As we prepare for the excitement of warmer weather, with the seasonal change comes new, familiar pests, ticks. The mild winters of recent years have created a surge in the tick population which seems hard to avoid. Ticks can cause a host of problems for pets including disease and infection. These pesky creatures are difficult to spot and remove. Protect your pets from ticks this season.
Here are some tips to help keep your pets safe from ticks:
Flea & tick preventatives – If your pet spends any time outdoors, it is likely that they will be exposed to fleas or ticks. Using a preventative consistently will keep these insects from biting or infecting your pet. Ask your veterinarian which product is best for your dog. They can recommend a topical, oral, or shampoo treatment.
Tick collars – Tick collars are more effective at protecting your pets head and neck. Be sure to check for any irritation or reactions to tick collars. Ensure that your pet has breathing room and is not fussing with the collar.
Take care of your lawn – Proper lawn maintenance can help keep ticks at bay. Keeping the grass cut and trees and bushes trimmed leaves less real estate for ticks which means you will have fewer in your yard. Also be sure to clean up leaf piles as ticks love to hide in them. Areas with severe amounts of ticks might benefit from a lawn treatment; just be careful as many of these chemicals can be harmful to your dog or cat.
Be on the lookout – Check your pet daily for ticks especially after being outside. A tick can hop on your pet and disappear before you even notice. Make sure to thoroughly check her fur. Many pet owners keep their pets’ hair shorter during summer months making it easier to spot a tick. If you happen to be visiting the vet, ask them to do a thorough tick check during the exam.
Limit wandering – Most pets have free reign over their yards, but during tick season, it is probably better to limit the amount of time your pet spends wandering grassy, wooded areas. A nice walk on the sidewalk or even the beach is a great option to keep your pet outside but less available to ticks.
Although ticks can be a major threat to your pet, these simple steps will reduce your pets' risk of ticks. It is always best to discuss health topics with your veterinarian to determine the best treatment for your dogs and cats.