Dawn Soap & Ammonia Solution to Kill Ticks

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Examine your pets daily to check for tick infestation.
Examine your pets daily to check for tick infestation. (Image: Janie Airey/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Many pet owners don't realize that taking their dog out for a stroll during the warmer months is a potentially dangerous trip. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ticks your pet picks up carry several potentially fatal diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Use Dawn dish soap and ammonia to kill the unwanted ticks on your pets.

Checking for Ticks

After every trip through a heavily wooded or grassy area, check your pet for ticks. Gather up the supplies, including a pair of tweezers and a bowl filled with Dawn dish soap and ammonia before checking the pet’s fur. Slip on a pair of rubber gloves and meticulously comb through your pet’s fur looking for ticks. Pay attention to the areas between the pet’s toes, around the neck and tail, behind its ears and armpits, as these are areas ticks generally hide.

Removing and Killing the Tick

Create a mixture of 1 tablespoon Dawn dish soap, one-quarter cup ammonia and 2 cups warm water in a plastic bowl. Set the bowl next to you while combing through the pet. Once the tick is isolated, dab at it with a cotton swab or ball soaked with mineral oil. According to Vetinfo, this causes the tick to detach from your pet’s skin. Immediately grasp the tick with the tweezers and submerge it into the soap and ammonia mixture. Continue to work through your pet’s fur until you find no more ticks. Cleanse the wounds with a mixture of 1 tablespoon Dawn soap and one-half cup warm water to help prevent infection.

Tick Prevention

Treat your pet with a topical medication that you apply just behind its head or with a tick collar. Avoid grassy, heavily wooded areas when walking your pets, as these are prone to large tick populations. Keep an eye on yourself as well when playing with your pet outdoors. You might inadvertently transfer a tick from yourself to your pet. Mow your lawn regularly, keep your hedges and shrubs under control, and keep a watchful eye out for ticks while playing with your dog in your back yard.

Tick Diseases and Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms of several tick-borne diseases don’t manifest for seven to 21 days after your pet becomes infected. These symptoms include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, ear and skin infections, fever, nose and mouth discharge, incontinence, purpura -- or bleeding under the skin -- and swelling of the legs. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms talk to a veterinarian immediately. If left untreated, tick-borne diseases can lead to kidney failure, seizures, hemorrhaging and possible death.

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