How to Naturally Protect Dogs from Ticks and Lice

Dogs serve as breeding hosts for ticks and lice. Dogs living in tropical countries are susceptible to these parasites because warm climates are favorite hotbeds for many viruses and bacteria.

When your dogs get ticks and lice, it’s best to resort to natural remedies because synthetic solutions contain any or all of the following: imidacloprid, fipronil, permethrin, methoprene, and pyriproxyfen which all cause harm—and even death—to both pets and humans.

What then are the safest natural remedies to protect dogs from ticks and lice? And are they as effective as synthetic solutions?

Here are the best and safest remedies to kick out ticks and lice from your furry friends:

  1. Apple cider vinegar (ACV)

There is a reason why ACV has been causing a storm among naturopaths and health fans. And dog lovers should start loving this vinegar, too. ACV proves to be effective in killing existing ticks and lice and can provide a hostile environment for would-be parasites to thrive. The only thing to consider is you should apply the ACV mixture on your dog regularly because it wears out easily.

The best mixture is this: Put together 8 ounces of apple cider vinegar, 4 ounces of warm water, half a teaspoon of salt, and half a teaspoon of baking soda in a bowl. Mix well and apply it on your pet after every shower. You can also put this mix in a spray bottle, and spritz it on areas in your home where your pet usually stays.

  1. Orange and lemon

Ticks and lice are repelled by the smell of citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. To use fruits’ essences on your dogs’ skin is very safe.

A good mixture would be this one: Boil orange or lemon peels until the skins run dry. Once cooled down, massage onto your pet’s skin. Apply this mixture once a week.

If your pet’s skin gets dry with this citrus mixture, spray it on the fur instead. This way the mixture can still get through your pet’s skin, but not as directly as when you choose to put it on the skin.

  1. Petroleum jelly

Surprisingly enough, ticks and lice get suffocated when trapped in petroleum jelly. You can apply any brand of petroleum jelly on your pet’s skin, and let it do its magic. Comb your pet’s fur after at most 30 minutes, and you will readily see ticks and lice easily coming off with the comb.

  1. Garlic

Ticks and lice are easily repelled by garlic. It is important to remember though that raw garlic on its own is toxic to dogs, so it should be given to dogs with their food. You can use either cooked or powdered garlic.

  1. Dish or laundry detergent

Dish and laundry detergents both contain chemicals toxic to ticks and lice. It is best to bathe your dog with either of these detergents mixed with water. Mixing it with water makes it less harsh on your pet’s skin. You can give more attention into massaging the mixture into the affected areas.

And there is one more natural remedy that you can use:

  1. Manually comb your pet’s fur

Using a small-teethed comb, brush your pet’s coat and once you feel some bumps, manually remove each parasite and put them in a bottle filled with oil. Combing is the best method if your dog doesn’t have that much ticks and lice because your pet does not end up being exposed to chemicals, even if they are natural.

It is best to keep your dogs indoors as much as possible during the hot season. Also, keep them healthy by providing them with nutritious foods and a daily dose of exercise, so if ever they get these parasites, they are strong enough to withstand them.


PetMD. Parasites.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Flea Control: Safe Solutions.

Zoe Wolf
Since the age of 10, Zoe has translated her passion for animals into volunteer work for various animal shelters around her hometown of Newport, RI. Aside from being a Puppy Smarts dedicated writer, she also operates her own photography business.

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