Tick prevention for dogs
Ticks are eight-legged parasites that latch onto your pet and feed on it´s blood. Often found lurking on blades of long grass with their front legs extended – ‘questing’ for a host – ticks will wait until an animal (or us!) walks past before grabbing hold and hitching a ride. Once they’ve made themselves comfortable they attach and can feed for hours. Much more than just a nuisance to try and remove, ticks can also transfer dangerous diseases like Babesiosis and Lyme disease. As with most parasites, prevention is better than cure. Follow these tips for dog tick prevention and you’ll help protect your dog against tick-borne diseases too.
Watch where you step
Ticks live near the ground lurking in long grass or leaf debris. If you’re taking your dog for a walk in tick season (which is generally between March and September) it’s worth avoiding the long grass, particularly if deer graze there. Tick nymphs need humidity to survive and seek out shady spots. Though ticks are associated with long grass, your dog can pick them up in the park or even the garden if other animals can get in.
Check your pet
If you’ve been out for a walk, it’s generally a good idea to examine your pet carefully afterwards for any ticks that might have attached. Be methodical: work up each leg (including the paws) and from the rear to the nose, not forgetting the groin. Find out more about how to spot a dog tick here.
Different products kill ticks in different ways; some products (e.g. tablets) are active in the bloodstream so kill ticks once they start to feed. Other products are topical and repel ticks, meaning they do not have to bite the pet to be affected, and shortly after being repelled they die. Repelling ticks before they bite helps reduce the risk of transmission of disease. Whichever tick preventative treatment you choose it’s important to use it regularly to keep your dog protected long-term.