Preventing Ticks On Your Dogs

Every year we look forward to a summer together with the dog, but as soon as the temperatures climb up the ladder of the thermometer, dogs are attacked by the annoying ticks and the little animals bite firmly. And it is clear that sooner or later every dog owner will have to deal with ticks. While some owners now use tick tweezers to remove one tick after the other, you should also be aware that these small animals pose dangers that, in the worst case, can lead to the death of your dog.

In this article, you will learn how you can protect your dog from ticks, which diseases can be transmitted, and what else you have to watch out for.

What types of ticks are there?

There are around 850 different types of ticks worldwide, but not all of them can be found in Germany. Dogs in Germany are mostly afflicted by the Holzbock or the Auwald tick, although sad statistics show that other tick species are also on the rise and will probably appear more and more often in the coming years. These include the brown dog tick, the hedgehog tick, and the fox tick.

What diseases are transmitted from ticks to dogs?

In humans, the diseases transmitted by ticks are limited to Lyme disease and tick-borne meningitis. Unfortunately, it’s a different story with dogs. Depending on the type of tick and the origin of the little beasts, there are some communicable diseases with different consequences for the animals. In this article, we will also show you which symptoms point to one of the diseases so that you can recognize them quickly and take action.

The babesiosis

This is a life-threatening disease for dogs, in which the red blood cells are completely destroyed, which is similar to how malaria affects us, humans. For this reason, this disease is also known as canine malaria. The disease is transmitted by the colored tick, the alluvial forest tick, and the brown dog tick. The transmission time is 48-72 hours after attachment and the time of the first symptoms is usually 5-7 days, although in individual cases it can take up to three weeks.

As a rule, this terrible disease begins very acutely with a high fever of up to 42 degrees, severe thirst, and a poor appetite. The dogs struggle with the condition and weight loss as well as fatigue. The further course of the disease is characterized by the destruction of the red blood cells, which leads to anemia and jaundice as well as red or green urine. It is also possible that bleeding can be seen in the dog’s skin and mucous membranes.

Superficial inflammations, which mainly occur in the mucous membrane of the mouth, are also typical symptoms. Unfortunately, the central nervous system is also repeatedly affected, which means that the animal suffers from movement disorders, which can lead to paralysis or epileptic seizures.

Unfortunately, this disease ends in death for many dogs. For this reason, it is important to always keep a close eye on the dog in summer and to clarify any symptoms directly with the treating veterinarian, because the animal only has a chance of surviving if dog owners recognize the disease very quickly.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is probably the most well-known disease and can affect us humans as well as dogs. This is a bacterial disease that can lead to movement disorders due to joint diseases. The disease is transmitted by the common wood tick and the transmission time is between 16 – 72 hours after the tick has attached itself. The time between infection and the first symptoms is usually between two and five months.

The symptoms are not always easy to recognize, as many dogs have no symptoms at all. However, the most common symptoms include loss of appetite, high fever, and fatigue. After a longer period of time, movement impairments can occur, which are also associated with pain and paralysis can also occur. In the further course of the disease, serious organ damage can occur, which occurs primarily in the kidneys and the heart of the animal. Other effects of Lyme disease can be found in nerve inflammation and hypersensitivity in the back, heavy sweating, and inflammation of the skin. If the disease is detected early enough, it can usually be treated with medication without any problems.


In anaplasmosis, the white blood cells are destroyed. This terrible disease is accompanied by flare-ups, which appear every 2-3 weeks and can be recognized with flare-ups of fever and a general feeling of being unwell. While the immune system of healthy dogs can often switch off the pathogen completely, other animals need the support of medication and food supplements. Anaplasmosis is transmitted by the common wood goat. The transmission time is 24 hours and the first symptoms appear between day four and day eleven.

Very high fever as well as apathy and loss of appetite are the most common consequences of the disease. Anaplasmosis also includes vomiting, diarrhea, and central nervous symptoms. Dogs don’t like to move as much, suffer from lameness, and often have painful joint inflammation. But the internal organs, such as the spleen or the kidneys and eyes, are also often affected. Some animals can even go blind.

TBE – tick-borne encephalitis

This disease can occur in both humans and dogs and attacks the host’s immune system. This disease is transmitted by the common wood tick and can be treated with medication. Transmission takes place just a few minutes after the sting and the first symptoms can be expected two to three weeks after infection.

TBE leads to serious illnesses and in individual cases can lead to death in humans and animals. After infection, a high fever occurs, which is followed by severe convulsions and movement disorders, as well as paralysis and neurological symptoms. Hypersensitivity to the head and neck is also not uncommon. Behavioral changes ranging from apathetic to aggressive also occur. The destruction of cranial nerves also leads to paralysis of the facial nerves.





symptoms and characteristics




transmitted from the common wooden goat

Transmission time: up to 24 hours

first symptoms after infection: 4 – 11 days

high fever


loss of appetite

Diarrhea and vomiting

reluctance to move


inflammation in the joints

organs are also attacked

Going blind is also possible

in some dogs, the immune system manages to kill the pathogens

treatment with medication

Illness can lead to death



transmitted by colored ticks or riparian ticks

Transfer time: 48-72 hours after sticking

First symptoms after infection: 5 – 7 days – rarely up to three weeks

high fever

strong thirst

loss of appetite


weight loss

condition loss

red blood cells are destroyed


superficial inflammation of the mucous membranes

green urine or jaundice

Nervous system is attacked


epileptic seizures

timely treatment with medication urgently needed

if the disease is detected too late, babesiosis leads to the death of the animals


