Tick Safety for Dogs
Ticks are a delicacy—for Guinea Hens. But dogs are a delicacy for ticks. The tiny arachnids are known to carry at least ten different vector-borne diseases, often more than one at a time, which can lead to coinfections that complicate diagnosis as well as treatment. And it only takes one bite. Fortunately, if caught early, treatments can be effective. Still, your best weapon is prevention. Here's everything you need to know.
How to keep ticks off Dogs
Basic Tick Bite Prevention
Chemical Tick Repellents
There are dozens of products and brands designed to keep you and your dog tick-free. They are effective, and when dosed accurately, are usually safe for your dog. But accurate dosage — depending on size, weight, age, and breed, among other factors — is critically important and can be difficult to understand. Further, some of the ingredients are regulated by the FDA and others by the EPA, but the agencies have different testing procedures. Thousands of lawsuits are pending, resulting from pet illness and/or death. The bottom line: read labels, research ingredients, and consult your veterinarian in advance of using chemical flea and tick repellents.
Natural Tick Repellents
How to Remove a Tick from a dog
Once a day, run your fingers through your dog's fur everywhere: head to toe, behind the ears, behind the joints. Inspect any bumps you feel. If a tick is found within 24 hours of biting, there’s a good chance your dog has not been infected with Lyme, which takes time to transmit. Even if your pup has been infected, treatments are most effective following early detection.
Tick Treatments for Dogs
Before a Bite
After a Bite
Ticks seem scary, but avoiding them doesn't have to consume your worries or keep you inside. Most ticks carry no diseases. And most bites lead to nothing. The specter of ticks is no reason not to let your dog roam or not to enjoy hikes together. Just follow the steps outlined above, consult your vet, and above all, stay informed.
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