Ticks are more than just nuisances that invade your pet’s body and cause minor health issues such as rashes. Ticks and fleas are carriers of deadly diseases. Some diseases such as Rocky Mountain fever and Lyme disease can also be passed on to humans. Ticks can also be transmitters of canine ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, canine babesiosis, and other serious conditions.
Unfortunately, there are no available vaccines for a lot of these tickborne diseases, which means taking alternative preventive measures absolutely critical.
It’s important to adopt a no-tolerance policy when it comes to preventing tick infestations. For most parts, it’s as easy as applying an effective spot-on solution and scanning your pet’s body for ticks and fleas at regular intervals.
The following are 6 habits to keep your dog protected from ticks.
Scan Your Pet’s Body At Regular Intervals
Even if your pet is on an effective tick medication, it’s important to scan its body from time to time. Effectiveness of tick medications often depends on the type and the quality of administration. For example, dogs have been known to spit out oral tablets, which can render the dose ineffective.
When scanning your pet’s body, check the neck, in and around the ears, area surrounding the eyes, around the base of the tail, between the paws, groin and armpit areas. These considered being the tick hotspots.
If you detect a tick, remove the tick using tweezers and kill it by putting it in a jar of alcohol.
Be Regular with the Spot-On Doses
Spot-on treatments from reputed pet care brands are undoubtedly the most effective tick medicine for dogs. However, most of them remain effective for 30 days. Be sure to be on time as missing a dose leaves your dog vulnerable to tick invasion. Remember, all it takes is a bite from a single tick that’s carrying a pathogen for your pet to get sick.
Once your pet gets sick, the preventives won’t help. In fact, it will leave you in a false sense of security, which may cause you to delay treatment.
Get Your Pet Tested for Tick-Borne Disease if You Detect a Tick
This is kind of the extension of the previous section. If you do find a tick on your pet’s body, it’s time to take action. You need to remove the tick and disinfect the area. It’s also highly advisable to take your pet to the vet for a thorough checkup. Vets may suggest specific blood tests to detect tickborne diseases. Vets may also recommend alternative tick medications for your dog to ensure a better preventative barrier and ward off future infestations.
Use a Tick and Flea Collar When Walking Your Dog in Wooded Areas
If you live near a wooded area or you take your dog hiking on a regular basis, it makes sense to buy a tick collar. This adds a layer of protection as many dangerous tick species such as deer ticks and lone star ticks hide in shrubs and foliage.
However, keep in mind that tick collars varied degrees of effectiveness. Choose a brand that’s reputed to provide great protection by reading honest customer reviews.
Don’t Rely on “Herbal” Remedies
The problem with herbal and home remedies is that they do not guarantee a 100% protection against ticks and fleas. There are also plenty of so-called herbal solutions that do nothing other than give you a false sense of security.
Using untested “herbal” remedies can also end up hurting your pet. Some natural essential oils can actually be toxic to your pet and have serious side effects. Just because they are natural and herbal, doesn’t mean they are good for your pet. Poison Ivy is completely natural.
Exterminate the Resident Tick Population In and Around Your Home Regularly
Apart from finding ticks on your pet’s body, you need to ensure your home and yard is completely tick-free. There are plenty of yard sprays that allow you to kill off the resident parasite population.
Ticks usually dwell in shrub and wooded areas, where there is enough foliage and shade. Trim your yard and remove overgrown bushes and weeds as they present a perfect habitat for ticks. You also need to seal off all food sources as it may attract animals such as rodents infested with ticks.
If you don’t want to spray chemical-laden pesticides, buy bags of diatomaceous earth and apply it on your yard.