How to Prevent Tick Bites, and What to Do If Your Pet Does Get Bit
It's summer time, and that means fun in the sun! Flying frisbees, cookouts, long games of fetch, and dozens of other activities all await you... but that's not all that's waiting out in the tall grass. It's also tick season, and if you want to make sure your four-legged companion doesn't bring any new friends home then it's important to keep the following tips in mind.
Tip #1: Stay in The Sun
As Live Science points out, ticks don't do so well with dry heat. They need to be in moist, humid areas, which means they tend to stay in locations like moldy leaf piles or deep in the shadows beneath trees. So if you're in short grass that's in direct view of the sun, you've got the best chance of avoiding lurking ticks hitching a ride on your pet. No matter how much they roll around!
Tip #2: Use a Preventative Tick Repellant
While preventative methods are not 100% guaranteed, there are several options available today, including oral medications, topical ointments and environmental control. The added protection of these measures can sometimes go a very long way when it comes to making sure your pet doesn't track any unwanted guests back into the house with them.
Tip #3: Regular Baths
There are shampoos out there which are specially formulated to help deal with both ticks and fleas. While they're often thought of as ways to get rid of these parasites once they've latched on, they can also offer some short-term protection. If you use this method to try to stop ticks from getting a hold on your pet, then you should match the frequency of their baths to how much time they spend outdoors. If you have a primarily indoor pet, then you shouldn't need to do it very often. If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, though, then these baths should be done once every two weeks or so
Sometimes Prevention Works... and Sometimes It Doesn't
It's possible that, even if you take all the proper precautions, a few ticks will slip by and latch onto your pet. That's why it's important to do regular combings and checks, making sure you stay alert for ticks so that you can remove them as soon as you find them.
But once you've found a tick, what do you do with it?
There are a lot of home remedies and urban myths out there about how to properly get rid of ticks. From burning them off, to coating them in oils, to using all sorts of weird methods, tick removal really isn't that difficult. You simply need a pair of narrow tweezers, and someone to help you keep your pet still. You part your pet's fur, grasp the tick as near to the skin as you can, and pull straight up. The full tick (including the mouth, which is buried in the skin) should come out. Once you have it, bag it (it might be useful to have it tested at the vet) and swab the affected area with alcohol. Download our free Tick eBook for resources on how to identify they type of tick and more.
READ MORE: How To Safely Remove Ticks From Your Pet
Ticks are a pain, but they're often the price that comes with enjoying the great outdoors with your pet during the summer season. For more advice on how you can keep your pet safe, all you have to do is contact us today
About Dr. Natalie Waggener
Dr. Natalie Waggener has 17 years of experience in emergency work and general practice in Rhode Island, Florida and Massachusetts. She has a special interest in dentistry, wellness care and rehabilitation therapy. She is currently licensed in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island.