With it being tick season, which is generally from March – November, we thought it perfect timing to share some handy facts and information about the pests that pose a threat to our favourite four legged friends.
What are ticks?
Ticks are very small, are closely related to spiders, and are technically classed as parasites. They are generally found in grassy areas such as fields, and so your dog frolicking through the grass become the perfect partner for them, making them the perfect host to feed on.
Ticks carry diseases which means they can infect your dogs (and yourselves) if they are not found and removed.
Whilst ticks vary in shape and size, they are generally oval, flat and small. Once they latch onto a host and feed from the blood they grow considerably in size. Whilst they can cause your dog to itch they can also cause serious diseases such as Lyme Disease which affects both the muscle and nerve cells.
How to check for ticks
After taking your dog for a walk across the fields, in the meadows etc you should really check them for ticks. It’s easy enough to do, you just move your hands over their body to check for any unusual bumps paying particular attention to ears, head, neck, groin, armpits and feet.
Ticks are often found in your dogs ear so if they are shaking their head a lot it is worth checking their ears, using a torch to see as far inside as you can.
Lyme disease is a serious condition which can affect dogs but also affects humans too, if left untreated it can cause serious illness and lifetime complications.
It’s a difficult disease to detect so prevention is much easier but the general signs to look out for are a ‘bulls eye’ rash around the tick bite area, intermittent lameness, fever and lethargy.
If the worst happens and your dog does get a tick then you should use a tick removing tool to ensure all of the tick is removed. This will help you to remove them quickly and safely. If you are not sure if you have removed all of the tick consult your vet for further advice.
In order to try and prevent them you could add Apple Cider Vinegar with Garlic to their diet. This will emit a smell through the skin that makes their blood less appealing to the tick and also to fleas. It is a great natural repellent for ticks.
Topical treatments such as Dog Paw & Nose Balm which can be put onto places such as ears, around the eyes, nose, and onto the body can be useful. Neem is a natural repellent that will help keep those ticks at bay.
Bathing your dog is a great way to prevent ticks. Try our Bug Busting Shampoo Bar which contains Neem & Lemongrass both of which are natural repellents and Aloe Vera for its soothing properties.