The best approach to dealing with ticks on dogs and cats is to first start with gentler, natural and least toxic products. If these do not work, then it makes sense to take the chemical-approach to achieve complete control over the parasites. In this guide, we will discover several home made shampoos for pets which are safe, non toxic yet highly effective. These ‘tearless’ products will leave your pet’s fur soft, shiny and smelling great while also repelling ticks and fleas. Remember: even baby shampoos made for human babies are of the wrong pH for dogs and cats-so avoid using them on the pets. Also products made specifically for dogs should not be used for cats and vice a versa.
Why use homemade dog shampoo for fleas and ticks and homemade flea and tick shampoo for cats?
Many over-the-counter shampoos are filled with toxic chemicals that can harm your pet as well as children or elderly members in your family. Several of these chemicals are known to be especially dangerous to pregnant women and could even harm the unborn child causing birth defects. There are many natural ingredients found in the kitchen which are effective in controlling ticks and fleas on dogs and cats without being toxic to animals or their humans. Homemade tick treatment is very easy with essential oils. Note that not all oils are safe for pets; so use them with caution. If in doubt, do not use them at all. Let us now discuss 7 homemade flea and tick recipes that are safe for use on dogs and cats.
Lemon tick repellent rinse for dogs (Do not use this on cats)
This DIY homemade tick repellent recipe works very well on fleas and helps deodorize your pet. It is not a shampoo but a rinse that can be used in between baths to keep the pet smelling great and also repel fleas and ticks.
You will need
- Quart of water
- Slices of 6-8 lemons
Put the water to boil, and then add the lemons. Let the mixture steep overnight before filtering it. Store it in a bottle. Spray the solution on the dog’s coat each night while grooming. You can also use it as an after-shampoo rinse to keep the pet’s coat shiny and healthy.
Herbal flea and tick collar
This is a fantastic alternative to toxic tick collars that can harm your pet.
You will need
- Any combination of eucalyptus, lavender, cedar, citrus essential oils.
- Sesame oil
Mix the oils. Dip an old handkerchief or a pet collar in the mixture. Attach it around the pet’s neck. This recipe won’t kill fleas and ticks-however, it will certainly repel them. These days, herbal flea and tick collars are also available at health food stores. Dip and recharge them in above oils from time to time.
Homemade rinse for dogs and cats
The following recipe is fantastic for repelling ticks and fleas on dogs and cats; use it after shampooing your pet. You can use any homemade flea and tick shampoo which we will discuss below or use a store brought one that is all natural and devoid of parabens, sulfates and other EPA banned products. Look for mild shampoos with d-limonene which is a natural extract made from lemons (for dogs only-do not use on cats).
- ½ cup vinegar (white or apple cider)
- 2 quarts water
Use the mixture after shampooing and washing the pet, as a final rinse to remove residue of the soap. This remedy will make your pet’s coat very shiny, soft and glossy. You can also add a couple of teaspoons of vinegar to the pet’s water to repel ticks from inside.
Homemade rosemary conditioner
This wonderful recipe can make your pet’s coat glossy and also kill ticks and fleas.
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary or a teaspoon of dried rosemary
- 1 pint of boiling water
Combine and steep for an hour. Pour it over the pet as a final rinse.
Insect repellent shampoo
You can convert store brought pet shampoo into a homemade tick shampoo for dogs and cats by adding essentials oils like eucalyptus, rosemary, and pennyroyal (the last one not for cats) to it. Use the mixture every 15 days to bathe the pet.
Herbal homemade flea and tick repellent for pet’s blankets and beds
Spray essential oils like cedarwood, eucalyptus, pine or lavender on the pet’s blanket and all around the house to repel fleas and ticks.
Homemade flea and tick shampoo for dogs and cats
You will need
- 2-3 drops each of following essential oils: cedarwood, lavender, citronella, thyme.
- Oil from 4 garlic capsules.
- ½ cup baking soda
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup aloe vera gel
Mix all ingredients. Massage the mixture well into pet’s wet coat and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse off. As a final rinse, you can use the rosemary conditioner or vinegar rinse as explained above.
Remember: vacuuming is your pet’s best friend when dealing with an infestation-the more you do it, the better control you will have over ticks, fleas and other parasites. Also feed your pet a little garlic and brewer’s yeast to strengthen it from inside out. This will help keep it healthy and immune to ticks.