Best Tick Sprays
Tick sprays help keep your pet protected from these nasty bloodsuckers and dangerous diseases they transmit. These are the best tick sprays for dogs on the market–read on to learn more!
When you have a pet, you know that it comes with plenty of responsibilities–the biggest being making sure your dog is happy and healthy in your care. And a great deal of that care is dedicated to dealing with all sorts of parasites: from fleas and worms to ticks. Ticks are not “just” a pesky parasite, though. These nasty bloodsuckers are carriers of diseases that affect dogs, and can, in some cases, even endanger your pet’s life. Needless to say, protecting your dog from ticks is essential. Depending on the area where you live, ticks can be a seasonal issue or a year-round risk. Additionally, there are multiple types of ticks on dogs to worry about: American dog tick, lone star tick, deer or black-legged tick, and brown dog tick are the most common species in North America. These are just the most common species that find dogs to be appealing hosts, mind you–there are many more bloodsuckers out there.
Why do I need tick sprays for my pet?
Many people think that ticks can only be found in the woods, deep grass, shrubs, etc. and that urban city pooches are safe by default because they don’t walk in the great outdoors multiple times a day. Unfortunately, that’s not true- since some types of ticks are commonly found in urban areas. All dogs are at risk for being bitten by a tick, whether they live in the country or strut their stuff on the city pavement. So, having in mind that there are various dog ticks out there and that in some areas, they are active throughout the year, it’s clear why finding an effective solution to keep these parasites away from your dog. Keeping away being the crucial factor, because, unlike fleas and worms, ticks can do irreparable damage with a single bite. Ticks carry diseases that affect both humans and dogs, and some of them can have serious consequences for your dog’s wellbeing. That’s why it’s imperative to have an effective tick repellent for your pet.
There are various tick repellent products for dogs on the market, some more effective, some less- there isn’t a universal solution that will fit every dog, so it’s important to consider all of your options before deciding what will work best for your unique situation. Tick sprays can be used directly on the dog or in the area where he spends time, both indoors and outdoors. They kill and repel ticks, and can be a great tool for eliminating these dangerous parasites, either used on their own or in combination with another tick-repellent product, such as a collar or spot-on treatment.
To help you figure out if tick sprays are a good choice for your dog, and, if so, which tick sprays to pick, we’ve created this comprehensive buying guide. From a quick run-through of all the best tick repellents for dogs to the list of the best tick sprays on the market, you’ll find everything you need to keep your pet safe right here.
1. Editor’s Choice: Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Spray for Dogs
If your dog doesn’t do well with overpowering scents, then natural flea and tick repellents for right out of the window–luckily, there are effective options that don’t involve strong smells. This spray contains pyrethrins, an insecticide that kills ticks, fleas in all life stages, and lice. To boot, it will also repel all kinds of parasites, ticks included, and not just eliminate them. This tick spray can be used on dogs over six months of age. To suit everyone’s needs, this tick and flea spray for dogs comes in 8, 15, and 24 oz bottles.
2. Runner Up: Nantucket Spider Best Natural Bug Repellent For Dogs
This non-greasy, non-sticky, all-natural bug repellent spray for dogs is specially formulated for dogs. Instead of using citrus essential oils like most, this formula focuses more on those essential oils whose scent is less bothersome to dogs: thyme oil to deter fleas, rosemary and geranium to repel ticks, cedarwood and peppermint oils as all-around bug repellents to boost the effectiveness of the formula. The bottle is particularly convenient, as well–the lockable fine mist trigger sprayer ensures good coverage and doesn’t waste product during application.
3. Customer’s Choice: Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray
Best combined with other tick repellents that go on your pet’s body, this tick spray is meant to keep these nasty bloodsuckers away from your home and the areas where your pet spends time. The plant-based formula is non-staining, so you can use it safely all around your house without worrying about damage. The combination of essential oils as active ingredients will kill fleas and ticks on contact and deter them from sprayed spots. Thanks to its natural formula, this spray is gentle enough to be used on puppies over 12 weeks of age.
