Your dog loves to spend time outdoors, but it's full of hazards like illness-carrying ticks. The best way to keep these pests off your dog's bloodstream is to avoid contact altogether. But sometimes, that's just not possible to prevent ticks themselves. Pet owners have struggled throughout history to combat these small foes.
To keep your dog safe, you can buy medications from your pet store or veterinarian that will work on both ticks and fleas. When you do find ticks on dogs, you need to remove ticks promptly to prevent the spread of illnesses. However, you have to do so carefully to ensure that the head is not left behind.
Your other pet owners will be grateful for preventative care so that he doesn't have to have ticks removed or take a trip to the vet.
What Causes Ticks on Dogs?
Whenever you go into the great outdoors, ticks have the potential to expose you and your pet. Tall grass and wooded areas widely distribute these parasites. As you walk through these areas, your dog will come into contact with ticks, and they will bite your dog.
Where Do Dogs Pick Up Ticks?
The most common tick habitats are wooded areas and areas with tall grasses. Additionally, any area that has excessive host animals coming and going is likely to have more tick presence. If your yard is not set up to deter other host animals, like deer and mice. It could be an area ripe with ticks. Your pets are at risk just by going outside.
How Do Ticks Get On Dogs?
The ticks climb to the top of grasses and shrubs. They lie in wait for your pet to pass by, at which time they simply climb onto your dog. They then explore around your pet's skin until they find the ideal spot to embed for their blood meal.
When Is Tick Season?
Tick season used to be a spring and summer situation, with warmer months bringing out the pests. Then a break would come in the fall with the colder weather killing off a lot of the ticks. Things have changed, and now because of warmer winters and larger populations of deer and mice. The season then can extend to being year-round in many places.
What Are the Common Tick Species?
The common tick species that affect dogs in the United States are American dog ticks, brown dog ticks, deer ticks, Gulf Coast ticks, Rocky Mountain wood ticks, Lone star ticks, and western black-legged ticks.
Do Ticks Carry Diseases?
There are several diseases that ticks carry and can transmit to your dog. In addition, if you have other animals in your home, the ticks can affect them as well as you. And the bad thing about ticks is they can potentially transmit any of these diseases.
Does a Brown Dog Tick Carry Diseases Or Cause Other Problems?
Reddish-brown ticks in color, this tick carries several diseases and can cause some serious problems for your dog. They are common carriers for almost all tick-borne illnesses except Lyme disease. In addition, symptoms of a brown dog tick bite may include irritation of the surface of the skin and anemia.
What Are the Most Common Tick-Borne Illnesses?
The most common widely distributed tick borne-illness include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, rickettsial diseases, and ehrlichiosis. Some of these ticks can even cause tick paralysis.
What Are the Types of Tick Prevention Dogs?
Tick preventatives come in three main types, oral medications, topical treatments, and tick collars. The topical treatments and tick collars are designed with insecticides that repel ticks as well as fleas, causing them to jump off before they have a chance to bite your dog.
Spot-on treatments are applied directly under the fur of your dog, while spot on treatments with a collar will go around the neck of your dog, leaving enough room for two fingers to fit. Topical options often have active ingredients that include permethrin, pyrethrin, or fipronil and are typically applied between his shoulder blades where he can't reach them.
Oral medications work by absorbing into your dog's bloodstream and then into the tissue fluids right under his skin. When the tick bites him, it will die as the medicine is transferred to its body. This type of preventative is more helpful in reducing the risk of infestations because it kills the ticks on dogs instead of just repelling them.
This type of medication is also safer for small children and cats as there is no topical application for them to touch accidentally. This medication will also work for fleas, disrupting their life cycle.
There are also alternatives to tick sprays and tick powders. For tick powders, you will need first to ensure that it is a brand intended for dogs and then that it is indicated for killing ticks.
You will start with a small amount and work it gently into your pet's skin, keeping it away from his face and eyes. This product will need to be applied more regularly, about once a week, during peak tick season. It will both kill and prevent ticks.
Tick sprays, on the other hand, quickly kill ticks on dogs and provide some residual protection. It can be used in-between shampoos and dips, but be careful around your dog's face and eyes. Do not use this product around any other animals in the home. Many tick sprays and powders will also work for fleas.
What Is the Best Tick Prevention for Dogs?
The best tick prevention for your dog is based on a lot of factors and is largely dependent on your dog's health. For oral medications, you'll want to make sure that your dog is tolerant. Many puppies, toy breeds, and dogs with preexisting conditions cannot take this type of preventative.
