Ticks are nasty little critters and depending on the environment in which your dog spends time, they can be hard to prevent from crawling onto your dog’s fur and latching themselves onto their skin. However, there are preventative measures you can take both to minimize their exposure to ticks and help deter them:
Conventional tick control for dogs:
Spot-on treatments applied once a month to the fur between your dog’s shoulders and base of the spine are often effective provided your dog has minimal exposure to ticks. The treatment spreads thanks to the oils in your dog’s skin, and so it’s not recommended to bathe your dog or allow them to swim for a few days after applying the treatment.
However, while pest control treatments applied to the skin can be highly effective, they can prove toxic to some dogs, in which case a tick control collar may be a better option.
Natural tick control for dogs:
Sprays containing peppermint oil and clove extract along with sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium benzoate may prove effective as a natural form of pest control, but it shouldn’t be used for cats. Essential oils may be of benefit to some dogs in keeping ticks at bay, but a lot of it is trial and error. Each dog is different, and some dogs are exposed to ticks more often than others, meaning that any preventative measures you take may seem effective when the reality is that they simply haven’t had any contact with ticks.
Tick borne diseases:
Did you know that ticks must be in place for at least 24 hours before the bacteria move from the gut of a tick to their saliva, and then into the animal or human being bitten by the tick? This ultimately means that the sooner you can detect and remove a tick, the less risk of your dog becoming sick from a disease such as Lyme Disease, Ehrlichia, Anaplasmosis and Babesia to name but a few.
Checking your dog for ticks:
Regular grooming and brushing can help you to spot ticks, and they like to hide and attach themselves to your dog’s nooks and crannies, such as in between their toes, in their elbows, groin, and ears, so be sure to check everywhere provided your dog will allow you.
Using a pair of tweezers, carefully grasp the tick and pull it firmly up and out, while trying not to twist or jerk the tweezers. The site may bleed or be a little sore afterward, so apply a little antiseptic ointment to the affected area afterwards.
Ticks are often unavoidable, especially if you walk your dog in long grass, but do your best to prevent them using conventional or natural treatments, and remove them as soon as you spot them, and your dog should remain free from tick borne diseases. If you are concerned that a tick may have made your pet sick, then take them to see a veterinarian at the earliest opportunity.