5 Best Dog Tick Repellents for Hiking (Safe + Long Lasting)

I always try to be as prepared as possible before venturing out on any of my adventures, that includes looking out for my kids and pets that come with us as well.

Dogs are a fun companion to share trails with, and while they don’t require quite as much pampering as us needy humans, one thing you do have to look out for is ticks.

Ticks are nasty little parasites that find their way onto our pets’ skin to feed on blood, and they’re most commonly found in tall grass and bushes (aka most trail spots).

There are a number of good ways to protect your pup from ticks (and the diseases they carry), and dog tick repellents are definitely the most guaranteed method.

The best tick repellents for dogs while hiking include special chewable and topical medications, tick protection collars, tick shampoos, and sprays that include natural oils and ingredients that are safe for dogs as well as people.

A combination of options as well as checking your dog for ticks after every hike can ensure your dog stays completely tick free no matter the season.

Even vets have a hard time keeping up with the vast number of tick treatments there are for dogs nowadays, but the list below will provide you with several effective and studied options to choose from.

How to Keep Ticks Off Dogs While Hiking

Before we get into repellents, there are some very general rules you should always follow when it comes to proper tick protection for your dogs.

Frequently Check Your Dog for Ticks

You should always be sure to check your dog for ticks after adventuring together. To be extra safe, you can even do a quick check while you’re stopping for water or brushing your dog.

It's also a good idea to check your dog after your hike before you get in the car otherwise you can end up with ticks in your car and this can be really annoying to deal with.

Ticks are small, round, and grey/brown, and you’ll need to look closely as sometimes they can be mistaken for bumps on your dog’s skin. You should be able to see their legs after a closer look.

Remove Ticks Quickly and Properly

Ticks spread a number of diseases, most notably Lyme disease, and they present several other risks towards our precious pets if they aren’t taken care of.

Just like with humans, ticks on dogs should be removed using a fine-tipped pair of tweezers (or opt for this Tick Removal Tool for Dogs if your dog is a frequent adventurer).

HomeSake Tick Removal Tool for Dogs, Cats and Humans
$5.99 $4.69

Specially designed to remove the entire tick- head and all. Designed to help you get your furry buddy tick-free impressively fast. Just latch, twist and pull. It’s that easy. 

Not just a tick removal tool for dogs and cats, you can use it as a tick remover for kids and adults too.

Buy Now at Amazon
03/08/2024 01:52 am GMT

Grab the tick as close to your dog's skin as possible and gently pull upwards without twisting or jerking, as this could cause part of the tick’s mouth to break off in your dog’s skin.

You can dispose of any tick you find by dropping it in a solution such as rubbing alcohol or bleach, or even just flushing it down the toilet.

1. Seresto Collar (Best Overall)

Tick protection collars are the perfect blend of low maintenance and effectivity.

While there are several tick protection collars to choose from, Seresto is by far the best option you’ll find. While you may be spending a bit more cash compared to other collars, you probably won’t be able to find another option that works as quickly and effectively.

The collar works to prevent ticks by releasing chemical ingredients slowly over time, which will repel and kill parasites (not just ticks) for an 8 month period.

What makes Seresto’s collar a cut above is that it starts working pretty much instantly to shoo off any nasty crawlers from head to tail, and not having to consult a vet first is definitely a plus (and it’s actually commonly recommended by vets).

It’s also worth mentioning that they’re water-resistant, odor-free, and most importantly safe for your pup. A lot of dog users absolutely swear by these collars and have had great success with them.

I have a Bernese Mountain dog who used to get inundated with ticks when we would visit family in California. We tried everything, and ultimately Seresto is the only thing that actually worked. The ticks just don't attach, and on the off chance that they do, they die long before they have a chance to get embedded. Definitely worth a try if you're thinking about it!

Source: Reddit

Seresto collar, hands down. My dogs and cats wear them year-round and the collars last ~9 months. They start working almost immediately. Any pet supply store will carry them, your vet probably does too (and the vet may have a mail in rebate slip for you too).

Reddit: bookwormdesigner

Like all products Seresto collars aren't suitable for all dogs and some dogs can have adverse reactions to Seresto collars.

There is also the issue of fake Seresto collars out there and side effects from fake collars seem much more common than from real collars. Click here to learn the difference between a fake and reason Seresto collar but the easiest way to ensure you get the right collar is to buy from a reputable retailer for a reputable price.

I think any dog owner can appreciate not having to constantly reapply a topical or having to feed your dog chewable medication disguised in a slice of cheese, and if you’re looking to hit the trails with your furry friend by the weekend, you can pick up a Seresto collar via Amazon.

2. Bravecto (Best Prescription Only)

As a dog owner you might have heard some controversy surrounding many of the oral tick and parasite medications that are available on the market, as many dog lovers have reported some pretty rough side effects.

Bravecto is a chewable oral treatment that has been closely studied and approved safe by veterinarians, and it starts killing attached ticks in as little as 2 hours and has 100% efficacy in just 12 hours.