Lyme disease

transmitted from the common wooden goat

Transmission time: 16-72 hours after tick attachment

Symptoms after infection: 2-5 months

the disease often progresses without symptoms


high fever


less movement

pain in the joints


joint inflammation

organ damage

skin inflammation

Dog sweats a lot

treatment with medication



transmitted by the brown dog tick

Transmission period unknown

Symptoms after infection: 7-15 days

pronounced languor

loss of appetite


weight loss


shortness of breath

bleeding in the skin and mucous membranes

Bleeding tendency

purulent and slimy eyes


clouded cornea

without treatment, the disease can lead to blindness and death from organ damage

treatment with medication



transmitted from the common wooden goat

Transmission time: just a few minutes

Symptoms after infection: 2-3 weeks



movement disorders


neurological symptoms

Hypersensitivity of neck and head

increased pain

Behavior changes (apathetic, aggressive, overexcited)

most often this disease leads to the death of the dogs

What can you do against ticks?

As you can see, it’s not just annoying little animals that want human and animal blood. They also transmit very terrible diseases, which are associated with severe pain and can lead to death. For this reason, it is important not to let it get that far in the first place.
If you find a tick on your dog, it must be removed immediately. The special tick tweezers are particularly suitable for this and offer you the opportunity to grab the small animals directly by the head and then pull them out completely and without leaving any residue. If something from the head remains in the skin, the area can quickly become inflamed. Also, if the tick is squeezed in the abdomen, the tick vomits, so all the toxins are erupted through the tick’s mouth into the blood.
There are different ways to prevent it. Since there is unfortunately no vaccination session for dogs against diseases transmitted by ticks, apart from against Lyme disease, you as a dog owner have to use effective tick stoppers, which prevent the ticks from attaching themselves. There are different products, which we will present to you in more detail below.

Natural tick repellent

More and more people are reluctant to use chemical tick remedies, as these are also associated with side effects for humans and animals. For this reason, natural tick stoppers are becoming increasingly popular.


While many experts believe that garlic could be dangerous for dogs, the doses required to repel ticks are very small and are therefore completely harmless to the animals. Both fresh garlic and granules or powder can be given. The garlic is simply added to the normal dog food. Even though garlic acts as a deterrent to ticks due to the odor emitted by the skin, it has also been proven that dogs are still visited by a tick from time to time.

Amber necklaces

Many dog ​​owners swear by amber when it comes to tick control. However, it is important to use untreated and genuine raw amber. In addition, it must be in constant contact with the skin, which is not really an easy task for dogs and is easier for us humans. The dog must therefore wear the chain continuously. When used correctly, it can be observed that these dogs only very rarely suffer from tick bites.


Homeopathy is also a common method for many owners to protect their dogs from nasty tick bites, although opinions differ on this type of tick defense and there are many negative opinions. The most used is Ledum, which is given in the form of globules at intervals of four to eight weeks. Experts recommend C200 as potency and the dose should be three to five globules per dosage.

Coconut oil

According to studies, the lauric acid contained in coconut oil has a very unattractive effect on parasites, so that ticks do not even bite. To do this, however, the dog must be rubbed with coconut oil once a day, which means that this method should only be used on animals with very short fur.

Natural tick stoppers at a glance:

  • coconut oil;
  • essential oils;
  • garlic;
  • Amber;
  • homeopathy;
  • brewer’s yeast;
  • baby powder;
  • cistus;
  • chaste tree;
  • Onion.

Chemical tick stoppers

In contrast to the natural tick remedies, the chemical products are usually more effective and show that affected dogs are only very rarely attacked by a tick, if at all.

Tick collars

Tick ​​collars are very easy to use and have a promising effect. However, this does not work in the form of immunity in the dog, but it does keep the ticks from biting. Either the tick turns away from the dog directly because it feels uncomfortable, which is due to the active substance. Ticks that set off anyway are paralyzed by the active ingredient so that they cannot move, or at least can hardly move. Biting is therefore no longer possible. Finally, the tick dies, which is caused by nerve damage caused by the drug. Normally, however, the tick is no longer in the dog’s fur at this point but has already fallen off. The effect of a dog tick collar varies in length and depends on the product itself and should therefore be checked before you buy it. However, it works longer than the spot-on agents.

Spot on medium

Spot-on remedies are also very popular and are recommended by many veterinarians. These are pesticides that are dripped onto the dogs’ necks and tails through a disposable pipette. However, these remedies only promise their effect for up to four weeks, so that it has to be given again afterward. The active ingredients themselves work in the same way as with the tick collars.

Are there any side effects?

Unfortunately, chemical agents against ticks often have side effects that can be observed in the affected dogs.

This includes:

  • itching;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • Hypersensitivity in the affected areas (collar on the neck, spot on means in the neck and the base of the tail);
  • lackluster fur;
  • scaly skin;
  • inflammatory response of the skin;
  • eczema;
  • neurological symptoms (tremors or lethargy).

Ticks are becoming more and more resistant

Unfortunately, it can be observed that the ticks that live with us are becoming more and more resistant to the various tick remedies and that dogs being treated are also becoming more and more infested. For this reason, the market for tick remedies is growing, but these are still in the trial phase.

Vaccination against Lyme disease?

It is now possible to vaccinate dogs against Lyme disease. This vaccination is now recommended for all dogs that live in tick-infested regions or spend their holidays there. However, this vaccination is not without and again associated with side effects, so that even some veterinarians advise against having their dogs vaccinated, but instead use a tick collar instead of the vaccination.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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