Is Tick Spray Bad for Dogs?

Vets looking at a dog that is having a reaction to a chemical tick spray

Ticks are notorious parasites that can wreak havoc on our furry family members, causing discomfort and transmitting various diseases. Making matters worse, some tick sprays used to fight them can be bad for dogs. While not all chemically-derived sprays are bad, it is crucial to be aware of the potential dangers associated with tick sprays, spot-on treatments, and collars. In this article, we will explore case studies and scientific research that sheds light on the harmful effects of certain tick treatments, ranging from adverse reactions to severe toxicity and even fatalities in dogs. You’ll explore, the good, the bad and the ugly.

  1. The Perils of Tick Sprays

Pesticide-based tick sprays, while more potent than natural sprays in eliminating ticks, may also pose risks. A survey conducted by the National Pesticide Information Center documented cases of adverse reactions in dogs exposed to tick sprays containing pyrethroids and permethrin. Reported symptoms ranged from mild skin irritation to neurological issues and respiratory distress. Such incidents raise concerns about the safety of these chemical-based products and bring into question is tick spray bad for dogs.

Products labeled for use on “dogs only” should never be used on cats or other animals. Products designed for adult cats or dogs should never be used on kittens or puppies unless the label states that the product may be used on younger animals. If you have more than one pet, consider separating the animals after treatment to prevent one from licking or touching the pesticide applied to the other. Avoid petting and keep children away from treated pets until the product has dried.

National pesticide information center
  1. Spot-On Treatments – A Spot of Trouble

Spot-on treatments have gained popularity due to their ease of application and long-lasting effects. However, several studies have highlighted the potential hazards associated with these products. A 2019 investigation published in Veterinary Medicine and Science discussed the case of a dog that suffered severe dermatological and neurological symptoms after a spot-on treatment application. The incident raised concerns about the systemic absorption of active ingredients in these treatments, leading to toxic reactions in some dogs.

Additionally, a peer-reviewed study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported a link between certain spot-on treatments and an increased risk of seizures in dogs. This finding has prompted the EPA to issue cautionary statements and revise safety guidelines for the use of spot-on treatments in dogs.

  1. Collars – A Ticking Time Bomb?

Collars infused with tick-repelling chemicals are a popular preventive measure, providing continuous protection against ticks. However, research published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology revealed that certain tick collar products contained chemicals like tetrachlorvinphos and propoxur, which are highly toxic to dogs. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can lead to severe neurological issues and, in some cases, even fatalities.

Furthermore, a retrospective study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) explored incidents of collar-related injuries in dogs. The study identified cases of skin irritation, burns, and adverse reactions to the chemicals within the collars. This information calls for careful consideration when selecting and using tick collars for our beloved pets.

  1. Fatalities and Serious Reactions – A Grave Concern

Perhaps the most alarming aspect of certain tick treatments is the potential for fatalities and serious adverse reactions in dogs. A comprehensive investigation by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) revealed multiple cases of dog fatalities linked to spot-on treatments. These fatalities were attributed to the toxic effects of the active ingredients, highlighting the need for stringent safety testing and regulation of these products.

In another unfortunate incident, a study documented by the Journal of Veterinary Science reported fatal cases of tick spray poisoning in dogs. The study emphasized that pet owners should be aware of the risks associated with certain tick sprays and the importance of promptly seeking veterinary attention in case of accidental ingestion or exposure.

If Your Dog Has a Serious Reaction

In case your pet experiences any negative reactions due to flea and tick collars, it’s crucial to act quickly. Bathe the pet using mild soap and rinse with plenty of water. Additionally, remove the collar immediately and contact your veterinarian or the National Pesticide Information Center at 1-800-858-7378 for further guidance on how to ensure your pet recovers well.

Natural Ticks Spray for Dogs – The Alternative to Chemical-Based Tick Treatments

So far, we’ve only discussed how and why is tick spray bad for dogs. We’ve discovered that chemically-formulated tick spray has its good and bad points. And keeping ticks away is necessary to your dog’s wellbeing. However, you do have another option besides chemically derived tick treatments. Go natural! Flea and tick treatments are what started our company, PawPurity. In fact, it was a fear of using pesticides on my pets and doing in depth research that made me realize just how important ingredients in ticks sprays can be. In my opinion, the question “is tick spray bad for dogs” the answer is “it depends.” That said, you also have to be aware that there are certain natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, ylang ylang, eucalyptus and other essential oils, that as natural as they are, should never be used on dogs. So read on about what PawPurity uses in its tick spray for dogs so you can learn how safe and effective it is.

About PawPurity Tick Spray for Dogs & Cats – 100% Natural & Organic

Flea & Tick Spray by PawPurity® effectively repels ticks and other pests. The spray is formulated using plant- and mineral-derived ingredients only. This highly effective insect repellent is an alternative to pills, spot-on applications and collars.

It produces a gentle mist of the purest form of 20 organic plants, minerals and essential oils that protect against pests while conditioning and rejuvenating your pet’s skin and coat. Perfect for walks, hikes, road trips, kennel visits, play days and between bath refreshing.


Flea & Tick Spray by PawPurity contains 11 powerful natural repellents safe for dogs and cats of all ages and breeds and NO pesticides including: Pyrethroids, organophosphates, amitraz, permethrin, phenothrin, deet, methoprene, pyriproxyfen, picaridin and imidacloprid.


Aloe Vera Juice. Sweet Almond Oil. Aloe Vera Oil. Rosemary Extract. Frankincense Resin. Mullein Extract. Witch Hazel. Nettle. Colloidal Silver. Lemon Balm Hydrosol. Vitamin E. Lavender. Jojoba Oil. Horsetail. Calendula. Comfrey. Ginger. Licorice Root Extract. Vegetable Glycerin. Apple Cider Vinegar. Salt. Black Pepper. Essential Oils: Frankincense, Thyme, Cedarwood, Lemongrass. Natural Preservatives.

Treatment Choices

While ticks pose a genuine threat to our canine family members, it is crucial to approach tick treatments with caution. Certain tick sprays, spot-on treatments, and collars have been associated with adverse reactions, systemic toxicity, and, in extreme cases, fatalities in dogs. As responsible pet owners, it is essential to stay informed about the potential risks and opt for safer alternatives when possible. This will help you decide is tick spray bad for dogs. Remember, the health and well-being of our dogs should always be the top priority in their fight against ticks.

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