For topical treatments and tick collars, you'll need to use the newer classes of repellents and medications, as ticks have become resistant to many of the older versions.
Are there Natural Options for Tick Prevention?
There are many natural options to repel ticks on dogs. For the best outcome, always discuss these options with your veterinarian before implementing them.
There are several popular essential oils, including rose geranium, citronella, lemongrass, lavender, and eucalyptus. You'll combine a couple of drops of the oil with distilled water and witch hazel, then apply the spray to your dog's coat for an effective repellant.
You can also boil the peels of lemons and oranges and let the water cool for 24 hours. Once you strain out the peels, they can be poured into a spray bottle and applied directly to your dog's coat.
The downside to these options is that they will have to be applied daily. If you cannot maintain this requirement, you may need to consider using one of the chemical-based options.
How Do I Know if My Dog Gets a Tick Bite?
Every time you go out into the wooded areas, a field, or any area with tall grasses, you'll need to check your dog closely for ticks. Go against the grain of his fur to make seeing your dog's skin easier. You'll want to pay special attention to the areas in the armpit or groin, around your dog's face and ears, and between the toes; however, ticks can attach to any part of your dog's body.
It may be hard to find ticks on your dog as they may start out as small black dots no larger than the head of a pin before they have been fed. Some will be larger, around half the size of a ladybug.
The problem with ticks is that it's easier to find them once they've already latched on. It will feel like a small lump or burr that you cannot easily remove.
How Long Will a Tick Stay on a Dog?
A tick will commonly feed for up to 10 days on a dog's neck. It needs to feed for this long to obtain its full blood. You can get a rough idea of how long the tick has been on your dog's skin by looking at how engorged it is. If it is still flat, it was likely attached within the last few hours. If it is engorged, it has been attached for at least 2 days but no more than 10.
How Can I Treat My Dog's Ticks at Home?
If you find ticks on your dog, you will need to remove them as soon as possible, and you can do this from home. You can either use a commercially made tick removal tool or a pair of finely-tipped tweezers.
To remove ticks on dogs with tweezers, you will need to grab hold of the tick as close as possible to the skin surface of your dog. Your goal is to remove the entire tick's body without leaving any of the head parts behind.
Pull the tick's body out slowly, with gentle force and no jerking or twisting motions. If you do not get the mouth parts with the tick's body, do not dig around in the skin for the rest of it. Simply allow it to heal.
When using a tick removal tool, line the tool up with the tick, and slide it up under, pulling gently. The entire tick should come out.
Regardless of which method you use, place the removed tick in rubbing alcohol to ensure it is dead. You can also preserve it if you need to go to the veterinarian for a diagnosis of an illness.
How to Treat a Dog's Skin after a Tick Bite
To do prevention of bites of ticks for dogs and maintain your dog's health. You will need to wash the affected area with mild soap and water following the tick removal. Once it is cleaned and dried, you should treat it with a mild antiseptic cream. If your dog is experiencing a lot of itching, apply a small amount of hydrocortisone cream.
Will my Dog Be OK if He Has a Tick?
Most of the time, your dog will be OK after a tick bite, but you will need to monitor your dog closely for signs of tick-borne illnesses. These symptoms include lameness, inflammation around the bite area, pain or stiffness, loss of appetite, reluctance to move or eat, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting, and overall weakness throughout your dog's body.
When Is It Time to See the Veterinarian?
If your dog shows any of the signs of these illnesses or any other complications you believe are associated with a recent tick bite, you need to take him to the vet immediately. To keep your dog safe, you need to catch the illnesses as soon as possible for the best possible outcome. Your vet will assess any clinical signs of illness and prescribe the best treatment for the situation.
You will also want to bring your pet to the vet as soon as possible if he shows any signs of tick paralysis. Additionally, if your dog starts to produce any signs of infection in the bite area of tick, you should take him to the vet to prevent the wound from causing any serious damage.
Dogs love playing outside and going on adventures, but they need protection from the risks of ticks. These little arachnids are sometimes very difficult to spot, burrowing into your dog's skin, often around his ears. Your vet can help you find the ideal preventative treatment to help keep ticks off your dog and keep your other pets safe.
Checking your pet thoroughly after he's been in the woods or a grassy area will ensure that you find any ticks on him at an early stage. Finding ticks on dogs early is essential to prevent the spread of disease and hopefully avoid any unpleasant visits to the vet.
By regularly applying preventative medicine, you will be keeping your dog safe and keeping your home free from pests. This, in turn, will keep you and your other pets safe from harm.