The spring is here. My favourite season that comes with as many walks as we can fit in a day (and complete because I am not an athlete). Annoyingly, spring also brings out the bugs – and ticks in particular.
And I do passionately hate ticks. As the sun comes out and the woodland is calling our name, I can completely picture those pesky insects dangling and swinging on long sharp stems of perfectly green grass, rubbing there numerous legs waiting… waiting.. waiting for my boy to walk by.
Last summer was pretty easy. Cooper has a very short coat and I could see everything that ever got between those honey-coloured hairs. I checked him maniacally after every walk, but luckily there were no ticks or any kind of bugs in sight to worry about. We did give him Bravecto that was supposed to provide extra protection and make the ticks drop dead at first bite, but to be completely honest, I was never 100% convinced by yet another chemical, so decided not to use it this year.
Instead I set off to look for something more natural… And hey, result! I found three things that are meant to work. All by Mercola, they include tick & flea spray, spot on treatment and collar. One thing you need to know about Dr Mercola and his team is that the guys tend to say things as they are, no nonsense, no gimmicks and most definitely no trendy fads. I trust them whether we are talking human nutrition or pets wellbeing. So I have got high hopes for their tick range.
I decided to skip the spray for now because there is a tiny chance that Coop may inhale too much whilst being sprayed or his skin may not like the essential oils used in the formula. Another, and probably even more valid reason, was the fact that the spray did not contain geranium oil – the one known for it’s natural ability to repel ticks. Apparently, they can’t stand the stuff.
I have already received the spot on, which I am going to apply on a piece of grosgrain ribbon and put on Coop in a manner of collar just before we go for our country walks. It smells really lovely, sort of minty, but also sweet, and made with geraniol (geranium essential oil), wintergreen oil and almond oil as a base. I can be used on puppies from 4 months of age. If you follow direction, you’d need to apply 1/2 to 1 tube (the box comes with exact quantities depending on dogs size) between the shoulder blades as if it was a regular anti-flea treatment. It’s said to repel fleas, ticks and mosquitos and last for 1 month before you need to re-apply. Since I am a bit of a worrier when it comes to using essential oils on my boy, I will skip the skin application and use the ribbon.
If Coop does not mind the scent, I am going to get the collar, too. The difference between the “Mercola collar” and the regular repellent collar is that the Mercola one is saturated with the above oils, not irritating chemicals, that are a part of the collar and not just sitting on its surface. And the rubber itself is also natural. The collar comes in several sizes to suit dog’s neck and can be used for 3-4 months.
I’ll report back at the end of the tick season, but I do feel pretty positive about the whole thing.