Why we aren’t the only ones who love our dogs
Ticks are little parasites that leech blood from your dog. They can become a potential hazard to your dog, particularly during Spring and Autumn. They burrow into your dogs skin and drink their blood, and can grow to the size of a pea.
Whilst ticks are not dangerous themselves, they can pass on diseases from other animals. Ticks can pass on lyme disease, which can also be passed onto humans. In suspected cases you should see either your vet or GP.
Lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection. If your dog has Lyme disease, you may notice they become depressed and lose their appetite. Other symptoms include fever, lameness, swollen and painful joints, and swollen lymph nodes.
You are most likely to encounter ticks in grassland, woodland and areas with sheep or deer. They climb and drop onto animals coats when brushed past. Dogs should be checked for potential unwanted hitch hikers after walks in these types of areas.
Check & Remove
Ticks can be very difficult to spot on your dog, particularly on long haired breeds. The best way to find them is by running your hands through their fur, and look for lumps on or near their face, neck and feet areas. This can be incorporated into your daily grooming routine to ensure your dog remains tick free.
It is important to remove the tick correctly to ensure it is fully removed and to prevent infection. Ticks should not be squeezed, burnt or suffocated as the risk of bacterial infections still exists.
The best way to remove them is with a tick remover tool like this one*
It is also possible to get flea treatment products that kill ticks also. As well as chemical treatments, there are also more natural alternatives for your dog. Billy no mates* is a natural product that can help prevent ticks and other ‘boarders’. Garlic can also be used to help protect against ticks and fleas, either by making a garlic spray or adding garlic to your dog’s diet. You can read more about the effects of garlic here
Although be aware that none of these treatments are 100% effective and you should still check your dog regularly.
Whilst it helps prevent ticks, its probably best to keep a removal tool in just in case.