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April 30, 2020
You might think that you only need to worry about your dog getting ticks if you live in a wooded area. After all, ticks like to hang out in the woods, tall grass, and other areas with dense foliage, but the truth is, ticks live pretty much all over the place in the United States. Your dog can pick up ticks after walking through someone’s yard that has high grass or even by rolling around in a tempting pile of leaves.
It’s true that some locations are more prone to ticks than others, but it always pays to be vigilant. If you spend a lot of time in overly wooded areas, then you need to be extra-vigilant. Plus, there are all different kinds of tick species, some of which cause more problems than others. Therefore, unless you really want to become an expert on identifying ticks, your best bet is to try and prevent your dog from getting any ticks in the first place.
Did you know that ticks are distant cousins to spiders? Ticks are arthropods and are members of the arachnid class; the same class that includes spiders, mites, and scorpions. There are hundreds of species of ticks; one of the most popular is the Deer Tick, or black-legged tick, which is the species responsible for Lyme Disease. Deer Ticks are found throughout the central and eastern US, and like other ticks, they feed on blood and their bite transmits diseases to both animals and people.
You might think that if you live in an urban environment, or you don’t take your pup into the woods, that you don’t have to worry about ticks. While it is true that some situations are more likely scenarios for your pup to pick up ticks, it’s important to understand that it can happen anywhere. Ticks do not fly, and unlike fleas, ticks cannot jump; instead, most ticks wait patiently for a potential host to pass close by so that they can grab hold. Once ticks climb aboard, they hold on tight with powerful legs.
Ticks carry a number of different diseases, and the type of disease depends on the species of tick. One of the most common tick-borne diseases that you hear about is Lyme Disease. Some of these diseases can be easily treated, while others can cause serious complications and even death. If your dog lives in an area that puts him at a higher risk for contracting Lyme Disease, there is a non-core vaccination that is available. However, it’s critical to discuss with your vet whether it’s a good option, as the vaccination itself carries several risks.
Just like training your dog helps prevent future undesirable behavior, your best course of action when it comes to keeping your pup safe from tick-borne illnesses is to prevent ticks in the first place. Keep these 8 tips in mind, especially if you’re in an area that is known to have ticks, to keep the little buggers off of your pooch:
Even with your best efforts, your dog might end up with a rogue tick. If you spot any ticks on your pup, early removal is essential. Certain infections, like Lyme Disease, can only be transmitted if ticks remain attached to their host for 36 hours. If you notice any ticks on your dog, try these steps to free your pup from the tiny invader:
November 23, 2022