If your dog has an active tick infestation then this is definitely a good option and it will also help prevent ticks from staying attached and breeding and laying eggs whilst on your dog.

In my opinion what really sets Bravecto apart from the other oral medications is that it lasts up to 3 months, which is several times more than most treatments. This means you don't need to remember to apply monthly and your dog gets longer coverage.

They also kill and prevent fleas and ruin the flea lifecycle to stop re-infestation.

They’re also meat-flavored, which means you won’t have to pull out the classic chewable in cheese trick for your pup to get on board with the whole tick-prevention thing.

Bravecto is a clear favorite when it comes to prescription tick treatments, but as with any oral medication, you’ll need to consult your vet to make sure it’s a good fit for your dog and to make sure you get the right dosage.

The downside of Bravecto is they can be quite costly compared to other options on this list and as a prescription medicine you'll need to see a vet in order to get them making access more difficult for some people.

3. Frontline Plus (Best Non-Prescription)

FRONTLINE Plus for Dogs Flea and Tick Treatment (Large Dog, 45-88 lbs.) 3 Doses (Purple Box)

Frontline Plus has been in the business for multiple decades, and it’s remained one of if not the most popular over-the-counter treatment for ticks.

Frontline is applied topically on your dogs skin and lasts up to thirty days, and I like that it starts killing ticks within 48 hours. It’s also pretty simple to apply since you only have to squeeze the tube into one spot between your dog’s shoulder blades.

Topical treatments and medications are some of the most guaranteed ways to protect your furry friend from ticks, and one of the only real cons to Frontline is that it shouldn’t be used for puppies that are younger than 8 weeks.

While Frontline is backed by vets and is a favorite among topicals, it’s important to mention that you might find it helpful to consult with your vet if you haven’t treated your dog before.

Frontline works by paralyzing and killing ticks by attacking their nervous system and can also kill fleas and interrupt their life cycle stopping re-infestation.

It works by being incorporated into oil glands and is spread throughout your dogs skin within 24-48 hours. This is why you can place it on just a small spot on your dog and it'll spread through your dogs skin.

Some products can actually be more effective depending on your area, and there have actually been a number of studies done that show that ticks have become resistant to many of the topical and spray chemicals we use in repelling them. As if they weren’t annoying enough as is.

If you’ve decided on Frontline, you can pick up 3 doses for your dog’s size on Amazon.

Frontline Plus for Dogs Flea and Tick Treatment (3 Doses)
$49.99 $42.88 ($14.29 / Count)

A fast-acting, waterproof flea & tick topical that's proven to kill fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, chewing lice, and ticks that can transmit Lyme disease. Keep your dog protected from fleas & ticks all month long

Buy Now at Amazon
03/08/2024 01:57 am GMT

4. Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo (Best Wash)

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor for Cats, Kittens, Dogs & Puppies Over 12 Weeks Of Age Sensitive Skin Flea Treatment | Kills Adult Fleas, Flea Eggs, Ticks, and Lice

Ticks are stubborn little guys and it’s pretty much impossible to remove one by washing.

You CAN however kill ticks while giving your dog a bath, if you add a little bit of tick shampoo.

Tick shampoos can be a big help in both repelling and killing these nasty pests from your dog’s fur, and Adams Tick Shampoo is one of the best available.

It remains effective for up to 28 days, and I find it nice that it still makes the coat soft and smooth.

While tick shampoo can be a very cost-effective way to tackle ticks on your pet, I personally would recommend using it in combination to another preventative.

Ticks can actually still find their way onto your pup even if they are on medication or topicals, so using a shampoo can help attack those persistent ones that are lingering in their fur.

See the latest price of Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo on Amazon.

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo
$18.99 $14.99 ($1.25 / Fl Oz)

Kills ticks, lice and fleas on your dog or cat. Formulated with soothing aloe vera, lanolin, coconut extract, and oatmeal makes it paw-fect for pets with sensitive skin.

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03/08/2024 03:32 am GMT

5. Cedarcide Original Tick Bug Spray (Best Naturally Sourced)

If you’re concerned about using certain chemicals and solution with your pet, Cedarcide is a great choice for a natural, non-toxic tick solution.

Sprays are extremely effective in protecting us humans from ticks, and they work well for our furry friends as well.

Cedarcide is sprayed and massaged into your dogs coat, the natural deterrents work great for repelling and killing a number of pests including ticks.

A big downside to the natural choices is that they don’t hold their effectiveness for quite as long, and you’ll need to reapply Cedarcide every 5-7 days. It's also much easier to wash off so if your dog likes to go swimming or get wet it may not be as effective.

Because of this, I think Cedarcide would be a good choice for dog owners who don’t take their dogs out quite as much, and I can see it being useful for going on trips or occasional hikes.

Check out this Cedarcide Original Kit on Amazon.

Cedarcide Original + Tickshield Family Cedarwood Oil (4 Pack)
$17.99 ($4.50 / Ounce)

Non toxic and family safe bug spray made from cedarwood oil. Can help to kill and repel unwanted pests.

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03/08/2024 02:27 am GMT