Tick protection for your pooch

While I’m on the trail dog thing, I just thought I would mention to check your dogs feet if you are riding with them at MRWA trails. That granite might be hard on the pads. Always take water, there aren’t that many places for dogs to drink there. @Sarah posted a great graph a few years back that convinced me that it was time to retire Scout, that and a photo I took of him mid ride (on Death March) where he just didn’t look like he was enjoying it as much as I was. Now, he much prefers going on trail maintenance hikes or walks to the nearest lake, pond or mud hole. Oh, and be sure to give your dog a tick check. It’s crazy with them out there this year. @Sarah, do you have a tick repellent recipe you can share or do you use something from the vet?


Timely question about ticks! I’m currently living on my parents farm outside Truro and we’re getting 20-30 ticks a day on average and a couple days ago came home from a 5km hike with a record breaking 59 ticks between the dogs and humans!

So… here’s what we’re doing.

Humans are getting an Atlantick spray on ankles & necks & wrists before we go out. We’re also rocking long pants & long sleeves regardless of the temperature right now. This isn’t stopping all the ticks from getting on our skin.

We’re spraying shoes, backpacks, hats, dog harnesses with a product called “ultra shield”. It’s horse spray. It’s used also to combat bedbugs. Not toxic to humans or dogs but IT IS TO CATS - so if you share your world with cats be careful how it’s used. I have also been spraying this directly on the dogs. I am not spraying it near the kids and everything we spray dries before we use it.

My dogs were on a topical tick medication, and honestly in the last few years I’ve been lazy about getting it and have been lucky. This year we’ve upped our game to brevecto (you get this from the vet) because I’ve found 4 on my head already and many on my kids and the dogs sleep with us all.

Something that I have not tried but was recently recommended was a spray of 1/2 Listerine to 1/2 water. I’m told it will repel 90% more ticks than the Atlantick spray, so we’re going to give it a try too.

For tick checks on your dogs, check between toes, up legs, “arm” pits, ears, under the tail and scruff of the neck are all favourite spots. I have “tick picks” but honestly find that a fine nose tweezer works the best for ticks that are fresh and haven’t really latched on yet. For engorged ticks, 100% the tick pick is ideal.

You can get a lyme vaccine for your dog also, this is probably worth a convo with your vet these days.

If your dog travels in your vehicle, remember that ticks can live in these spaces without a host for days. So a tick may fall off in the car and be picked up a day or two later. So check regularly…


59 Wow! It used to be a lot when I worked at Keji Seaside getting a dozen on my in one hike. Our dog, Cooper, is taking some sort of med and we find dead ticks on him. They bite, then die, and we find them loose in his fur. We find them all the time at the job site I work at in Beaver Bank, but nothing like that.

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We’ve been using the Brevecto for the last few years. It does seem to work. I’ve made my own spray in the past with some essential oil’s, can’t remember what was in it though. The Listerine solution is one I’ve never heard. Might be worth a try. Easy ingredients to get ahold of. I also never thought of checking between the toes. Good advice, thanks!


We’re a regular old chemistry class here these days. It’s gross, I try not to think about it too much, but for our context the natural stuff is basically the equivalent of “thoughts & prayers”.

I’d say Atlantick is a good product for more urban parks (shubie, ppp, hemlock ravine etc) but if you’re riding more wilderness areas like McRun as your main trail I know LOTS of dogs who have wound up with Lyme from ticks picked up in there. Same with Railyard in Truro which is like Disney land for the local deer population (honestly ratio of deer to people in Truro has to be 1:1), I’d be upping the game to a cocktail of chemicals none of us can pronounce.

I don’t love it, but this year I don’t feel I have a choice.


Woody is on NexGard (afoxolaner). He is in the woods all the time, especially at McIntosh, and never has ticks. This peace of mind is invaluable.

I occasionally find a tick on the couch, though. I suspect these have decided that Woody is a crappy host and are sizing me up instead.

(Human-related content: I’m in the woods all the time too, and rarely find a tick on me. I do hit the shower after almost every outing. Kaarin picked up lyme a couple of years ago, but caught it early with antibiotics and beat it completely.)


Cooper is on SimparicaTRIO. We have found some dead ticks on him that has previously bitten him. None engorged.My folks are finding frequent (daily) engorged ticks on their German Shepherd and they are using Advantics. It’s doing nothing it seems unless it’s being used wrong.

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If the dog likes water it can be washed off without too much trouble. It also needs to be applied in a few different locations on the body to work effectively for large dogs.

That said, we determined this year it wasn’t good enough at all for the number of ticks we’re finding. :frowning:

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When we’re out doing trail work, we usually wear the Marks No Fly Zone pants and shirts - haven’t found any ticks on us since we’ve been wearing them, but we may be just lucky, and they seem to give good protection against biting insects.


We’ve got Daisy on Nexguard monthly for fleas, ticks and worms. It works as we often find dead ticks. The pup will go on it when she’s older too.

Years ago a pest specialist said treating the dog is the best option as fleas and ticks will move off others to get to them, and we’ve always believed in that theory.

The kids get the odd one but we do pretty diligent checking each day as we get a few deer and rabbits through the yard.

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Split this awesome thread to its own post for future reference.


The Notorious D.O.G. in our house takes Bravecto (Fluralaner). Her associated humans use Atlantick along with post-ride showers/tick checks/Whiskey

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The chemicals that make these pants “tick free” is the same as the horse spray.

Where in Mac Run do you think the majority of them are? I ride in there like 4 days a week, on all trails and have yet to find one on me.

My faithful companion passed on after 15 years last February, but here’s what we did for tick control. Tried the topicals for a year or two, found them to be expensive, and didn’t work that well. Once the lyme vaccine was available, he got that with a booster every year for the last 12 years or so, and that was it. But, our method depends on your comfort level with ticks, as the vaccine doesnt kill or repel them. We’d just pick them off when we’d notice them, as our main concern was lyme, and not necessarily ticks (he wasn’t on furniture or beds, and rode in a kennel in the box of the truck). Whatever you choose, the vaccine is important. If only it was available for humans!

I heard it used to be available for humans but there wasn’t much uptake. Interesting.

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Dogexperts, is the vaccine the same as the oral meds?? Our dog is on NexGard Spectra in the belief that that it prevents Lyme and kills ticks, is this accurate?

Nexgard (afoxalaner) kills ticks and fleas. More specifically, I think it attacks neuroreceptors of arthopods, but not mammals. It’s not a lyme vaccine, but a dead tick can’t bite…

The “spectra” version adds another parasiticide which adds heartworm protection.

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I have been using Bravecto for 4 years with our dog.
I know it works because we find dead ticks everywhere.
He is impossible to find ticks on because of how thick his hair is.

This year is insane for them.

My next step is employing a flock of Guinea Fowl to follow us around 24/7


We have four chickens and I’ve never seen ticks in our yard but in light of the relaxed travel restrictions I may leave that same yard so it would be good to know what’s beyond the edge of my picket fence horizon :sweat_smile: