The 4 Best Tick Repellents For Dogs

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by Tiana Crump and Wesley Salazar
Originally Published: 
Beagle running in the forest. Happy dog have fun and is active in the nature.

To keep your furry friend free from diseases and irritation when you go out, using one of the best tick repellents for dogs is essential. Fleas and ticks can cause major health problems and discomfort for your pet. In an interview with Bustle, Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, advisory board member for Pet News Daily, warns, “It can take just one tick bite to make a dog sick.” Dr. Michelle Lugones, DVM, veterinarian at Best Friends Animal Society, recommends providing your dog with a tick repellent all year long to stave off tick-borne diseases, including Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme Disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. She explains, “These diseases can be very serious, so preventing them is ideal.”

While there are tons of different types of tick repellents out there, Dr. Coates explains, “Most tick repellents work by inhibiting the normal functioning of the tick’s nervous system, leading to their death.” Topical treatments are applied directly to your dog’s skin — Dr. Coates points out that spot-on tick repellents can be easy to use, and Dr. Lugones adds that these topical products are “usually effective against other insects, as well.” But you typically have to reapply topical products monthly, and, according to Dr. Coates, if you bathe your dog frequently, they might not be ideal.

For the longest-lasting protection, tick repellent collars are a convenient prevention method. Dr. Coates explains that “some of the newer tick collars can last for three, six, or eight months.” Dr. Lugones describes, “Sprays are usually short acting, and their effectiveness may be limited based on how well they are applied.” But tick repellent sprays can be convenient for killing pests on household surfaces, such as dog beds. One method that won’t work for keeping ticks away from your dog? Essential oils, which Dr. Lugones claims are “ineffective and can be dangerous to use on and around pets.”

Dr. Lugones reminds pet owners that while tick preventatives are “very safe when the instructions are followed, side effects are always possible,” so always look at the instructions very closely. And don’t ever use cat tick repellents on your dog, or vice versa — Dr. Lugones writes, “They aren’t safe to use on species they weren’t designed for, and if they are, a pet could end up in the emergency room in serious condition.”

In a hurry? These are the best tick repellents for dogs:

1. The Best Collar Tick Repellent: SOBAKEN Flea and Tick Collar For Dogs

2. The Best Spot-On Treatment: Adams Plus Flea & Tick Spot-On For Dogs

3. The Best Tick Repellent Spray For Your Home: Adams Flea and Tick Home Spray

4. A Dog Bandana That Repels Ticks: Insect Shield Bandana

Both Dr. Coates and Dr. Lugones agree that you should always consult your veterinarian to make sure that you choose a tick repellent that suits your dog’s specific needs. But if you want to get to browsing options while you wait on that vet appointment, below you’ll find some of the top tick repellents that Amazon has to offer.


The Best Collar Tick Repellent

The flea and tick collar is one of the best all-around repellent collars. With thousands of positive ratings on Amazon, it’s a favorite among users, too. This collar delivers up to seven months of tick and flea prevention and is also water-resistant. It can be easily placed next to your dog’s original collar for convenient, low-maintenance tick and flea prevention. Plus, the reflective strip is an added safety measure that makes your dog more visible when it’s dark out.

According to one reviewer: “Our dog was scratching for a couple of days and decided to do a quick glance on her coat. We realized she had gotten a few fleas from the park. After some extensive research i found this collar to be the perfect fit while having some protection for night walks. [...]”


The Best Spot-On Treatment

When you spot a tick or flea or live in a wooded area, Adams Plus Flea & Tick Spot On For Dogs is a good option. This topical treatment has a handy snap-tip applicator to make it easy to apply directly on your dog’s skin between their shoulder blades. It dries quickly, and protects your pooch from head to tail for up to a month. The formula is designed to disrupt the tick life cycle by killing both tick eggs and larvae. This treatment repels fleas and mosquitos, too.

Each package includes a three-month supply. Although you have to apply it once per month, it’s an effective option featuring the dog-safe active ingredient pyriproxyfen and a great option for those who'd rather not use a flea and tick collar. “I never have to worry about ticks or fleas or mosquitoes on my dogs at all,” one Amazon reviewer raved.

This particular version is for medium dogs, but you can also snag Adams Plus spot-on treatment for small, large, and extra-large dogs.

According to one reviewer: “This is the most effective Flea and Tick Spot On I've used. The best time of its' use was the first two weeks. Then the effectiveness became less from the third into the fourth week. Even then it was better then any other other I've used. You can't beat the price, especially when you have multiple dogs."


The Best Tick Repellent Spray For Your Home

For protection in and out of the home, consider this flea and tick home spray. This tick repellent spray is formulated to kill all kinds of pests within minutes, including (but certainly not limited to) ticks, fleas, mosquitos, and bed bugs on contact. You can use it on pet bedding, crates, carpets, and furniture to safeguard your home — just make sure you don’t spray it on your dog.

According to one reviewer: “I have used this product in my dogs bed area, to keep it fresh and one step ahead of any fleas or ticks that may try to appear. This product has worked well because since my dog goes outside during the day, and he comes in at night, I have not noticed any ticks or fleas on his bedding. I would buy again.”


A Dog Bandana That Repels Ticks

For a fun wearable option, consider this cute Insect Shield dog insect-repellent bandana. This 22- by 20-inch bandana’s fabric is infused with permethrin to ward off ticks and fleas. It’s a light blue color with paisley-patterned detailing for a sporty look. This bandana is machine-washable, too, and can remain effective for up to 70 washings before you need to replace it. This can also be used with other solutions for extra protection — the brand even makes a dog T-shirt option.

However, it's not a good idea to use this around cats since permethrin can be harmful to felines, especially when the ingredient is wet.

According to one reviewer: “We’ve been using these bandanas for years. They’re great for the dogs and the humans. They work great in offering another level of protection against ticks.”


Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, who serves on the advisory board for Pet News Daily

Dr. Michelle Lugones, DVM, veterinarian at Best Friends Animal Society

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