Creating Easy Essential Oil Tick Repellent for Dogs

Creating Easy Essential Oil Tick Repellent for Dogs

If you live in North America, you know how important it is to address tick-borne diseases for our pets, our families and ourselves. With all of the commercial and toxic ways to control and prevent tick bites on both our two and four-legged family members, this article looks at the data around efficacy, how to apply it, which oils to use and a recipe to create repellent and have it ready.

Proven efficacy – Essential oil tick repellent for dogs

Unlike DEET-based repellents, Therapeutic grade essential oils like Young Living are not Toxic to our dog friends. Also, they will not melt plastic raincoats or tent materials when applied directly, so are a better option for camping and hiking gear. If your dog is going to be wet because of weather or tall grass, you may need to reapply more frequently, so be sure to pack it along.

How to apply essential oils to your dog

The application of essential oils is pretty straightforward. Remember to test in a small area first to be sure your dog is comfortable with the smell and can move away from you if needed. Some canines have sensitive skin, so I do recommend test patching first before using all over the legs and belly. Spray Bottle application, Apply straight oils to your own hands and rub over your dog’s hair, or I also love to add several drops on my dog’s leather or absorbent collar.  When mixing, always dilute with a carrier oil or witch hazel for easier application and coverage. You can store the mix in a small spray bottle to keep it handy or attach a ring or carabiner to keep it with you while you are hiking.

Which oils to select for tick repellants

Eucalyptus (Globulus, Lemon Myrtle, Myrtle, Australian Euricifolia)
Aside from smelling amazing, this oil is best paired with citronella essential oil for pets. Always dilute with a carrier oil such as grapeseed first before applying to your dog.

Kunzea
Lovingly called the tick bush from those native to New Zealand & Australia. I love including this oil to repel ticks and bug repellents. 

Lavender
Lavender is safe to use on infants as well as dogs and cats and has proven to be effective in preventing tick eggs from hatching. Dilute it with a carrier oil and use it directly on your skin, clothing and gear.

Lemongrass
This essential oil has long been considered to have natural tick repellent properties and is popular in skin and hair products. Be sure to dilute lemongrass oil in a carrier before applying. It can be a spicier oil for some. 

Lemon
Great for a pet bed refresher or on carpets! Lemon is not recommended to use directly on your dog or cat as it can be photo-sensitive. To use lemon oil, dilute in a spray bottle.

Cedarwood
Another oil that is toxic to ticks, Cedarwood makes a great addition to a repellant. Cedarwood’s powerful natural components deal out “death by dehydration, neutralization of bodily fluids, encapsulation and/or emulsification of bodily fats, prevention of breathing, pheromonal interference that interrupts processes necessary to metabolism, movement, reproduction and feeding, and dissolving insect larvae,” according to Marian Grande. It’s a clear winner in the battle against ticks. 

Please do not apply oils directly to an imbedded tick, as it can cause them to release their venom into the animal.  Remove the tick and then treat the wound. I like using Thieves and Frankincense for this situation. 

Create your own easy tick repellant

To start experimenting with preventing the ticks in your surrounding area, I recommend starting with this mix.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water or witch hazel or aloe juice
  • 2 tsp carrier oil – V6, olive, or fractionated coconut oil 
  • 10 drops geranium essential oil
  • 5 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops lemongrass essential oil

Directions:
1. Fill your spray bottle with 1 cup of water. If you are using a smaller bottle, just cut your amounts in half.
2. Add the essential oils, put the top on the bottle and shake.


Have user questions or want to order your tick repellant oils today? Contact Mollie!

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

Essential Oils: Proving Treatment for Hot Spots on Dogs

Treating hot spots on dogs has always been tricky to do as there are multiple causes of skin irritation and itching. Just ruling out the initial cause of the irritation can take time. Dermatitis is often presented as an allergy to the dog’s environmental surroundings or diet and is usually treated with elimination diets, topical therapies, or anti-inflammatories. It can be difficult and time consuming to treat, as well as uncomfortable for the dog. Fortunately, help is on the horizon.


With the overuse of antibiotics to treat bacteria, many people are looking for safer alternatives for their pets and families. Researchers are also looking closely at antibiotic alternatives for effectiveness and finding some hopeful data in the process. Recently, university testing has found that essential oils can be useful in improving canine skin without adverse reactions.


An interesting three-clinic study from 2014 in The Veterinary Journal trialed a combination of oral polyunsaturated fatty acids and an applied essential oil for atopic dermatitis on a range of different breeds, ages, and gendered dogs. Clinics in the UK, USA, and Germany worked together and found a measurable improvement with the test group using neem oil, rosemary extract, lavender oil, clove oil, tea tree oil, oregano, peppermint oil, and cedar bark extract with linoleum acid and vitamin E. The full details of the study may be read here on Science Direct.


Another peer-reviewed study published in the Microorganisms Journal, February 2020, issue 2, “Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils against Staphylococcus and Malassezia Strains Isolated from Canine Dermatitis,” looks at the effectiveness of essential oils on canine dermatitis. Nine essential oils were reviewed, and the findings were promising when used for mixed infections. This particular study is available to read in detail here.


How to safely use essential oils for your dog


Because essential oils are taken directly from raw plants and distilled carefully to create a highly concentrated liquid, it’s important to know which ones should be diluted or diffused rather than used at full strength. Keep in mind that these oils should only be “therapeutic grade” oils from a reputable company, such as Young Living. Using oils to support good health means observing your pet for any adverse reactions, starting with a small amount. One single drop of essential oil diluted in a carrier oil, such as grapeseed, almond, apricot kernel or coconut oil is typically enough. If your dog is not happy about the oil smell, allow them an escape route away from you. Use them for two weeks and then evaluate any changes in your dog’s behavior or skin. If no changes are present in the first few days, you may want to change the approach. Using a modality like essential oils allows us to be very individual in our approach. So if something is not showing results pretty quickly, it’s time to pivot! Reach out, I’d love to help!

Here are some essential oils to try for your dog’s skin allergies or dermatitis:


Lavender – Calming, comforting, soothing to the skin. An easy go-to. 

Frankincense – Its healing properties have been cherished for thousands of years. Use topically or internally. 

Purification – Great applied topically to those troublesome ears of pets who love to swim! Diffuse to help with that pet smell!! 

Peppermint – Great to help sooth the itch, relieve sore muscle, deters flies. 

Oregano – Great immune support for allergy sufferers. I prefer this given internally, for example, a drop in a veggie cap wrapped in cream cheese.


How much oil do I need?

Working with someone who has experience in selecting and using these powerful healing elements can be helpful. Every animal is an individual and it is nice to customize. Some respond to one drop and other applications may take several drops with repetition. If you are just starting out it’s a good idea to use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil so the body has more time to process it. If you feel you’ve used too much add more carrier oil, not water, water actually invigorates the essential oils. 


For help with selecting an appropriate essential oil and its proper use for your dog, contact Mollie.

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

hot spots in dogs