Summers are almost here and the warm and pleasant weather means that you can now lounge outside with your crazy canine child.  However, this weather also opens the Pandora ’s Box of ticks and lyme disease in dogs.

Since I was a child, I have always seen my Mom get into the hyper mode during this season. Karela (bittergourd) and Neem mix spray were often used her on her canine kids. In addition, all the dog bedding was thoroughly washed with antiseptic soaps and liquids and sun dried. Over the years, tick collars have given her some respite but she still uses a number of homemade remedies to keep these pesky creatures at bay.

I am sharing some of her secret ingredients with the hope that it will help each one of your canine child and spare you of the tick-menace.

  1. Apple cider vinegar: An apple a day keeps the doctor away in any form. Apple cider vinegar is a power packed product that has multiple uses. While, it is also used for digestion (read: Apple Cider Vinegar – A Holistic Remedy for Dogs), its use as a protection again bacterial and fungal infection is well-known. Given in food or sprayed on skin; apple cider vinegar can be used in any form.  More ways of using Apple cider vinegar can be seen here
  2. Citrus: Citrus works well both as fleas repellant and a perfume for dogs. If you like scent of lemon or orange, you are in luck. Lemon peel, blended and pureed can be rubbed into the dog’s fur. The paste acts as a natural flea repellent and smells fantastic. DONOT try this on cats.
  3. Neem: Nothing beats neem and neem oil. The century old wisdom of using neem as an anti-bacterial and antiseptic for humans is also true for dogs. In my house, a spray was made suing neem leaves, lemon and clove oil
  4. Essential oil: Anything with strong mint and clove properties will work wonders on ticks. Mint oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and clove oil are preferred by many pet owners. However, it is important to know the right consistency of dilution. For example, I teaspoon clove oil to every 3-4 teaspoon of water is good for a spray. Read here to see more oil options for cats and dogs
  5. Garlic: Yes, it stinks! Also, it is believe that garlic can be extremely toxic for dogs in food. Having said that, a pinch of garlic in any of the water based sprays is a good idea. Garlic is great tick, fleas and mosquito repellent both for dogs and humans.
  6. Karela or bitter gourd: This traditional remedy for fighting diabetes is also a great flea repellant when used in sprays. Bitter gourd, Neem oil, lemon and a pinch of garlic make for a well-known formula for tick and flea control and treatment

In addition to making and using natural remedies, one thing that happens in mom’s house is paw cleaning. Every time my mom’s dogs come back inside the house, they have to step through a dettol water mix to enter the house. I am unsure if the pets like it but it has worked in their favor for over a decade.

Hope these tips can de-stress you and help you enjoy the warm weather a bit more.