There are several different ways to get rid of ticks:
Flea / tick collars
They smell bad and have to be replaced regularly (I think once a year for most products), but they are an inexpensive way to keep ticks away from your dog. Ask your vet or buy one online, but make sure it repels ticks as well as fleas.
Garlic repels ticks by its smell and has been used for centuries to keep dogs free of fleas and ticks. You can buy foot pallets with garlic extract or feed fresh garlic.
Be aware that it takes a few weeks before the garlic takes effect and that the effect will be lost if you bathe your dog with soap or a detergent shampoo.
It’s best to finely chop or crush the garlic clove, then wait a few minutes to allow the chemical reaction to occur. Here are some guidelines for daily feeding.
10 to 15 pounds – half a clove
20 to 40 pounds – 1 clove
45 to 70 pounds – 2 cloves
75+ pounds – 2 and a half cloves
Please note that garlic becomes harmful for dogs if they eat vast amounts of it (5 grams of whole garlic per kilogram of the dog’s body weight).
Powders or sprays
There are several commercial powders or sprays available that can be put into the dog's fur.
Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic powder and consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled protist (chrysophytes). While non-toxic to humans and animals, this powder is lethal to ticks and fleas. Do not use diatomaceous earth for swimming pool filters on your dog. It is extremely dangerous to humans and pets and can cause internal bleeding. Always use food-grade diatomaceous earth. Do not use if your dog has a wound or rash, because the powder can irritate the skin.
One body spray you can do on your own is this:
Cut a lemon into quarters and put into a pint jar. Cover with boiling water and let steep overnight. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray all over the dog, especially behind the ears, around the head, at the base of the tail and in the arm pits.
Since the active component of this spray is the oil contained in the peel, you can probably use lemon or orange peels instead.
Personally I don't like to put citrus on a dog because most dogs find the smell just as repellent as ticks do. Make sure your dog doesn't get any of the spray into his eyes, nose or mouth.
Apple cider vinegar is also recommended by several sites as tick repellent. Add some of it to your dog's bathing water or rub or spray diluted vinegar into his fur. You can also add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the dog’s water bowl.
Eucalyptus, peppermint, citrus, tea tree, citronella, lavender and cedarwood oils are all either repelling or killing ticks. You can rub a few drops of them onto the collar of the dog or into the fur (especially behind the ears, in the armpits and at the base of the tail, where the skin is soft and ticks love to bite).
You have to replace the oil regularly. If you rub it directly into the fur, dust and dirt might collect in these spots and you may need to bathe your dog.
How to remove ticks
- Grab the tick by the head or mouth parts right where they enter the skin. Do not grasp the tick by the body. Make sure you don’t crush the tick, which can force harmful bacteria to leave the tick and enter your pet’s bloodstream.
- Without jerking, pull firmly and steadily directly outward. Do not twist the tick as you are pulling.
- Using methods such as applying petroleum jelly, a hot match, or alcohol will NOT cause the tick to ‘back out.’ In fact, these irritants may cause the tick to deposit more disease-carrying saliva in the wound.
- After removing the tick, place it in a jar of alcohol to kill it. Ticks are NOT killed by flushing them down the toilet.
- Clean the bite wound with a disinfectant. If you want to, apply a small amount of a triple antibiotic ointment.
- Wash your hands thoroughly.