One thing I’ve learned about taking a dog hiking is that you can’t really tame their curious side, and eventually your pup is going to end up exploring off-trail.
Unfortunately this is where ticks tend to be, and for this reason I like to give myself and any furry friends an extra layer of protection in the form of tick repellent.
Some tick repellents, however, have strong chemicals that can potentially be harmful to dogs. For this reason I tend to opt for more natural solutions if I’m bringing a pet along with me.
But what are the best natural tick repellents for dogs?
The best natural tick repellents for dogs are sprays, shampoos, and collars that use plant-based ingredients and essential oils that are proven to repel ticks. The best repellent sprays can be found from brands like Cedarcide, Wondercide, Vet’s Best, and Nantucket Spider.
While natural repellents aren’t quite as strong as the best medicinal and chemical tick treatments for dogs, I like knowing that they won’t cause any adverse reactions, and they’re always a safe bet.
However, since all-natural solutions tend to differ a lot when it comes to formulas, you’ll need to keep reading to learn which repellent will benefit your pup most in the long run.
1. Cedarcide Tick Spray
I frequently recommend Cedarcide as a top choice for natural repellents (even among the best natural repellents for humans), and that’s because they seem to have done the most research when it comes to perfecting a natural tick solution.
They explain on their site how their formula dehydrates and pretty much dissolves ticks on the spot, and from what I’ve seen Cedarcide is impressively effective for an all-natural spray.
Cedarcide uses cedarwood oil (a natural deterrent of ticks) to scare off the nasty critters and explain on their FAQ that they follow the EPA’s guidelines for a “minimum risk pesticide”, which reassures that it’s safe for pets.
Cedarcide is applied on dogs in spray form, and will need to be reapplied every 5-7 hours as needed, but I also like that they sell granules and yard sprays to tackle ticks around the house as well.
As a hiker, I also appreciate not having to carry multiple different repellents with me since Cedarcide’s formula is safe to use with humans, pets, kids, and even on clothing or bedding.
It also protects you from mosquitos, fleas, ants and mites as well making it an all around great insect repellent.
Cedarcide Original is a plant-based and family-safe bug spray for use directly on people, indoor spaces, and your pets. Original Protects your family from harmful bugs like Mosquitoes, Fleas, Ticks Ants, and Mites.
2. Wondercide Tick Spray
Wondercide was actually created after the founder’s dog fell ill from commonly recommended tick repellents, and as such they make some of the safest yet still effective dog tick repellents on the market.
Wondercide uses a combination of cedarwood and lemongrass oil to keep ticks away from your pup, and I like that they offer a few different scents to choose from (cedarwood, peppermint, lemongrass, rosemary).
They explain on their FAQ that Wondercide blocks some of the neurotransmitter receptors on pests (fleas, mosquitoes, ticks) that are responsible for their breathing and heartrate, which eventually results in not only repellency but actually killing the pests as well.
They also claim on the FAQ that it only needs to be applied on pets every 2-3 days to keep effectiveness, but if you’re taking your dog out for a walk or on the trails, I’d recommend always applying beforehand (the formula is safe to apply daily).
Using natural essential oils, this spray is proven to kill by contact, repel, and prevent 98-100% of fleas, ticks and mosquitoes in laboratory testing.
Gentle enough to use on puppies, kittens, and senior pets when used as directed. Powerful enough to fully eliminate pests on the skin and fur. Safe to use around the entire family, and kid-safe, when used as directed.
3. Wondercide Tick Collar
As with any pet product, there are some online rumors and scare stories about possible side effects when it comes to using these collars.
With this in mind, I was interested to see that Wondercide actually makes an all-natural tick collar that works well to keep ticks away from dogs.
Wondercide’s collar uses the same formula as the spray, a plant-based formula that combines cedarwood and peppermint oil to repel ticks.
The collar will effectively scare ticks away from your pet for up to 4 months (compared to 8 months with Seresto), but unlike Seresto, Wondercide’s all natural formula presents a more organic option.
Using natural essential oils, this dog collar repels fleas and ticks for up to 4 months and mosquitoes for up to 1 month. Helps prevent flea and tick infestations.
Easy to cut-to-size for dogs and can be used on all pet sizes.
4. Vet’s Best Tick Spray
Vet’s Best has been around for 30+ years and their plant-based tick spray combines peppermint oil and eugenol to keep ticks away from dogs.
The ingredients used in their formula do a great job of not only repelling ticks, but killing them as well, and I especially like that the same spray can be used on dogs and also around the house.
Spraying your dog’s collar, leash, harness, and bedding can help play a big part in scaring ticks away, and Vet’s Best is safe to spray on all of the above (it also leaves a pretty fresh scent).
You’ll need to reapply every 2-4 hours or as needed (but not more than twice a day), and make sure to keep the spray away from any pups that are younger than 12 weeks.
Say goodbye to fleas, flea larvae, flea eggs, ticks, and mosquitoes with this natural flea and tick spray. It not only eliminates existing infestations, it also protects against future afflictions, keeping your dog and home pest-free.
Uses certified natural plant-based ingredients like peppermint oil and eugenol, keeping your dog safe from harsh chemicals and gentle enough to use on dogs 12 weeks or older and can be applied directly to their skin.
5. Nantucket Spider Spray
Nantucket Spider is another natural tick solution brand that I recommend for us humans, but they also provide a dog tick spray that has the same great results.
Their DEET-free formula uses an all-organic mix of ingredients including cedarwood oil, geranium oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and lavender oil. They pretty much check every “natural tick deterrent” box.
They avoid ‘citrusy’ ingredients that can irritate a dog’s nose and skin, and one of the simpler things that I appreciate about their product is the spray nozzle, which really helps to spread an even coat of their solution on pets.
They say to reapply the formula every 1.5 hours, and although that’s a lower number than alternatives, I find it convenient for spraying before and during weekend hikes.
Lab tested and highly effective. Nantucket Spider Extra Strength Tick Spray for Humans is made from a broad spectrum of steam-distilled, organic essential oils that are proven to repel ticks, including rosemary, cinnamon, cedarwood, peppermint, spearmint, geranium and clove. Distilled water, vegetable glycerin and natural vanillin (made from cloves) are our only other ingredients.
6. Richard’s Organics Tick Shampoo
Richard’s Organics Tick Shampoo won’t be very effective in repelling ticks, but I wanted to include it on this list because it does work great to kill ticks in the bath after a day in the outdoors.
Their shampoo consists of several pure essential oils, and it’s pH balanced to be gentle with your dog’s skin.
I typically assume that any “medical” or treatment shampoo will have an icky smell to it, but I was happy to find that their formula actually leaves fur soft and pleasant smelling.
Although it doesn’t repel, I think that all-natural tick shampoo such as Richard’s Organics’ is a great way to ensure that no ticks sneak their way onto your dog and remain after a hike or a day in the park.
Made with 5 pure essential oils, this dog shampoo smells great and soothes irritated skin while it works hard to rid your dog of fleas and ticks.
Specifically formulated for dogs 12 weeks and older. The pH balanced treatment is ideal for your dog’s sensitive skin. Due to the active oil ingredients, this shampoo is not safe for cats.