With the warmer weather finally here, your dog is probably as eager as anybody to get outside and enjoy the sun! After a long winter of being cooped up, he probably can’t wait to start having more outdoor play time, walks, and adventures. When you take your dog anywhere outdoors, especially somewhere near the woods, ticks should always be on your radar. Although they’re tiny creatures, they have the ability to create big problems for you and your dog. The diseases they can spread can even be life-threatening to your furry friend. Here are a few tips and steps you can take to prevent your dog from tick-borne diseases.
Know the Land
Ticks love to hide out in areas with heavy vegetation; Anywhere that’s filled with shrubbery, tall grasses, and leaves is best to avoid. Although they mainly spend their time on the ground, they can climb the taller vegetation and easily leap onto your dog strolling by. Try taking your dog to the beach, or a gravel walking path instead!
Tick Prevention Products
To keep your dog safe, there are also several prevention products on the market that you can invest in. A tick collar is one option, however, if your dog loves the water, this may not be the best solution. There are also tick-prevention medications that can be taken either orally or applied topically. Talking with your dog’s veterinarian will help determine which product makes the most sense for your dog.
Daily Tick Checks
Being proactive by doing a quick scan of your dog’s fur coat daily, especially after outdoor activities, is highly important. Finding the ticks and removing them before they have the chance to embed themselves can eliminate the possibility of disease transmission. Do a thorough visual and physical search of your dog’s neck, head, and ears, as these are a tick’s go-to spot.
Know the Symptoms
Although finding ticks on your dog can certainly be cause for concern, the majority of dogs exposed to ticks never actually develop a disease. However, if your dog is one of the unfortunate few, the key is early detection, diagnosis, and timely treatments. Ask your vet about the common signs, and know what to look out for in your dog. If you notice anything unusual, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your vet to have him checked out as soon as possible.