Our pets are our family. One bite from a tick can lead to illness or in some cases death. Awareness is key to preventing tick-borne illnesses. Here are four steps to protect your pet from ticks:
Step 1: Consult your Veternarian.
Your veternarian knows your pet and the local environment. They will be able to give you the best recommendations on how to protect your dog from ticks.
Here are a few questions to ask:
- What tick-borne illnesses are common in the local environment? Is my pet at risk?
- What are the symptoms of tick-borne illnesses?
- What is the best tick control for dogs?
- Would you recommend any tick medication?
Step 2: Setup Fencing Around Your Yard.
Ticks prefer to be around the perimeter of the yard in shaded areas and in wooded areas under leaf litter and brush. If your pet roams free around your home, it is likely that they will bring ticks closer to the home and indoors! Setup fencing around the perimeter of the manicured part of your yard to prevent your pets from venturing into tick habitat.
Step 3: Perform Daily Tick Checks
If you walk near wooded or grassy areas, your pets may pick up ticks. Before heading inside, check your pet for ticks by brushing your fingers through their fur. Feel for any small bumps. Pay special attention to the area between your dog's toes, behind ears, under armpits, around the tail and around the head. Don't forget to perform a tick check on yourself too!
Step 4: Treat Your Property with a Spray.
Even though you may be thorough checking for ticks on your pets, they are easy to miss. Nymphal-stage deer ticks are the size of a poppy seed, and they can be very difficult to detect. Property sprays provide an extra layer of protection in the place your pet spends the most time- around your home. Consider natural tick control solutions that are safe for your family.Tick Identification Card to identify the life-stage and species.
Deer ticks are active from early spring through late fall. Some ticks can even be active during the winter months as long as temperatures are above freezing. Be vigilent, and perform tick checks daily on yourself and your pets after being outdoors.