How do I keep my dog safe from ticks?
The warmer weather means more outdoor time! I personally, love going to parks and other wooded areas with my dog, Benny. Unfortunately, these areas are also home to ticks. It’s really important to prevent your dog from getting bit by ticks because they can carry many diseases and illnesses. Ticks are all around us, even when we don’t expect them.
Did you know dogs are at a higher risk of being bit by a tick because they are lower to the ground and they usually walk in areas off the trails where ticks are lurking? Also most dogs have a lot of fur that ticks can hide under, making them an easy target for tick bites.
It’s really important to note that tick exposure can lead to Lyme disease and other illnesses. If your dog is bit by a tick, keep an eye on these common symptoms of illness:
- Swollen joints, difficulty moving, or paralysis
- Severe fatigue
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Loss of appetite
- Noticeable change in behavior
So how do you prevent your sweet dog from getting bit by a tick?
Here are a few steps to take:
- Make sure your dog is on a preventative supplement for fleas, and ticks either medication, tick collar, or topical treatments. Please read the ingredient list and directions before putting anything on your pet.
- While in a park, try to keep your dog on the paths instead of off the path in tall grass or brush (this one is tough for me, my Benny needs to mark his territory very often on walks. There is no obstacle too awkward for him to get to the top of to lift his leg on.)
- Check your dog for ticks every time you go to an area that could have ticks. Check their face, ears, neck, all over their bodies. I have a comb that I can run through Benny’s fur to check for ticks. (If I find a tick crawling on him, I usually try to kill it in a paper towel and then I flush it. Make sure it’s dead first).
- If your dog is bitten by a tick and you find the tick embedded or enlarged, use a tick remover to properly get it out and drop it in a jar or isopropyl alcohol. If your dog exhibits signs of being sick you can get the tick tested for diseases.
- Avoid going to areas that are not well maintained, they can harbor more pests than areas that keep their grass short and trails maintained.
Again, tick awareness is really important! Keep your dogs safe this summer.
Esther & Benny