Ticks Are Back!
Actually, they never really went away. There’s no complete off-season for ticks, but they can be particularly pesky in summer. This is the season to keep a close eye on your dog’s fur and take preventative measures to stop the little disease carrying monsters from infecting your pets and family members.
Ticks are arachnids, not insects, so they can’t fly or jump. They hang around in the grass or low-lying bushes and latch on to animals (or people) that brush up against the foliage. They may initially appear as small black dots on your dog’s coat but will become more apparent as they feed and swell in size. Lyme disease is just one of the many illnesses that ticks can transmit to both animal and human hosts.
Be sure to do a thorough inspection of your dog’s fur on a regular basis, especially if you’ve been walking in the woods or bounding through meadows where deer like to hang out. Use a comb if your pet has a thick coat and take a closer look if they’re scratching or biting repeatedly in the same area. There are lots of products available to keep ticks at bay, so talk to your vet about oral pills, collars, dips and creams that will stop ticks in their tracks.
If you or your dog does pick up a tick, remove it carefully with a pair of tweezers. The head may be buried beneath the surface of the skin, so pull firmly without twisting. Try not to touch the tick with your bare hands as they’re covered in bacteria. Keep an eye out for any signs that your dog may not be feeling well over the next few days and seek treatment if you think your pup may have become infected.
Ticks are incredibly gross, but a little vigilance and proactive work on your part will help to keep your dog in perfect health.