My family has had dogs forever, and we’ve always used either Frontline or K9 Advantix for flea/tick repellent. Luckily, we’ve never had any negative side effects, and for the most part, we’ve never had any problems with fleas or ticks. All that said, though, I know plenty people who have had problems, and I know plenty more who haven’t had a ton of success with those products. When our family got on the “natural kick” a while back, we of course brought the dogs on board as well. One of the first questions people asked was if I knew of any natural, DIY flea and tick repellents. After a great deal of research, I’ve come up with a recipe that is easy, inexpensive, and effective.
You can use a regular nylon or other cloth collar, or you can use a bandana or scrap of fabric like I did. I actually like to visit the fabric sections of craft stores whenever possible to see what they have available for swatches. Often, they have small little pieces that are plenty big to make dog bandanas or collars from, and you can get them for just a couple bucks.
As always, be sure to use only pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils, and NEVER use essential oils on cats. I use and recommend doTERRA oils. The recipe will make enough solution to soak two collars or bandanas. Simply half it if you only have one dog.
*Note: depending on the type and size of material used, you may need to increase the solution. The collar should be fully soaked with enough to wring out a little before hanging to dry. If it’s not wet enough. Add equal amounts of water and oils to ensure saturation.
- 4 drops geranium essential oil
- 4 drops lavender essential oil
- 4 drops cedarwood essential oil
- 4 drops peppermint essential oil
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- Whisk all ingredients together in a flat, shallow bowl.
- Submerge collar/bandana/fabric in liquid; let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove collar from liquid, and wring out excess.
- Hang to dry.
- When the collar is completely dry, simply tie around the dog’s neck. Be sure to get it snug enough so as to not come off or catch on things but loose enough to be comfortable. Use the two-finger rule: you should be able to comfortably get two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.
- Replace the collar every 2-4 weeks depending on insect population, weather, etc. I have a number of fabric swatches in a cabinet for the dogs. When I need a new one, I simply throw the one they’re wearing in the wash and start with a clean one.
The oils I use are great at repelling all sorts of bugs, not just fleas and ticks. This collar should help repel mosquitoes, flies, and other insects too!