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Can Hand Sanitizer Kill Ticks on Dogs?

Can Hand Sanitizer Kill Ticks on Dogs?

Hand sanitizer is not just for the hands—it can also be used in a variety of ways throughout your home.

You can use it to clean toys and remotes, to clean into the crevices where mild soap and water can’t go as well as clean up any sticky messes around the house like food spills or dried liquids by simply wiping down with a rag dampened with hand sanitizer.

Because hand sanitizer is very effective in dealing with microbes, it comes as no surprise that most homeowners use it for pest control too.

 It makes sense that the substance that kills bacteria should also do a relatively good job of killing ticks and other parasites, right?

Well, not necessarily…

For starters, ticks are way larger than microbes and they also have a tougher exoskeleton.

That said, hand sanitizer is made from alcohol which not only makes it a good disinfectant but potentially harmful to pests too.

But, can it be used to deal with ticks?

Can Hand Sanitizer Kill Ticks on Dogs?

Let’s say you are having a lazy day cuddling with your furry baby on the lazy boy when you suddenly notice a pesky creature on their coat.

On closer examination, you discover it’s a tick.

The first instinct is to kill the parasite immediately before it transmits a disease to your furry friend or before it migrates to another pet.

You have some hand sanitizer on you but are wondering if it can work against the tick.

Well, it’s your lucky day because hand sanitizer can be used to kill ticks on dogs.

However, it is more complicated than that because it depends on the type of hand sanitizer in question.

See, there are two broad categories of hand sanitizers: alcohol-based and non-alcohol based.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are more commonly used in households because they are more effective at killing a variety of microorganisms, including those that cause ticks.

Studies have shown that alcohol-based products can be used to get rid of a variety of insects, including roaches, mosquitoes, flies, and yes, even ticks.

The main ingredient in alcohol-based hand sanitizer is ethyl alcohol, a type of alcohol that is also found in beer, wine, and liquor.

Ethyl alcohol is effective at killing ticks on dogs because it disrupts the tick’s nervous system and causes them to dry out. Learn more here: How to Remove Tick from a Dog with Alcohol

Depending on the brand, the alcohol content can be anywhere from 60-90%, so it is important to be careful when applying hand sanitizer to small pets.

On the other hand, non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers contain other ingredients, such as triclosan, glycerin, or aloe vera gel, which may not effective at killing ticks.

However, these products can still be used on dogs to soothe their skin and prevent fleas, ticks, and other insects from biting.

If you are looking for a safe and effective way to get rid of ticks on your dog, then alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good option.

The best way to use hand sanitizer to kill ticks on your dog is by placing the puddle of sanitizer near the tick and waiting for it to come into contact with the tick and kill it.

This means identifying the spot where the tick is located, applying enough of an area of hand sanitizer, and waiting for a few minutes before removing the tick with tweezers or any other tool you have available.

However, it is important to note that hand sanitizers are not meant for direct application on animals.

Regardless of whether you are using alcohol or non-alcohol-based sanitizer, your dog may still develop side effects from contact with these products.

Common side effects include redness and irritation in the area where the hand sanitizer was applied.

You should especially avoid getting any hand sanitizer in your dog’s eyes as that may cause irritation and discomfort.

So in short, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used to kill ticks in dogs, although they may not necessarily deal conclusively with the infestation.

This is because you cannot apply hand sanitizer on the entire coat of the dog due to its toxicity.

A better solution would be to use a good tick and flea shampoo because it will help you not only remove the visible ticks but also the ones hidden deep under the fur.

For the best tick shampoo options, check out this post: 10 Best Tick Shampoo for Dogs

You can also check out these two posts for more ideas that you can leverage to get ticks off your dog:

How to Remove a Tick from a Dog with Vaseline

How To Get A Tick Off A Dog With Dish Soap

Is Hand Sanitizer Safe For Dogs?

As we have already established, alcohol is the main ingredient in most home-based hand sanitizers.

This adds another layer of complexity to the equation because alcohol is not safe for pets.

Granted, the risk of applying hand sanitizer on your furry friend’s skin is minimal, but ingestion of hand sanitizer can be toxic to your doggy.

Ethanol, which is the main ingredient in alcohol-based hand sanitizer, is quite toxic to dogs.

Ingesting small amounts can result in vomiting and diarrhea while ingesting larger amounts can lead to shock, hypoglycemia, coma, and even death in some cases.

The AKC notes that alcohol consumption can be lethal for dogs but also points out that it depends on the consumed quantity.

It is, therefore, very unlikely that your dog will be adversely affected by licking hand sanitizer that has been applied to his coat.

For it to cause any real damage, the dog will have to drink up the entire bottle.

If you suspect that your dog has ingested hand sanitizer, you should observe him keenly for any symptoms of alcohol poisoning.

Some telltale signs will include lethargy, vomiting, drooling, incoordination, collapsing, decreased rate of respiration, low body temperature, low blood pressure, and general weakness.

If you see any of these signs, you should take your dog to the vet immediately for examination and treatment.

In summary…

Only alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be sued to kill ticks in dogs. This is because they contain high levels of alcohol that can effectively penetrate the ticks’ exoskeleton and kill them.

 However, it is important to be careful when using hand sanitizer on dogs, as ingestion can be toxic and lead to adverse effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, hypoglycemia, coma, and even death in some cases.

To avoid these risks, it is best to use a traditional tick and flea shampoo or another safe, non-toxic treatment method for getting rid of ticks on your dog.

 But if you see a tick on your dog’s skin, then you can use hand sanitizer to kill it before you think of a more comprehensive solution.


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