When spring begins, we all look forward to the bounty of early flowers
and the promise of warmer days ahead. In Montana, every season
provides a reason to get outside and enjoy what Mother Nature has to
offer. Unfortunately, not everything she presents gives us the
immense joy we find in that first emerging flower. After tip-toeing
through the tulips, make sure to check yourself and your pets for the
less welcome part of the season: ticks. Guarding against these pesky
insects before you head out into nature is a wise choice too. Below
are a few safe and effective options to consider.
Herbal tick spray – Choose a spray that contains essential oils like
cedarwood, peppermint or Neem. Apply over the entire body,
concentrating on the groin and pit areas while avoiding the face. Brush
into your pet’s coat and wipe the ears with a few sprays on a cloth or
paper towel. Reapply if your pet has been in the water.
Tick Shampoo – If your pet has existing ticks, there are several
varieties of tick shampoos on the market. Those with herbs and
essential oils are very effective. Let the suds sit on your pet for twenty
minutes before rinsing. This should kill any existing ticks and help
ward off new ones.
Tick removal tools - These small and easily packable wonders are
uniquely shaped, getting underneath a tick’s mouth to quickly and
painlessly remove an embedded tick. You can add a dab of petroleum
jelly to the tail end of the tick to cut off its oxygen and help it release.
We don’t recommend removing a tick with tweezers as they often
leave the head of the tick behind on your pet. This can be painful and
Topical drops – Similar to the chemical variety, but without the harsh
synthetics and chemicals, there are natural drops that you administer
once every month between the shoulder blades to protect your pet
from unwanted bites.
Collars - If the constant smell of herbs and essential oils on your pet is
a concern, try a flea and tick collar that your pet only needs to wear
when pests are a concern. For maximum effectiveness, replace the
collar every three months. These tend to be waterproof so do not
worry if they get wet.
Internal Powders - The nutrients, vitamins and minerals in a powder
form that you feed to your dog or cat can naturally support their
immune functions and change their odor so that fleas, ticks,
mosquitoes and other parasites are repelled by their scent or the taste
of their blood. The scent is undetectable to humans, making this a
fantastic option for those with sensitive noses.
For your pet’s health, make it a priority to choose a natural product
made without DEET, synthetic chemicals, phthalates, pesticides or
herbicides. It’s an easy and affordable choice when it comes to finding
a results oriented solution to ticks and their pesky counterparts. As a
result, you will enjoy the outdoors with fewer things to worry about.
Story by Julie Johannes, owner of Happy Hounds Pet Supply