Anyone with a dog knows that one of the most important jobs of a pet parent is to protect their furry friend from any outside threats. This includes two very big threats, fleas, and ticks. While fleas are more of an annoyance, ticks can seriously threaten your dog’s health. While groomers are on the lookout for signs of ticks, it’s crucial to your fur baby’s health you learn how to keep your dog tick-free.
Ticks are small, parasitic creatures that latch onto their host – in this case, your dog – and feed on their blood. This feeding leads to several problems for your dog, including anemia, skin irritation, and even Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a severe bacterial infection that can cause serious health problems, including joint pain, fever, and even death.
On the other hand, anemia is a condition in which there is insufficient oxygen-rich blood circulating throughout the body. This can lead to weakness, pale gums, and even collapse. Skin irritation from a tick bite can also lead to hair loss, redness, and swelling.
Taking care of your dog means keeping them safe from all big and small threats. This includes protecting them from ticks. Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps on how to keep your dog tick-free.
Steps to Keep Your Dog Tick-Free
1. Stay away from ticks’ natural habitat
The best way to protect your dog from ticks is to avoid areas where they are commonly found. This includes woods, tall grasses, and leaf piles. If you live in an area where ticks are common, make sure to avoid these areas when walking your dog. Be aware of where your furry friend spends their time when outside, and take steps to avoid areas where ticks may be present. Limit their walks to times of day when ticks are less active, like mornings and evenings.
2. Check your dog for ticks regularly
Even if you avoid areas where ticks commonly live, your dog is still at risk of being exposed to these parasites. After all, ticks will still be out there, and your dog might get exposed. To protect your dog, you should check his fur regularly for ticks. You can do this by carefully combing your dog’s coat with a fine-toothed comb. Focus on the head, ears, feet, neck, and between the toes. You can also use a fine tooth flea comb, which you can purchase at most pet stores.
Use your dog’s bath time to do this, and ensure that your dog is thoroughly rinsed and dried once you’re finished. If you find a tick, remove it immediately and then disinfect the area. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the area for any signs of infection.
3. Keep your yard tick free
If you want to keep your dog safe from ticks, you need to take steps to keep your yard free from these parasites. This means regularly mowing the lawn and trimming any tall grasses or weeds. You should also remove any leaf piles, woodpiles, and other potential hiding spots for ticks. In addition, you can use a tick repellent in your yard to help keep these pests away. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using any type of pesticide.
4. Pick the right treatment plan
Many tick treatments are available for dogs, including spot-on treatments, collars, and shampoos. The best treatment for your dog will depend on several factors, including age, weight, health, and breed of dog. You should always speak to your veterinarian before starting any tick treatment plan, as they will be able to recommend the best option for your furry friend.
They are a popular option for many dog owners. These work by releasing a small amount of pesticide onto your dog’s fur, which then spreads throughout its coat and protects them from ticks. This option is generally safe for most dogs, although a small number of dogs may have an allergic reaction to the pesticide.
- They are easy to use and don’t require much effort on your part.
- They are relatively inexpensive.
- Can last up to 8 months.
- Avoids the inconvenience of treating every month
- They offer protection against a variety of parasites, not just ticks.
- No prescription is required.
- Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to the pesticide.
- Not all collars are effective against all types of ticks.
- If the collar gets wet, it may lose some of its effectiveness.
- They need to be replaced every eight months.
It is an insecticide treatment commonly used to protect dogs against ticks. The treatment is applied on the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The natural oil in the dog’s skin then spreads the insecticide over the body, protecting your furry friend.
- They are effective against a variety of parasites, not just ticks.
- Most of them do not require a prescription.
- A tick does not have to bite the dog for the treatment to be effective.
- Administered every 4-6 weeks.
- Not as effective in heavily wooded areas.
These are usually given to dogs at a high risk of being exposed to ticks, such as those living in areas where ticks are common. The medication is usually given once a month and works by killing any ticks that bite your dog.
- No topical treatment is required.
- They can be given to puppies as young as eight weeks old.
- A prescription is required.
- Some dogs may have an adverse reaction to the medication.
There are a variety of tick shampoos available that can help to protect your dog against ticks. These usually need to be applied every 2-3 weeks and work by killing any ticks that come into contact with your dog’s fur. To be effective, the shampoo needs to be left on for around 5 minutes before being rinsed off.
- They are easy to use.
- Works on contact.
- Enables owners to target specific areas.
- No prescription is required.
- They need to be applied every 2-3 weeks.
- Some dogs may not like the smell of the shampoo.
Hopefully, this info was helpful for you. If you have any questions at all feel free to drop us a line via our contact form or schedule an appointment online for a doggy spa day!