Should you be worried about ticks this summer? Your pet probably loves getting outside and sniffing around in the tall grass and roughage. What animal wouldn’t?
However, this type of activity comes with certain dangers. That is, the tall grass and roughage is where ticks live. In recent years, the health threat of ticks has become a major concern. In some areas of the United States, such as the Midwest, ticks were rarely ever seen and the threat was not a problem.
Today, however, ticks seem to be everywhere, and they are a serious threat to your pets. These little parasites latch onto dogs and cats and carry diseases, such as Lyme disease. This disease can lead to serious health complications. To keep your dogs and cats protected from ticks, take these precautions:
Ticks: Tips for Protection
• Try tick collars.
Tick collars can be useful at keeping ticks at bay because they have a special treatments on them that ticks are averse to. Moreover, they protect the neck, which is where ticks tend to hide.
• Give your pets tick baths.
Tick baths can be given at home with special tick shampoo. This wash contains the same medication as tick collars to keep ticks at bay.
• Try a tick medication.
Talk to our veterinary team about what medications to have for your pet. These may be oral pills that you would give to your pet regularly to help protect them throughout the bug season, or your vet may give you a powder or dip to put on your cat or dog’s fur to protect them from ticks.
• Check your pet regularly.
Every time you go outside and especially when your pet goes in long grass, check them from head to toe for ticks.
Know What to Do if Your Pet Gets Bitten
Lastly, make sure you know what to do if you find a tick attached to your pet. First, you’ll need to remove the tick right away. To do this, you will need rubber gloves, a pair of tweezers, rubbing alcohol, and a small container or bag. If you can get someone else to help you remove the tick, their help will be beneficial when your pet is likely becoming agitated and anxious with the attention and prodding you will need to give to the bite area.
Second, start pushing away your pet’s fur away where the tick is located. Again, a friend or family member can help you do this. Put on the rubber gloves, and use the tweezers to grip the tick as close to its head and where it has attached to your pet as possible.
It is important not to squeeze or twist the tick. Simply grasp it as lightly as possible and pull in a straight motion away from your pet. You want to pull as much of the tick out of your pet as possible, optimally, without leaving the head in.
Lastly, apply rubbing alcohol to the spot on your pet, and keep an eye on it over the next few days. Put the tick into the jar or bag with rubbing alcohol to kill it. Keep the tick to show to your vet if Lyme disease symptoms occur in your pet.
By taking all of these steps and precautions, you will be able to keep your pet safe and healthy this tick season!