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Many chemical-based dog products available today ward off ticks and fleas. They’re effective, and many dog owners use them without incident. But not all dogs, or dog owners, are the same. Some dogs have skin reactions to the chemicals. Some dog owners are concerned about the long-term effects of their use, or simply don’t want to use anything on their dog that they wouldn’t use on themselves. Or some owners just don’t want to have a dog with chemicals on it hanging around the house.

Fortunately, there are numerous products that will keep ticks and fleas off of your dog. Many dog owners will use a combination of these and make them part of daily, dog-care regimen. Here are a few choices.

A Fine-toothed Brush

A de-shedding tool has closely spaced teeth that catch crawling ticks and reveal fleas. PetNeat

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It’s always a good practice to brush your dog regularly to remove loose hairs and keep its coat looking good. A fine-tooted wire brush, with its narrow, closely spaced teeth, will not only remove loose follicles, it also will catch any ticks that aren’t embedded and reveal any fleas in the fur. This is an important first step in controlling ticks and fleas naturally, and one you should practice regularly.

Tick Removal Tool

The Tick Twister comes with two tools sized to remove both engorged and unengorged ticks from an animal. Tick Twister

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If you find an embedded tick on your dog, use a dedicated tool to remove the parasite. Embedded ticks latch on and often don’t let go, and it’s much easier to use one of these tools to remove it—and it also greatly reduces the chance of leaving the tick’s mouth parts in the dog, which can cause an infection.

Oral Treatments

Oral tick and flea treatments are designed to keep pests away, not kill them. Colorado Dog Company

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Some oral tick and flea treatments contain natural ingredients that change the dog’s natural odor, so parasites aren’t attracted to the animal. They are designed to keep pests away, not kill them. Other oral treatments work by actually repelling the parasites.

Collars

Some tick collars use peppermint, lemongrass, clove, and other essential oils to prevent fleas and ticks from infesting your dog. SOBAKEN

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Tick and flea collars have been available for decades, but collars that use natural ingredients to repel fleas and ticks are a relatively recent development. Such hypoallergenic collars use plant-based derivatives that are natural insect repellents and are designed to be comfortable for dogs to wear.

Home Sprays

The Vet’s Best flea and tick home spray is plant-based and can be used on carpets and upholstery. Vet’s Best

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These work to repel ticks and fleas from wherever the dog may be in the house. Because they’re made from natural ingredients, you can use them anywhere.

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