Ticks are external parasites, living by feeding bloods of other living beings. These spider type looking bloodsucking insects are most commonly found in tall grass and may attach to any passing animal or person. Though active around the year, you are most likely to come across ticks between spring and autumn.
CAUSE OF TICKS: Dogs pick up ticks from the environment and less frequently from other animals. Ticks tend to be attracted to dogs by warmth, physical contact and odors, among other things. They are mostly active during warm weather, like summers or spring. It can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, equine encephalitis, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and (in animals only) anaplasmosis.
SYMPTOMS: These troublesome parasites can cause a variety of problems for your pet. Spotting these tiny bloodsuckers in a dog’s fur isn’t always easy but some of the noticeable symptoms are:
- A lot of head shaking
- Unexplained scabs
- Small Bumps
- Redness and inflamed skin
- Loss of appetite
HOW TO SPOT & REMOVE A TICK OFF YOUR DOG:
Ticks are most common around a dog’s head, neck, ear and feet. A tick feels like a small bump on your pet’s skin. Run your hands over your dog’s body when you get back from a walk to check for any lumps.
If and when you find a tick, never squeeze the tick’s body, or allow its head to get stuck inside your dog. Squeezing a tick’s body can cause it to expel blood back into your dog, increasing the risk of infection.
Twisting them off your dog is the best removal method. Ask your vet for advice.
1. Juice them Away:
Ticks are known to be repelled by citrus flavours & odours. Juice from a freshly squeezed orange or lemon can be lightly rubbed onto your dog’s fur before taking them out for a walk or trips.
2. Rub-a-Dub Tub
A good dip in a tub of water will wash away most of the ticks from the pet. Using a gentle pet shampoo or a little bit of regular dish liquid, along with a thorough brushing will also remove most ticks from the pet.
3. A Clean Home is a Happy Home
Always keep your house and nearby surroundings clean as a dirty environment attracts ticks. Keeping your lawn, bushes, and trees trimmed back will help reduce the population of fleas and ticks in your backyard. You can also get external help in clearing up your lawns or spraying with disinfectants.
4. Natural Oils
Ticks carry dangerous bacteria which causes severe disease in pets, repelling them is a priority. Some of the natural repellents are rose geranium oil and Tickweed which works efficiently in tick removal. One can also make their own tick repellent by combining 20 drops of either of the oil with 2 tablespoon of almond oil. Mix them and apply on the dog’s neck.
5. Suit them up/ Dress them
Ticks are usually found in tall grasses and grab onto passersby when they feel body warmth. Visiting such areas with your dog always brings ticks. So, try and cover up your dog to avoid ticks when visiting an area with tall grasses & bushes.
Always visit a vet if your dog has a severe infestation which means finding 5 or more ticks in a span of a day!
Happy Pet Parenting!