Summer is the time for long walks with dogs and cats stalking through grass. Unfortunately, summer is also prime time for ticks. Ticks are nasty blood sucking bugs that latch onto your pet’s skin. Different species of ticks live throughout the United States.
Ticks are common in wooded areas or high grasses. They live on the blood of animals, so they are also found in areas that have a higher population of wildlife, including deer, rodents, and other small wild animals.
What should you do to avoid ticks and prevent them from attaching themselves to your pets?
Use preventative medications such as Frontline and Advantix (to name a couple.) These products do not prevent ticks from attaching to your pet. However, when the tick sucks blood from your pet, they ingest small amounts of pesticide (which do not harm your pet.) These pesticides kill the ticks, but it does take 24-48 hours typically. Sometimes the tick doesn’t release it’s bite from your pet, even after death, and will require removal.
Avoid taking pets on walks through wooded areas or other dense growth where ticks thrive.
Check pets for ticks daily by running your hands over their bodies and visually looking through their fur. Make sure to check the ears and other tucked away places on your pet’s body, such as under their legs and around the neck.
Make changes to your front and backyard so those areas are less hospitable habitats for ticks. Mow the lawn regularly and remove leaves and other garden debris. You can create a barrier between a wooded or grassy area and your lawn by creating a path or border of stone or wood chips.
Since ticks carry disease and can cause skin infections from their bites, you should take precautions to help your pet avoid ticks. Despite your best efforts, your pet may get ticks. If you find ticks on your pet, you can remove them at home or take your pet to the veterinarian if you are unsure of how to remove a tick yourself. Stay tuned for instructions on removing ticks at home!