Manufactured in the USA with quality domestic and internationally sourced ingredients, this potent insect-eliminating spray was awarded #1 Best Seller in Dog Flea Sprays category on Amazon – a clear sign of its popularity with pet parents looking for an efficient tick & flea killing solution.
4. Best Natural: Pyranha Zero-Bite All Natural Fly Spray
The all-natural formula of this repellent spray will deter and kill fleas in all life stages, ticks, mosquitoes, lice, gnats, and all types of flies. All pesky parasites and insects are covered with this one! The key is in the combination of geraniol, clove, and peppermint oils that will kill these bloodsuckers on contact and leave behind a scent that they find particularly unappealing, thus making sure they steer clear from your pet’s coat. In case you live in a high-risk area, though, it’s wise to combine this natural tick spray with a more potent tick repellent just to be sure–as the deterring scent will dissipate in hours.
5. Best Multi-Pet: Wondercide Flea & Tick Spray
With a two-in-one function, this flea and tick spray can be safely used both on your dog and cat, as well as around your house. The combination of lemongrass, cedarwood, and sesame oil blends together to kill and repel different types of parasites, including fleas (adult, larvae, and eggs), ticks, and mosquitoes. The natural formula is mild enough to be used on both felines and canines but still potent enough to deter bloodsuckers from your pets. This tick spray is a great budget-friendly choice for multi-pet households and is safe for dogs and cats of all ages, too. Made in the USA, this flea and tick spray boasts Amazon’s Choice award, which speaks volumes about its efficiency and popularity among pet owners. To boot, there are different scents available to suit your preferences: peppermint, rosemary, or cedarwood.
6. Best Essential Oils: Pet Naturals of Vermont Flea + Tick Spray for Dogs & Cats
Relying on the synergistic blend of essential oils supposedly used by the indigenous people of the Amazon forests, this all-natural tick spray will keep parasites at bay. This repellent spray will work on fleas, ticks, and mosquitos, effectively preventing a range of diseases carried by the blood-sucking insects. The combo of cinnamon oil, lemongrass oil, sesame oil, and castor oil is safe to use on both dogs and cats, and all age groups, too- including kittens and puppies.
7. Best Effective: Adams Flea & Tick Home Spray
If it’s a creepy crawly, Adam’s Flea and Tick potent bug spray will spritz it into oblivion. The active ingredients in the formula are an extremely strong combination of insecticides to include Etofenprox, (S)-Methoprene, and Piperonyl Butoxide. So it doesn’t surprise that this product will eliminate a range of insects and parasites, including ticks, fleas in all life stages, mosquitoes and many others such as cockroaches, spiders, bed bugs, and more.
This tick spray is meant to be used around the house or in certain areas where your pet likes to hang out (such as the garage or the deck) to eliminate potential threats from the environment. It can help prevent reinfestation of eggs and larvae for up to 7 months and starts killing bugs in just five minutes. It is to be used only in the home so don’t spray it directly on your pets. And don’t worry, it’s super easy to use – even and controlled spraying pattern will make sure that every nook and cranny of your home is covered in no time. As it dries fast, doesn’t stain, and has no lingering odor, this nifty flea and tick spray can be used virtually in any place in your home, anytime you need it.
8. Best Aerosol: Natural Care Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs and Cats
If you prefer aerosol over pump spray due to its gentle mist application, you’ll love this natural tick and flea spray for dogs. Made with no harsh chemicals in its formula, it relies on active ingredients such as peppermint oil and clove oil to kill and repel all life stages of fleas and ticks. To boot, as the formula is plant-based, it is safe to use both on cats and dogs (12 weeks or older), and around the house. The formula won’t leave any stains on your upholstery, carpets, or floors, so feel free to spray away!
