How to Prevent Your Dog from Getting Ticks
Many people are aware of fleas when it comes to their dogs, but not enough about tics. Tics are the other main external parasite that are risky for our little ones during the warmer seasons. They usually start to be active during spring when the temperature reaches around 5 degrees Celsius. Tics can be found on dogs, cats, rabbits and most of the other animals. They are fed by the blood of a host animal. Tics are bigger than fleas so can be seen by naked eye. While the tics are feeding, they are injecting saliva into the skin. The saliva can be highly allergenic so a dog scratching itself may be a first sign of having a tics on their skin.
Ticks can infect the dog with serious, life-threatening diseases such as Rocky Mountain fever, Babesiosis, Ehrlichia, and other conditions with equally unpronounceable names.
We had an article about tick protection without chemicals earlier. This article is about ticks and various protections. And we hope you are open minded to choose what works best for your dog friend.
My little girl Lilly had Babesiosis last spring. We had big issues regarding it. A month took to heel. Every day was frightening. First off all dogtors had no idea what was going after Lilly recovered from Babesiosis but did not feel ok. It appeared, disease recovered, and later it happened one more time. So Lilly had like 3 babesiosis. It was scared to watch her. Active happy girl looked like in deep depression for a month. No smile, no activities, just sitting and looking to one point, or laying, hard to walk, nothing brought joy to her, even food. She always eat anything and that month she did not want anything, even meet, soups… I learned to cook to make her happy with food, but nothing helped. Thats why we are so afraid of any tick now. And you should be careful with it.
Where ticks can be found?
Tics can be found mostly in wooden areas and tall grass, but also in your yard, or even walking on city sidewalk (Lilly got that awful tick last spring on sidewalk..). There are more types of tics but the one we should be the most worried about is named The Deer Tick. The loathsome deer tick, now known as the black-legged tick, is defined more by the disease it spreads than by its own characteristics. Significantly smaller than the more commonly encountered dog tick, adult female deer ticks are about as big as a sesame seed and have reddish hind bodies with black dorsal markings. Males are slightly smaller than females and are solid dark brown.
What is a Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world. Some dogs may not show symptoms until 3 to more months after having it. Tick transmits bacteria knows as Borrelia burgdorferri. Lyme disease can be treated by antibiotics. Treatment last for 4 weeks, but the infection may occur again. Dogs may develop heart disease, central nervous system disorders or fatal kidney problems by having it.
The good news is that ticks need to be attached for 24 hours before they transmit disease to the dog, which means that prevention and prompt removal are key to keeping your dog healthy. Here’s what can go wrong and how to prevent it.
There are plenty excellent products helping in the fight against tick infestations. But not all anti-tick products are same effective. Don’t be seduced by the promise of ‘natural tick deterrents’ because life isn’t that simple and they don’t work if you are not familiar how to use it. Some natural protections can add safety, help you in this hard fight but not necessary do the whole work. You have to be open minded but still think logical when choosing and apply any of chosen by its best properties. Like supplements are very effective but it can not be used instead of food, you can use it together to make results better.
Some tick bites may be hard to find, especially when your dog has long hair. It is always a good idea to start with a thorough prevention:
- Talk to your vet about possible tick products available on the market (those can vary from shampoos to topical treatments or collars).
- Check your dog often, especially after a walk in tall grass or woods (look at their feet, around eyes or under their tail).
- When the tick is found, you should remove it immediately and as soon as possible. The best would be if you visited a vet to make sure tick is removed completely and safely. Please read some instructions how to remove ticks, as you need this in your life and not always you can reach dogtor fast, so better be prepared.
- If the vet is not available, learn how to do it yourself. There is even a tick removal tool on the market that you can get.
- Once you remove the tick, you can bring it to your vet and they can send it to a lab to see if it might have carried any disease.
- Medical approved prevention products – collars, tablet, drops… You should check all possible in your market and read about each. There is no one best, its your responsibility to choose which to use. Our vet explained that best works one that is used least in your area. Ticks in area get used to remedies if all dogs use same and the remedy is no more effective in that area, but it can be still effective in other areas or next season.
- Have your dog vaccinated yearly – there is a few vaccines available to prevent getting Lyme disease (Borrelym).
- Put clothing on your dog – on our website, you can find the perfect anti-tics overall made out of linen material that suits every summer weather and every dog. Clothes do not work as 100 % protection, its like supplement which can prolong ticks trip find dog skin. Usually its easier to see ticks on clothes then on fur.
- Natural remedies like essential oils, sprays, amber neckless… it all can work or not, but none of these should be used as main protection.