Preventing ticks is paramount to your dogs health and wellbeing as ticks can cause all sorts of nasty illnesses. The most well known of those being Lyme Disease.
It can cause joint swelling, lameness, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite and a bunch of other nasty symptoms. While it can be treated with antibiotics, it can cause life long complications.
This is why tick prevention is so important. Lyme is just one of the many illnesses that ticks can cause.
You’ll want to prevent ticks on your dog as well as in their environment where they live. There are several ways you can do this and we’ll take a look at each of them to give you the best chance at keeping those ticks away.
You also need to know where on your dog that ticks like to hang out. Afterall, prevention isn’t always 100% effective and most medications require a tick to feed in order for them to be killed by it.
Tick prevention might feel overwhelming at first, but it’s actually very simple. It just takes a little bit of time and know-how.
Preventing Ticks In The Environment
Your first line of defence against ticks is making it more difficult for them to survive outside where they live. If there are no ticks, or less ticks, it’s much harder for them to get to your dog.
Tick Specific Pesticides
There are tick specific pesticides out on the market that you can spray around the perimeter of your yard and house to help prevent ticks.
You’ll want to read all of the instructions carefully to get the most out of the spray you purchased.
Make sure you read any warnings found on the label and make sure it is fully dry before you let your dog back out into the yard.
Depending on where you live there may also be rules and regulations that you need to abide by as well.
If you like to garden, there are some plants you can add to your garden to help repel ticks.
These shouldn’t be used in lieu of sprays and topicals, but they can’t hurt in conjunction with other preventative measures.
You can try planting rosemary, lemon grass, lavender, basil, garlic, mums and marigolds.
Ticks love clutter and having places to hide. It helps them keep safe and from drying out in the sun.
By cleaning up your yard, you can give them less places to take refuge.
Remove clutter such as leaf litter, grass clippings, trash and old furniture.
Cut grass short. Tall grass is the perfect place for ticks to hide and hop onto your dog. Keeping it short makes this more difficult.
Keep out unwanted animals. Putting up a fence to help keep out animals such as deer, racoons and strays helps keep them from dropping off unwanted ticks in your yard.
Make a wood chip or gravel barrier. Make a barrier about 1 metre (3 feet) wide anywhere that your property shares a line with a forest. It makes it harder for ticks to get onto your property.
Preventing Ticks On Your Dog
This is what most people think about when they think about tick prevention. They think about what they can do to prevent ticks on their dog.
While there isn’t nearly as much you can do with your dog as your yard, you still certainly have options to create a second line of defence.
Preventatives From Your Vet
If you have a topical or oral flea preventative that your vet prescribed, there’s a good chance it also prevents ticks.
A lot of these medications come as an all-in-one, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting one. But, if you’re not sure, you should always check with your vet.
These preventatives won’t keep ticks off your dog, but they will kill them and greatly reduce the risk of contracting a disease.
The vet’s office is also a great place to get information on what ticks live in your area. Different ticks can cause different diseases.
Having all of the knowledge you can, will make a difference. You’ll learn what different ticks look like and their preferred shelter outdoors.
Remove Ticks When You See Them
If you do find a tick on your dog, it’s important to remove it and identify it before disposing of it.
If you aren’t certain of the type of tick you’ve found, your vet can help you identify it and take the proper next steps.
There are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to removing ticks, so if you’re uncomfortable with it, contact your vet for help.
To remove a tick:
- Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible with clean, fine tip tweezers.
- Pull upward with a steady and even pressure. You don’t want to twist or pull too quickly as this can break the tick and leave the mouth embedded in your dog.
- Once removed, clean the bite area and your hands with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
- Dispose of the tick properly.
You never want to crush a tick as the fluids from it may harbour pathogens and other diseases.
The best way to dispose of a tick is to put it in rubbing alcohol.
You can fill a small disposable ziplock bag with some alcohol and then drop the tick in before sealing it.
If you don’t have any rubbing alcohol, placing it in a ziplock bag or other sealed container is still a good idea.
When you remove a tick, it isn’t dead and could reattach to your dog or even you if it isn’t contained.
Keeping the tick whole also allows you to take it to your vet for examination. They want to know things like when and where your dog was bitten, and where the tick was acquired.
With this information along with the kind of tick it is, they’ll be able to assess the risk to your dog for illness.
Where To Find Ticks On Your Dog
As we said before, ticks like places where they can hide. This does influence where they bite your dog. The locations they choose can make it difficult to find them. It’s important to make sure you check your dog for ticks daily, especially whenever you go out hiking, or to enjoy other outdoor activities.
Ticks are most active over those months where we like to be out and about with our dogs.
Though it’s important to check them no matter the time of year.
If you live in a tropical climate, you may even have tick season year round.
Make sure you check these places extra well when examining your dog for ticks.
- In and around the ears
- Around the eyelids
- Under the collar
- Under the front legs (armpit area)
- Between the back legs
- Around the tail
As you can see, preventing ticks is paramount to your dog's health and well-being, as ticks can cause all sorts of nasty illnesses, with Lyme Disease being one of the most well-known. However, safeguarding your dog's health isn't limited to tick prevention alone. With summer around the corner, it's also crucial to keep your dog cool and comfortable in the heat.
Regularly looking over your dog, grooming, and providing shade and fresh water go a long way in helping your canine companion stay cool during the summer months. And, as always, your vet is your biggest ally in keeping your dog happy and healthy in the long term.
Do you have any tips and tricks for preventing ticks? Come on over to our social media and share with us. We’re always excited to hear from you!
How To Prevent Your Dog From Getting Ticks FAQ's
Why Is Tick Prevention Important For Dogs And Their Owners?
Preventing ticks is crucial because ticks can transmit various diseases, with Lyme Disease being one of the most well-known. These parasites can cause joint swelling, lameness, fatigue, fever, and more. Preventing ticks helps reduce the risk of your dog contracting such illnesses and suffering from lifelong complications.
What Are Some Ways To Prevent Ticks In Your Yard And Outdoor Environment?
You can prevent ticks in your yard by using tick-specific pesticides, planting tick-repelling plants like rosemary and lavender, cleaning up clutter that provides hiding spots for ticks, keeping grass short, and installing barriers such as wood chips or gravel to deter ticks from entering your property.
How Can I Prevent Ticks On My Dog?
Preventing ticks on your dog involves using preventatives prescribed by your vet, such as topical or oral flea and tick medications. These medications can kill ticks and reduce the risk of disease transmission. Regularly checking your dog for ticks and promptly removing any you find is also essential.
What Should I Do If I Find A Tick On My Dog?
If you find a tick on your dog, use clean tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin as possible. Pull it out with steady, even pressure, avoiding twisting or crushing it. After removal, clean the bite area and your hands with soap and water or rubbing alcohol. Properly dispose of the tick in rubbing alcohol or a sealed container.
Where Should I Check For Ticks On My Dog's Body?
Ticks prefer hiding in specific areas on your dog's body. Check in and around the ears, around the eyelids, under the collar, around the tail, under the front legs (armpit area), between the back legs, and around the tail. Be diligent in examining these areas, especially after outdoor activities.