9. Best Organic: Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Spray
With a powerful blend of natural insecticides such as cinnamon oil, clove oil, eugenol, cedarwood oil, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil, this tick spray covers all of the bases with its active ingredients. The formula will kill ticks and fleas in all forms, and repel mosquitos, too. The effect lasts up to 4 weeks after the initial spraying, so you won’t have to reapply each day for this spray to work. Which is particularly impressive considering that it is 100% naturally derived with no artificial colors or fragrances, as well as no harsh chemicals and toxic ingredients. Suitable for dogs older than 4 months, this all-natural, plant-based tick spray is best used in conjecture with other tick repellents if you live in a high-risk area.
10. Honorable Mention: TICK BAN Yaya Organics All Natural Tick Repellent
This is a super-potent, all-natural formula that combines therapeutic grade essential oils (cedarwood, geranium, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, and thyme) to deter and kill all kinds of critters. In addition to ticks, this spray will kill and repel black flies, gnats, and fleas, which makes it an ideal product for your next camping trip. Made in the USA, this spray contains no harsh chemicals– just non-toxic ingredients that make it safe to use on your clothing, gear, or skin so both you and your four-legged bestie can be protected on your next outdoor adventure. This spray comes in either a 4 oz or a 16 oz bottle.
Dangers of ticks on dogs
All parasites are horrible. Fleas make your pet itch like crazy, and their bloodsucking ways can lead to serious skin conditions, allergies, and anemia. Intestinal worms come in different types and can wreak havoc on your pet’s body if left untreated, and undiagnosed heartworms can even kill your dog. But what all of these parasites achieve with time and enough neglect of the issue, ticks do in a second–all it takes is one bite from an infected tick to change your pet’s life for good. Ticks carry various diseases that affect dogs, and their symptoms can range from fever to fatal outcomes.
Here are the most common and dangerous tick-borne diseases that affect dogs:
If bitten by an infected tick, a dog can contract Lyme disease and the symptoms usually appear only 2 to 5 months after the bite. They include fever, lethargy, depression, swollen lymph nodes, swollen joints, and lameness. If the disease progresses, it can lead to permanent arthritis and lameness, neurological signs, and even kidney disease in rare cases. It’s important to note that there are dog vaccines available for Lyme disease–worth looking into if you live in a high-risk area.
If a tick is infected by a certain protozoan parasite and bites a dog, it can spread babesiosis. This disease presents with dark urine, fever, pale gums, apathy, swollen lymph nodes, and an enlarged spleen. Fast action is crucial with babesiosis, as this disease has high fatality in dogs if not treated right away. Even if your dog recovers from babesiosis, he might suffer a relapse in the future.
Also known as dog fever, anaplasmosis is transmitted by deer ticks. If your pet is infected, the symptoms will appear a few days after the tick bite and include fever, depression, labored breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea. In rare cases, the symptoms can escalate to lameness, seizures, and ataxia.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
As the name suggests, this disease is common for the specific geographical area, and it’s transmitted through a tick bite. To infect your pet, the tick must be feeding on him for 5 to 20 hours. The symptoms vary from loss of appetite and apathy to joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, swelling in the face and legs.
This disease is known under several other names: canine rickettsiosis, canine typhus, tracker dog disease, canine hemorrhagic fever, and tropical canine pancytopenia. The symptoms go through stages, but in its acute form, they include fever, weight loss, difficulty breathing, swollen lymph nodes, neurological issues, and spontaneous bleeding.
This tick-related disease is kind of an odd one out as the method of transmission isn’t a tick’s bite: rather, a dog will get hepatozoonosis if he ingests an infected tick (which happens more often than you’d think). Symptoms include fever, lack of energy and appetite, weight loss, discharge from the eyes and nose, pain in muscles and reluctance to move.
Best tick repellent products
Eliminating the tick threat from your dog’s life is essential–and there are many ways to repel and kill ticks on dogs. These are the most popular types of tick repellents on the market:
Spot-on tick treatment
Spot-on topical treatments are one of the most popular products for dealing with fleas and ticks. These insecticides come in tiny tubes in the form of liquid that is to be applied to a small area of your pet’s back. Provided that the application has been successful, a spot on will keep your dog protected from ticks and fleas for a couple of weeks.
