Tips to Protect Your Dogs From Ticks

It’s that time of year when ticks are becoming more and more of a pest. It’s always a good idea to check yourself for ticks after you’ve been outside in a wooded or grassy area, but don’t forget to check your dogs (or any outdoor pet) as well! These tips will help ensure that your pup stays safe from ticks while still being able to enjoy the outdoors.
 
1. Use tick control products. There are many types of tick (and flea) prevention medications on the market: collars, topical, and chewables are just a few. Collars can work for several months whereas topical and chewables are typically applied/given once a month. It’s best to consult your veterinarian to see what they recommend would be best for your pet, as they do have side effects that could occur, or if your pet has any allergies.

2. Inspect your dog. Even if you are using a tick medication, always check your dog after you’ve been outside. Some places you may forget to check are inside your dog’s ears, between their toes, under their tail, around their eyes, and under their collar. If you find a tick, use tweezers or a tissue (avoid squeezing the tick!) to pull it out, wash the area with rubbing alcohol or soap & water, and disinfect the tweezers.

3. Bathe your dog. As well as inspecting, you may want to give your dog a bath. There are several shampoos that contain medication that kills ticks on contact. This medication doesn’t last as long as using topical or oral medication, but it is effective right away.

4. Visit your vet. If a tick is removed within 24-36 hours of biting a dog, there is usually not a chance of the dog getting sick. If you find a tick and suspect it’s been there longer than 36 hours or your dog starts displaying any symptoms of a tick-borne disease, go to the vet! Your pet may need medication.