As summer approaches experts are predicting a higher-than-average risk of diseases carried by ticks. Typically found in all the places our pets love to venture to, like tall grass and bushes, it’s important to bear in mind these easy top tips to keep your dog safe from being their next host.
Small but mighty these bugs can often be hard for owners to identify, however removing them prevents further adverse health effects and avoid infections and potential Lyme disease.
It is important we find ticks as early as possible as Lyme disease can affect both dogs and owners and it often hits our furry friends the worst and if not treated quickly with antibiotics the effects can in severe cases lead to kidney, heart, or neurologic problems.
Bella & Duke’s Natural Canine Behaviourist, Caroline Spencer offers her top tips to make sure your dog doesn’t get ticked off this summer:
- Regularly check in – Always check for ticks after every walk, especially if they have been running through long grass. If you catch a tick in the first 16 hours, the chances of your pet picking up a disease is significantly reduced.
- Take a closer look – When inspecting for ticks, make a point to look further than just their coat, ticks can be hiding inside your pet’s mouth, around their eyes, under their collar or between their toes. Areas where there isn’t much fur are much easier for ticks to attach themselves to.
- Scope out the landscape– ticks are commonly found in bushes, hedges, piles of leaves or grass, woodland and fallen branches so instead of a forest trail this summer why not opt for a walk along the beach or through your local park.
- Be equipped – Ensure you have a tick key handy to remove ticks in dogs. These can be bought from any pet shop or online and are easy to use and help avoid an expensive trip to the vets. When removing a tick, make sure you don’t squeeze the tick’s body or leave the head in. If you remove a tick improperly, this can push blood back into your pet, which increases their chance of getting a disease.
- Know the symptoms – if your dog is showing signs of fatigue, irregular heart beating, or gets an eye infection after being bitten by a tick it may be a symptom of Lyme disease. Be sure to take your dog to the vet straight away if you notice any of these symptoms, if you catch it early Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics.
Caroline Spencer, Natural Canine Behaviourist at Bella & Duke, added: “With tick season upon us we may find our furry friends coming home with more than just their tennis balls. Ticks can pose a serious threat to our dogs’ health if not treated correctly and early, so it is important to be mindful of where you’re walking and to check your dog once over when home. These quick and easy steps will prevent any expensive vet bills in the long run and keep your dog happy and healthy throughout the summer season.”