Summer is here and with the Dogwoods being surrounded by the picturesque countryside that is Mt. Horeb, we wanted to take a moment to talk about something that you might not immediately see when taking in the beauty and amenities here at the Dogwoods. We’re talking about ticks.
If you own a dog, we are fairly confident you have caught one or two in the past couple of years hitching a ride on your favorite furry pal, but this year, it will likely be worse. The University of Wisconsin recently announced that the tick population is 10 times higher this year than in previous years; which means there is also an increased chance of contracting diseases like Ehrlichiosis, Analplasmosis or Lyme disease. So how do you keep you and your dog safe while playing outside this summer?
Here are a few tips:
First always be sure to discuss with your veterinarian a plan of action that is best for your pet. Some dogs can be sensitive to different types of chemicals and supplements that help fight off ticks.
- Oral Medications – Pills or a chewable treat that are given to your pet once a month and work specifically to kill both ticks and fleas. The benefit of these medications is that they are easy to give and no worrying about small children coming in contact with the chemicals like with other options.
- Repellants/sprays – Like a bug sprays repellants or “dips” can be applied to your pet’s fur and can last up to a month. These are a very effective form of prevention but can have a very strong chemical odor and should not be used on young or pregnant dogs.
- Tick Collars – This is a great additional layer of protection for your pet, but keep in mind that most are to protect your dog’s head and neck from getting bit by ticks. Also, you need to make sure the collar comes in contact with your pet’s skin for it to be effective. Typically, two fingers should be able to fit between the collar and your dog.
- Shampoos/powders – These work great for killing both ticks and fleas and tend to be less chemically in smell. They tend to be less invasive but be sure to apply a little at a time, as the fine powder can irritate the mouth and lungs of both you and your pet.
- Protect your home and lawn –Create an environment that is not conducive to tick breeding. Be sure to keep the lawn well mowed and the bushes, trees and shrubs trimmed back. You can also use a yard spray but be sure that it is animal friendly and won’t cause harm to your furry friend.
You should also get in the habit of regularly checking your dog for ticks after any extended period of time outdoors. Start with their head and ears, working your way to their neck, body and legs. If you have a shorthaired dog, it may be of value to roll a lint roller over them. The adhesive is strong enough to grab onto any ticks you might not see before they have had a chance to bite. Should you find that a tick has bitten your pet, remove it as soon as possible and monitor your dog and the wound to be sure no further infection takes place.
Getting outdoors with your favorite K9 pal is an enjoyable summer past time and we want to make sure you are both safe. When guests visit the Dogwoods we require the use of Advantage™, Frontline™ or Top Spot as acceptable preventatives. What about you? Are there any tips that you use to protecting your dog from ticks?