Tick collars for dogs
When it comes to tick collars for dogs, you can choose between insecticide-enriched collars or natural alternatives that rely on essential oils and strong scent to repel ticks. Both promise to keep ticks away from your dogs for months before you need to replace them. The only downside to tick collars is that they are the most potent only in the area where the collar is worn, leaving the rest of the body vulnerable. And even though ticks do tend to gravitate towards the face and the neck area, it doesn’t mean that they won’t attach anywhere on the body, so a collar is not the safest best if you live in a high-risk area.
The way chewables for ticks work is to kill any tick or flea that feast on your pet’s blood–but that means that they will have to bite them to be eliminated. For ticks on dogs, it’s better to turn to solutions that first and foremost prevent the bit from occurring by repelling the parasites rather than those that kill ticks after the fact.
Tick sprays come in two versions- those used to treat the space and those that are applied on the pet’s coat for their tick-repelling and eliminating properties. In some cases, tick sprays will be more than enough to keep ticks away from your pet, in others, they work as the first line of defense, backed with spot-on or chewables to boost the protection effect.
What to look for in tick sprays
Before you grab a tick spray for your pet, you want to make sure it’s effective- here are the main factors to consider before buying:
Do you want to rely on the power of chemical-based insecticide such as permethrin or prefer natural alternatives that use strong citrus or essential oil scents to repel ticks? Make your choice with the type of ticks in your area and your dog’s habits in mind. Some formulas are more potent than others, and some are engineered to target different species of ticks: be sure to pick accordingly.
Aerosol vs spray
Tick sprays for dogs come in aerosol bottles and spray bottles with a pump, and the choice boils down to your preference. Aerosol bottles are usually more convenient when you’re treating the environment against ticks, and spray bottles for tick sprays that are used on a dog’s coat directly.
Again, it’s important to stress that there are many different tick species–and not all formulas are equally effective on every one of them. If applicable, go for the formula that is efficient for the local types of ticks to ensure your choice of tick repellent is effective for the threat you’re most likely to encounter.
Are tick sprays good for dogs?
When formulated to be applied directly to the dog’s coat (rather than tick spray concentrates that are used on the lawn or in the house), tick sprays are perfectly safe and make a good alternative to collars, chewables, or spot-ons meant to keep ticks at bay. Most of them are formulated with natural ingredients, too, so they can be a great choice for sensitive pets that react to harsher substances commonly found in commercial tick repellent products for pets. Tick sprays can also be a good choice for puppies- just double-check the specific spray’s label to see when it’s safe to start using it.
How can I prevent my dog from getting ticks?
There isn’t a single, magic method that keeps ticks away from dogs – unfortunately, theses bloodsucking buggers are difficult to repel with a single product. The best way to prevent your dog from getting ticks is to combine multiple tick-repellent products (e.g. a collar and spray) and try to avoid areas where ticks are known to thrive, such as wooded and tall grass areas. Also, it goes without saying that you should thoroughly check your pet after a walk in nature – despite your best efforts, some of these parasites might still find a way to attach themselves to your pet.
Should I be worried if I found a tick on my dog?
The first thing to do when you find a tick on your dog is to properly remove it to minimize the chance of illness transmission or infection. Next, you should keep a close eye on your pet for a few days to see if they have any symptoms of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, or Hepatozoonosis. The symptoms range from lethargy and apathy to seizures, and if you notice anything amiss with your pet after finding a tick on them, take them to a vet straight away – a quick reaction can sometimes make a difference between life and death.
Why does my dog keep getting ticks?
The most common reason for a dog constantly getting ticks is simply the environment – the area where you walk your pet or let them play is probably crawling with ticks. This is usually the case for parks, woods, and virtually any wooded, grassy area where these parasites can lurk. If switching the place where your pet spends time outside isn’t an option, your best chance of preventing constant tick attachment is to combine different tick-repellent products every time your pet is outside.
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A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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