especially if the surrounding area has a lot of wildlife, like cows or sheep. In rare cases, ticks have been found indoors, in which case a flea and tick fogger powder is the most effective solution.

When are ticks most common?

In the UK, tick infestation increases depending on the season. Between March and June, and again from August to November, tick numbers are particularly high, but you can come across ticks any time of year.

Avoid dog ticks in long grass in summer
Avoid long grass, it’s dog tick heaven! Photo from @ Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash

Checking for ticks: your dog and you!

Remember, it’s not just your dog! Avoid getting bitten by a tick yourself by wearing long-sleeved tops, and tuck your trousers into your socks.

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After a long walk in the countryside, give both yourself and your dog a check-over. For dogs, common areas where ticks like to hide are the ears (for long-eared dogs), the stomach, neck and feet.

Use rubbing alcohol and a tick-removing tool to extract the tick, making sure to twist, not pull, the tick out of the skin. Avoid breaking the tick, and leaving its head under the skin, which can cause irritation and even infection.

Read also: Rescuers Were Stunned to See Dog Plagued with Over a Thousand Ticks

Emily K is a freelance copywriter, journalist and translator based in France. In her spare time, when she's not running after her cheeky beagle, she can be found pedalling around the city on her bicycle.