Dog Ticks: How to Protect Your Dog this Tick Season
Finding that your dog has been bitten by a tick is never fun, especially if you are worried about your dog getting sick from it. Luckily, there are some simple and effective ways that you can prevent your dog from getting ticks and protect your dog this tick season.
Dogs can be safeguarded against ticks through a range of preventive measures, which encompass the use of tick-preventative medication, sprays, collars, and shampoos. Moreover, maintaining a yard that is free of debris and keeping the grass on the lawn trimmed can also contribute to mitigating the risk of tick infestation in dogs.
This article aims to provide dog owners with comprehensive knowledge on tick prevention for their pets. The discussion will encompass the mode of tick transmission to dogs, steps to take if a tick is found on the dog, and the possibility of dogs getting ill from tick bites. Without further ado, let’s delve into the details.
What Ticks are Most Commonly Found on Dogs?
Certain species of ticks tend to bite dogs more frequently than others. While various tick species have the potential to latch onto dogs, three particular species are prevalent in dogs. Here are some of the most commonly found tick species in North America that have a high tendency to bite dogs.
The American Dog Tick
The American Dog tick is a species of hard-bodied tick that is easily identifiable by its brown and white coloration. This tick species is widely distributed across most parts of the United States and Canada and is known to frequently bite dogs. While the American Dog tick is not a known carrier of Lyme disease, it can transmit several other dangerous diseases to both dogs and humans. Therefore, it is crucial to take preventive measures against tick bites to safeguard both your furry friend and yourself.
The Lonestar Tick
The Lonestar tick can be found throughout most of the United States. However, they are most commonly found in the warmer and more humid regions of the US. Lonestar ticks are reddish-brown ticks that either have a single large white spot or several small white spots.
Like the American Dog tick, the Lonestar tick is not a carrier of Lyme disease. However, the Lonestar tick can transmit other diseases to dogs including Ehrlichiosis and Tularemia.
The Deer Tick
The Deer tick, also referred to as the blacklegged tick, is a highly prevalent tick species that commonly feeds on dogs in the United States. While Deer ticks are primarily found in the Northeastern region of the United States, they can also be found in other areas of the country, as well as in parts of Canada. This tick species is a known carrier of several diseases, with Lyme disease being the most notable. However, Deer ticks can also transmit other diseases to dogs, such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Given the serious health implications of Deer tick bites, it is crucial to take preventive measures against tick bites, such as using tick-preventative medication and regularly inspecting your dog for ticks after outdoor activities.
Where Can Dogs Get Ticks?
Dogs are highly susceptible to tick bites when they spend time outdoors, particularly in areas with tall grass, open fields, wooded regions, and near river and lake beds. These areas provide ideal habitats for ticks to thrive, and dogs are at a high risk of encountering them. Ticks can attach themselves to dogs and feed on their blood, which can lead to several health complications. Apart from natural habitats, ticks can also be present in piles of debris, such as leaf and wood piles, which provide a warm and moist environment for ticks to breed and lay eggs. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a clean and debris-free yard to reduce the likelihood of tick infestation. Additionally, regularly checking your dog for ticks after outdoor activities can help identify and remove ticks before they can cause harm.
Where to Look for Ticks on Your Dog
Since dogs commonly get ticks after playing and exploring outside, it is common for dog owners to check their dogs for ticks after being outdoors. Interestingly, ticks are attracted to certain parts of a dog’s body including:
- In between their toes
- Around the head and ears (including their eyelids)
- At the base of their tail
- Around their groin
- Under their collar and on the base of the neck
- In their armpits
Since ticks commonly bite dogs in these areas, it is best to check them after enjoying the great outdoors. This is especially true if your dog was exploring off-leash or in areas that could contain ticks.
How to Remove a Tick from Your Dog
Luckily, removing dog ticks is actually pretty simple. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to remove a tick from your dog.
Step 1: Find the Tick
Finding the tick on your dog is the first step to removing it. When you find a tick, it is best to not touch it too much with your hands. This way you do not accidentally pull or break the tick by accident. Also, this will prevent you from picking bacteria up from the tick that could make you sick.
Step 2: Place Rubbing Alcohol Around the Tick Bite
If you have rubbing alcohol on hand, it is a good idea to gently place rubbing alcohol around the tick bite. This helps sterilize the area around the bite before you remove the tick.
Step 3: Carefully Remove the Tick
Next, you will need to carefully remove the ticks with either tweezers or a tick key. This will help you remove the tick properly and completely, which will help prevent your dog from getting sick.
Step 4: Contact Your Vet
Next, you should contact your vet. They may want to test your pet for tick-borne diseases.
How to Prevent Your Dog from Getting Ticks and Getting Sick from Tick Bites
There are several things that you can do to protect your dog from getting bit by a tick and getting sick from tick bites. Here are some easy preventative measures that dog owners can do to protect their dogs this tick season.
- Keep the grass in your yard and on your lawn short and trim
- Keep piles of debris off of your yard (piles of leaves, wood piles, etc.)
- Check your dog for ticks on a regular basis, especially after being in high-risk areas for ticks
- Give your dog tick preventative (either topical or medicinal)
- Have your vet check for tick-borne illnesses annually (even if they aren’t showing any symptoms)
- Get your dog the Lyme vaccine
Can Dogs Get Sick from Tick Bites?
Unfortunately, there are several different diseases that dogs can get from tick bites. Technically, different species of ticks carry different types of tick-borne diseases.
However, it is still beneficial for dog owners to be knowledgeable about all the diseases that dogs could get from a tick bite. Here are some of the most common tick-borne diseases that affect dogs.
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Tick Paralysis
Since so many serious diseases can infect dogs through tick bites, it is best to contact your vet whenever you notice that they have a tick, even if you know how to remove them correctly.
In conclusion, protecting your dog from tick bites is crucial to ensure their overall health and well-being. With the prevalence of tick-borne diseases, taking preventive measures against tick bites can prevent your dog from contracting these illnesses. Using tick-preventative medication, sprays, and collars, keeping your yard clean, and regularly checking your dog for ticks can go a long way in safeguarding your furry friend from these pesky parasites. By being vigilant and taking necessary precautions, you can help protect your dog from the harmful effects of tick bites and enjoy a safe and enjoyable tick season with your furry companion.
If you are looking for pet parasite prevention near Clarion, PA, Clarion Animal Hospital is here to help. By being proactive and vigilant, we can help protect your furry friends from the harmful effects of tick bites and let them enjoy a happy and healthy life. Call us today at (814) 227-2603, or Request an Appointment Online!