How to Prevent Dog Ticks
Dogs are often affected by ticks
Little Laura Ingalls used to run happily through those tall grasses in the Little House in the Prairie along with her dog Jack, but what about getting ticks? These blood sucking creatures, vectors of various tick born diseases are certainly a nuisance that can ruin the best summer outdoor outings. They can pop up from nowhere when you least expect it, whether your are enjoying a pic-nic, playing with your kids in a park or hiking a trail. They can ruin your bond with you dog (who likes to pet a dog with ticks on him on a daily basis?) the pleasure of camping and yes, the pure joy of running through tall grasses.
Preventing tick-borne diseases can be a arduous task. It really comes down to the fact that ticks are hardy creatures that can live up to a year without feeding and that can pop out of nowhere hiding in the most secretive places. While most people may think a tick is an insect (six legged creatures) in reality, they are closely related to scorpions and spiders, belonging to the Arachnid family (eight legged creatures), perhaps they may be best considered simply as parasites. Avoiding them all together can be a difficult task, but knowing them better and the places they like to frequent may slightly reduce the chances of having one hop on you for a meal.
Where Ticks Thrive
The best place for a tick is of course on a mammal feeding on the warm blood. They are pretty eager creatures that will steadily feed until they increase their size to double or even triple. When not on a mammal they will be found in tall grasses, bushes, trees, wooded areas and even crevices of homes. Ticks cannot fly or jump, rather they patiently await on grasses for a mammal to pass by and then let go and crawl on the mammal as its body brushes against the tall grasses.
Diseases They Transmit
While there are over 800 types of ticks in the wild, only a few are capable of causing tick born diseases. According to CDC the mostcommon diseases transmitted by ticks are as follows:
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Southern tick-associated rash illness
- Tick-borne relapsing fever
For yout Pets
The PREVENTIC Tick Collar by VIRBAC is the only tick collar that detaches and kills ticks effectively. It is effective for 3 months and is a good complement to Advantage or PROGRAM when tick protection is also required. Recommended for use on dogs/puppies 3 months and older. DIRECTIONS: Place the collar around the dog's neck, adjust for proper fit and buckle in place. Cut off and dispose of excess length. The collar must be worn tightly enough to contact skin and so the dog cannot remove it.
How to Avoid Ticks
The best way to avoid tick born diseases is to avoid ticks and remove them as soon possible. As mentioned previously, it is difficult to avoid ticks altogether especially when heading outdoors, however, there are some precautions that may lessen the chances of becoming a tick's host.
-As obvious as it sounds avoid areas where ticks thrive
-Be cautious during tick season, typically from spring to November
-Where white clothing so the dark color of a tick may make it visible
-Wear your socks over your pants so it is harder for ticks to crawl up your pants
-Tuck your shirt into your pants
-Wear long pants and long sleeves
-Use tick repellents
-Check your body frequently for ticks and remove them promptly. Lyme disease is more likely when the tick has been attached for 24-48 hours.
-Put possible tick infested clothing in the dryer for one hour, prior to washing. Ticks have been found to survive being washed in the laundry machine alone.
-Adopt a Guinea Fowl hen. These birds are effective tick eaters.
-Put your pets on topical veterinarian approved tick repellents such as Frontline Plus and/or Preventic tick collar.
-Should you get bit by a tick do not discard it, rather put it in a jar of rubbing alcohol labeled with the date just in case
As seen, there are various ways to reduce ticks from your yard and lower the chances of tick born diseases however, should you still get bit and develop symptoms of a tick borne disease, consult with your doctor immediately.
For further reading
- Why is Dog Flea Treatment not Working?
Why is your dog still scratching despite using flea products? Learn the possibilities and how to eradicate fleas once and for all from your home.
- Dog Health: Why Foxtails are a Threat to Your Dog
What dangers do foxtails pose to dogs? The answer is many! Learn what symptoms suggest these grass awns are embedding and why it is important to immediately see the vet.
- Rocky Mountain Fever in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms and T...
Rocky mountain fever in dogs Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a debilitating disease caused by a species of bacteria known as Rickettsia rickettsii. The American dog tick (Dermatocentor variabilis) and the Rocky mountain wood tick (Dermatocentor...
- Preventic Dog Tick Collar Review
Dog preventic tick collar review Ticks season is among us and unfortunately there are no products out there that are effective as we would like. Advantage and Program take care of only fleas, Frontline kills ticks but really does not help in...