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Keeping Your Dog Safe During Tick Season

Keeping Your Dog Safe During Tick Season

Dog tick season varies some based on your location. The summer months are usually the start with tick levels peaking around September or the beginning of Fall. Ticks are looking for a way to get to your dog’s skin and cause trouble. Not only that but ticks that are crawling on your dog can make it onto your own skin!

Scout wants you to know just how important it is to be able to spot, remove, and prevent ticks so your dog is happy and healthier and your household enjoys being tick free.

Using topical or oral flea and tick prevention products is the easiest and most effective way to make sure fleas and ticks don’t cause your beloved canine friend any undo pain or suffering.

Dog Tick Season Around The Country

Temperature and humidity determine how long tick season lasts in your area. Ticks thrive in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees.. This means that in a very hot year there may be more ticks out there. If you live in a cooler area then the season is going to be shorter.

Spotting A Dog Tick Bite

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There are several common indicators of dog tick bites. Redness and scratching are the most common. Sometimes you can see red lines that may indicate part of a tick head is still under the skin of your dog. If a tick has attached itself fully to your dog then you will need to carefully remove it while trying to avoid leaving any parts behind. A dog tick bite can become infected or cause a larger red bump without proper care.

Dangers of Dog Tick Bites

Ticks can cause a lot of problems for both your dog and those in your household. The worst case scenario is infection or Lyme Disease. Prompt care and attention can prevent most problems.

The most common issues are general skin irritations that can range from excessive scratching and redness to pustules. Itchiness can lead to hair loss at the site of the bite.  You should seek immediate help from your vet or your doctor if you or your pet have been exposed to ticks and are experiencing lethargy, fever, headache, loss of appetite, or joint pain.

The sooner tick born diseases and irritations are treated the better the chance of a complete recovery and no further escalation of symptoms. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Lyme Disease can be fatal and it can be harder on children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. When a dog has ticks they are able to transfer these ticks to anyone in the household.

Since severe tick illnesses are rare and ticks are so small, even doctors sometimes miss what is really going on so it is very important to do what you can to avoid ticks or tell your doctor if you have been in outdoor areas where you may have been exposed.

How To Remove A Tick From A Dog

A lot of pet owners make the mistake of using peroxide or other first aid liquids on the area hoping that a tick will let go. This doesn’t work and may even further irritate your dog’s skin if you are using some products. Here is the way to safely remove a tick.

What You Need:

Disposable Gloves to protect your hands

Sharp Tweezers or tweezers made especially for tick removal.

You can buy a tick removal kit  from The Natural Pet Company that has a quality metal tick remover tool and tweezers. Tick Twister Kits are plastic and less expensive and have a tool for both small and large ticks.

1. Place tweezers as close to the mouth area of the tick as possible. Grasp firmly but do not squeeze anymore than necessary or you risk detaching the head and possibly releasing more irritating toxins into your pet’s skin.

2. Gently pull straight out with a slow and steady amount of pressure. Non straight motions increase the likelihood that you will leave some part of the tick in the skin of your pet.

3. If you are concerned about what type of tick you are dealing with then you can put it in a jar and identify it or have your vet do it for you.

4. Wash the area where the tick was embedded with hot soapy water and dry. Check the area out daily for at least 3 days to see if there are any further signs of a problem.

If you want to see a demonstration just check out this video from Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/embed/0AITueotqYs

Tick Prevention For Dogs

There are a lot of ways you can prevent exposing your dog to ticks.

1. Be Smart About Where Ticks Live

First off it is key to note that ticks are found often in grassy wooded outdoor areas. Those that have yards or live in rural areas, go on frequent hikes, etc, have the greatest exposure risk. That being said even city dwellers need to be aware that their beloved canine companion can get ticks from other dogs or by hanging around at the park. Here are a few other things you can do to protect yourself and your dog.

2.  Use Topical or Oral Flea and Tick Prevention Products

Your veterinarian can recommend and/or prescribe a variety of products that will keep ticks off your dog and even kill the tick if they do happen to bite your dog. You can definitely get products that take care of fleas and ticks both.

Shampoos and other topical treatments found at pet supply stores can also offer some relief but many pet owners find that an easy to use prescription product offers the best results overall and is easier and less time consuming for both dog and dog parent.

Most Popular Flea & Tick Prevention

Frontline Plus

This is a topical flea and tick treatment for dogs that is available without a prescription so pet owners can just order online or buy at a pet store. The active ingredient is fipronil. Frontline is applied in a dot at the base of the neck and tail. It is important to keep your dog from rolling around or wiping it off until it dries. Frontline repels and kills fleas, ticks, and biting lice.

Bravecto

There is a lot to love about a beef flavored chew that provides your dog with 3 months of flea and tick protection. Bravecto’s active ingredient is fluralaner. This chew is just so easy to give. Dogs think they are getting a treat. You have to go to your veterinarian to get this pill because your dog needs to be weighed so you make sure they are getting the right size pill for their size. Fleas and ticks go away within 24 hours. If you have a hard time remembering to give dog meds then Bravecto is a solid choice that really works.

NexGard

This is another beef flavored chewable. The active ingredient is afoxolane. You have to give this chew monthly so there is a bit more work to it than Bravecto. If you have a dog that weights more than 120 lbs you will have to get two different packages and give two chews. Dog parents find this to be very effective at keeping dogs free of ticks and fleas.

K-9 Advantix

Advantix is a popular and easy to find topical flea and tick preventative. Simply apply on the back of the neck and base of tail. Within 12 hours it goes to work repelling and killing fleas and ticks. The main active ingedient is imidacloprid. It is affordable and available over the counter. In fact you can easily order a 12 month supply online so you have what you need for a year of happy dog times.

You can research these pills and topicals yourself online so you are more informed but talking to your vet about your pet’s needs will make it easier to choose the right one the first time.

3. Brush off Yourself and Dog Briefly Before Entering Your Home

A quick go over with your hands and shaking out your hair can help prevent ticks. If your dog has a smooth coat then just give them a good petting and check them out. Ticks often spend a bit of time crawling around before attaching. A long haired dog can more easily hide ticks so a more thorough brushing may be required if you have been in an area with a high chance of exposure to ticks.

4. Immediately Wash Clothes After Extended Time Outside

Your dog can get a tick from you just as easily as you can get it from them. If you have been working outside all day or have just come in from a gorgeous day out on the trail, it is a good idea to go ahead and clean your clothing. Ticks can live in a dirty clothes hamper and eventually find their way out into your home.

5. Practice Good Grooming Habits for your Dog and Yourself

Ticks love to get into hair and find their way to your skin. Brushing your hair out regularly and also bathing, cleaning fur, and brushing out your dog will give you a chance to get rid of any ticks that have not found their way to your skin. If one has embedded itself in your dog finding it sooner rather than later is best.

Creating Your Tick Season Plan

Scout hopes this article helped you consider all the options you have for protecting your dog and yourself this tick season. Remember that a combination of good grooming habits and the use of a topical or oral tick preventative will offer you and your dog the best protection overall so you can enjoy the outdoors with peace of mind.