Your complete guide to tick prevention for your dog
Ticks are little parasites that can attach to humans or dogs and bite. They either climb or fall onto your dog and feed on their blood. Ticks are a worry as they carry diseases and have the potential to make your dog very ill, but with a little tick prevention you can rest at ease.
Ticks are active all year round, but they are more of a problem during Spring and Autumn. They favour woodlands, grassy areas, and fields, and they like warm weather.
So, let’s get tick-wise and keep the little beasts at bay.
How does a tick affect a dog?
At their mildest, they can cause your dog to feel itchy, but as carriers of diseases, the effects can be a lot worse if not caught.
The biggest worry is Lyme Disease which is a serious bacterial infection. Lyme disease affects your dog’s nervous system and muscles. Symptoms can show up as itching, lameness, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
Should I call the vet if my dog has a tick?
If your dog shows any symptoms of Lyme Disease, then absolutely contact your vet. If caught early, then a straightforward course of antibiotics can treat your dog.
When you have found a tick, but your dog seems ok in himself, it may be sufficient to simply remove the tick. If you are worried, then err on the side of caution and give your vet a quick call.
How to check your dog for ticks
If you’ve been out for a walk anywhere that ticks are likely to lurk, then it’s a good idea to make it a routine to check your dog over as soon as you finish your walk. Give yourself a quick once over too, as it’s not just dogs that ticks target.
Ticks like warm places, so run your hands over your dog’s body and through their fur, paying particular attention to behind their ears, under their armpits, in between their toes, and around the groin area.
How to remove a tick from a dog
When you remove a tick, it is really important not to squeeze it as you may be pushing blood back into its host. It’s also crucial to remove the head.
The easiest way to remove a tick is with a nifty little tick remover. Carry it with you on your walks, along with some antiseptic wipes, and you will always be prepared.
The whole tick must be removed, so do it carefully and slowly, and if you’re not confident, then contact your vet for support.
Preventative treatment for ticks on dogs
Prevention is better than cure, they always say! And there is a range of options available to you. From natural preventatives, medical treatments and even collars, there are steps you can take to keep your dog safer from ticks.
Natural Tick Prevention
Billy No Mates offers a natural flea and tick repellant in a variety of treatment options. Suitable from puppies from 6 months of age, they say it takes approx six weeks to have full effect.
Seresto flea and tick prevention collars are water-resistant and odourless. You simply pop the collar on your dog, and you have up to 8 months of protection from fleas, mites, and ticks.
Tickless Pet is an ultrasonic device that you attach to your dog’s collar. It’s also available in mini for our smaller breeds. Tickless believes the device to be 94% effective at repelling ticks, and the ultrasonic emissions are undetectable to dogs and humans.
Em Tick-Off Necklaces have Effective Micro-organisms which work quite differently to chemicals and antibiotics – expelling rather than killing germs and bugs – so provide a natural alternative tick repellent for your dog. They are designed to be worn around your dog’s neck like a necklace, to give close contact to their coat and skin, the beads are activated each time your dog moves.
Topical Tick Treatments
These are best acquired from your vet. Typically your vet will prescribe a spot-on treatment which you put on your dog’s neck once a month to keep them protected or a tick prevention tablet. These are usually combination preventatives that tackle fleas, mites, and ticks all in one.
Home-made tick solution
It’s believed that ticks can’t stand the scent of vinegar, so you could try a homemade tick repellent such as one of these:
- Simply add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s meal a day
- A citrus-infused spray may keep ticks at bay. Steep some lemons in hot water overnight, let it cool and spray your dog’s fur. We’d recommend checking out how your dog feels about the scent first, so spray a blanket and see if your dog wants to be anywhere near it!
- Rose geranium oil is said to repel ticks. You can apply a few drops to your dog’s collar as a natural tick repellant.
- Lavender, Cedar, Citronella, and Eucalyptus are all also believed to repel ticks. So you can experiment to see which scent your dog is most comfortable with.
So there you have it, a wonderful array of options to help keep ticks at bay so you can enjoy many itch-free adventures with your dog.
Have a read of our 9 essentials to take with you on your next day out with your dog here. And don’t forget your tick remover!