(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything, I receive a referral fee, at no extra cost to you.)
Our dog is old, but still going strong. He recently turned 16. We intend to keep him around as long as possible. Since we’ve had him, we’ve never once used a chemical flea and tick preparation. Instead, we’ve managed to keep these pests away with natural geranium oil.
Ticks were not a big problem until last summer. That’s when I noticed two large growths on my dog’s face. They hadn’t been there the day before. Our elderly Cocker Spaniel was also acting a little off, and refusing to eat much. Knowing that dogs and cats, as a survival mechanism, often don’t show symptoms until they’re very ill, I began to worry.
Assuming the worst, I thought these could be outward signs of an aggressive internal malignancy. We know that dogs that reach the age of 10 have a 50 percent chance of being diagnosed with cancer. At the time, our family pet was at least 13-years old. (We adopted him from a shelter, so we’re not sure of his exact birthday.)
Frantically, I began searching online for natural cancer treatments for dogs. (Never would I subject my pet to chemo.)
Natural Flea and Tick Repellent
Anyway, our story has a happy ending. When my daughter came home from school, I showed her the suspicious spots. “Mom, I think those are ticks,” she said.
“How can you tell?,” I asked.
“Because they have legs,” she answered. Fortunately, she has a strong stomach. Wearing gloves, she quickly and easily extracted the bulbous creatures from our dog, and flushed them down the toilet. During this time, he was remarkably patient as she pulled the blood-gorged critters from his face.
So, even though it was early in the season, the ticks were out. And they saw our dog as a meal ticket.
I decided to get more aggressive with ticks. But only if it involved no toxic chemicals. I know there are a number of excellent plant-based flea and tick solutions available. It’s also easy to make your own flea and tick spray, as I’ll explain later.
Homemade Flea Tick Repellent for Dogs
To prevent this from happening again, I decided I needed to put a strong aromatic on my dog. So I put a drop of natural geranium essential oil on his collar, and repeated this every so often. This did seem to keep the ticks away.
I have heard of people putting this aromatic directly on their dog’s fur, near the neck, similar to a chemical flea treatment. But I decided it was a much better idea to just put a drop on his collar. Essential oils are extremely strong, and geranium is one of the strongest I own.
Natural Flea and Tick Repellent With Geranium Oil
I have immense respect for the power of essential oils. So I like to use them as sparingly as possible, to prevent reactions and sensitization. If you’ve never used an aromatic oil on your dog before, it’s a good idea to run this idea by your vet. Never use essential oils on young puppies or pregnant females. (Don’t use them on cats.)
Now that the weather is warming up again, I plan to use more geranium essential oil. But just on his collar. I’m so happy to have found a natural solution to tick control.
Homemade Tick Solution for Dogs
You can also make an all-natural flea and tick spray for use around the house. Here is a simple recipe I found. It contains vinegar and essential oils, which repel pests.
- 6 ounces of vinegar. This can be either distilled or apple cider vinegar.
- 3 ounces of water.
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
- 3 drops of peppermint oil (available here)
- 3 drops of clove oil (available here)
Mix all of these ingredients in a glass spray bottle and apply to your furniture, rugs or anywhere else fleas might breed. Be careful to not spray this on your dog or near his eyes.
For Additional Reading
Is Peppermint Oil Good for Fleas?
Essential oils have become wildly popular in recent years. Many people are exploring their use in dogs. Some essential oils should never be used on dogs. There’s immense controversy surrounding their use in cats. If you’re interested in reading more on this topic, you might be interested in the book below.