We have sprung into spring, which means ticks and fleas season has arrived, to the dread of us, dog owners. We all agree that removing ticks from our dogs is no fun! Not only they are nasty to look at, the idea that they are filled up with our canine buddy blood infuriates me! Not to mention how difficult they can be to dislodge. Leaving them on for too long or not removing them entirely could cause some serious disease. So, what could we do to keep our dogs tick-free this season? I have searched and found different methods for getting rid of and to ensure we are prepared to prevent those icky-tickys from harming our loved dogs:
Shampoo: using shampoo that contains medicated ingredients will generally kill ticks on contact. You will need to repeat the process more often, about every two weeks so the ingredients in the shampoo won’t wear off.
Spot-on Treatments: you can find over the counter spot-on medication at your vet clinic, pet store, online and major stores. These medications are very effective at keeping parasites away for up to a month!
Tick Collars: these can be an additional preventive you can use on your dog. The tick collar needs to make contact with your dog’s skin in order to transfer the chemicals onto the fur and skin.
Tick Dips: a concentrated chemical that needs to be diluted in water and applied to the dog’s fur with a sponge and it is not meant to be rinsed off after application. The chemicals found in dips can be very strong, so be sure to talk to your veterinarian before using it.
Powders: this is another method of topical medication. It works to kill and repel ticks. This very fine powder can be irritant to the mouth or lungs if inhaled, so use small amounts at a time and keep it away from the face when applying. This is usually a weekly treatment.
Tick Sprays: this medication kills ticks quickly and provides residual protection. Perfect usage for a walk in the woods where ticks are most prevalent. Be thoughtful when using it around the dog’s face.
Oral Medications: these are pills that are given once a month. These medications can work to kill both ticks and immature fleas and will disrupt the life cycle of fleas. They are easy to give and you won’t have to be concerned about small children coming into contact with your dog immediately after application, as you might would with spot-on treatments.
House and Lawn treatment: keeping your lawn, bushes, and trees trimmed back will help reduce the population of fleas and ticks in your backyard and if you still have a problem, consider using yard sprays or granular treatments, and just be careful when using them, as they can be harmful to animals, fish, and humans.
And always check your dog! After a romp outside in areas where ticks could be hiding, be sure to check your dog’s toes, inside the ears, between the legs, in the armpits, and around the neck, deep deep in the fur! If you find ticks before they have had a chance to attach, you may have prevented serious illness for your dog. If you find a tick attached, removal should be done immediately and carefully.
And also very important: make summer memories with your four-legged friend! Enjoy the weather, enjoy the walks together and cherish each and single adventure you will have this season!