Summertime is finally here, and dog owners are excited about long walks and vacations with their pets. Summer can be fun, but it’s also a season where dog owners should be on alert for dog ticks and fleas.
Summer excursions come with their own unique risks. Heat stroke, pavement hot enough to burn paws, and dehydration are common summer problems dog owners have to worry about. All pet owners should be concerned about dog ticks and fleas.
Fleas and ticks are more than annoying. A bite from a tick could lead to a serious infection or disease, and fleas can easily start pestering your family and other pets if they get inside.
We’re here to help you protect your dog from ticks and fleas. Read on to learn how to prevent dog ticks and fleas, how to remove dog ticks and what do dog ticks look like.
Tips For Preventing Dog Ticks And Fleas
It’s important to note there are a lot of preventative medications that can provide tick control for dogs and treat fleas.
Preventing ticks and fleas from biting your dog is surprisingly easy. In fact, you may have certain things in your home already that can help protect your dog.
Want to know simple ways to prevent the spread of dog ticks and fleas? Follow these tips, and you’ll have an easy tick and flea free summer.
Your dog may be covered in fur, but it’s still possible to spot the signs of flea and tick infestation.
Check your dog all over for ticks. Pay special attention to the chin, belly, and legs. These body parts are often very close to the ground and are hot spots for ticks.
If you’re concerned about fleas, use a flea comb to go through their fur. The comb won’t just get adult fleas, it can also help remove eggs and nits.
Look everywhere on your dog, don’t just look at where there’s fur. Pests can easily take up space in foot pads and ears. Make sure you read on to learn what do dog ticks look like, so you know what to look for on your pet.
Keep A Clean House
Fleas and ticks on dogs may not stay on dogs, they could easily find their way to other places in your home. It can only take one pest to cause an infestation, so be sure to take time to thoroughly clean your home in the summer.
Make a special cleaning schedule for your pet. Wash any sheets, towels, or blankets your dog may sleep on in hot water.
Vacuum your house frequently, and use attachments to get into corners and other hard to reach areas.
If you’re noticing fleas and ticks love hiding in your dog’s bedding, consider using new sheets or buying a different bed. If your dog sleeps outdoors, cedar chips can be used for bedding and can help keep pests away.
Don’t focus your maintenance areas on the inside of your home. Keep the grass in your backyard neatly trimmed, and treat grass and other plants with flea and tick repellent.
Consider The Company You Keep
Fleas and ticks aren’t just annoying, they’re also very easy to spread. Your dog could easily pick them up during a rowdy visit to the dog park, or by going to a house or yard with fleas and ticks.
Check their fur after they go to the dog park. Practice good dog park etiquette and don’t bring your dog to play if they have fleas or ticks. If you see dogs with visible signs of flea and tick problems like hot spots and bites, keep them away.
If they go to a doggy daycare, be sure to ask the staff how they protect dogs against fleas and ticks. See if they have policies in place for dogs with known flea and tick problems.
It’s also important to remember that other species get fleas and ticks. Your dog could easily get fleas or ticks from an outdoor cat or a different mammal.
Avoid Infested Areas
You may be tempted to let your dog run free when you’re on a hike or camping, but you should make sure your dog doesn’t stray too far away.
Your manicured backyard can house fleas and ticks, imagine how many of them could be hiding in the woods.
Fleas and ticks love areas with a lot of long grass, trees, and swampy areas. When you’re outside, try to steer your dog away from those areas. Keep your dog in open areas, and avoid going too far off the designated hiking and camping paths.
Most owners reserve bath time for when their dog gets into a muddy patch. If you want to prevent flea and tick problems, you should develop a regular cleaning schedule for your dog.
Regular baths don’t just keep your dog’s fur clean. If you use special flea and tick shampoo, you can take care of troublesome dog ticks and fleas fast.
Use other special flea and tick products when you bathe your dog. Get special combs and brushes that are designed to handle dog fur and can get rid of fleas, ticks, and their eggs.
You can also use your dog’s bath time to inspect their body and fur. Look for signs of flea and tick infestation like excessive scratching or bite marks.
Have you noticed a flea or tick on your dog? The work doesn’t stop after you’ve given them a flea bath or have given them medicine.
Fleas and ticks are hardy and are born travelers. Don’t just focus on giving your home a good cleaning, clean everywhere you can.
Spray down your car, even if your dog hasn’t been in it recently. Fleas and ticks could have hitched a ride on your clothing and could be in the seats or on the floor.
If you noticed fleas in your house, steam clean whatever surfaces you can. Wash clothes in hot water, and wash all bedding.
How To Remove Dog Ticks
Now you have all the prevention tips but sometimes no matter how careful you are, your dog may still be exposed to ticks.
So how do you remove dog ticks? Using a pair of tweezers is the easiest technique, but not just any tweezers will work – you will need to use fine-point tweezers so it is best to buy these in advance.
Spread your dog’s fur, then grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Very gently, pull straight upward, in a slow, steady motion. This will prevent the tick’s mouth from breaking off and remaining embedded in the skin.
People often believe it’s the head of the tick that embeds in the skin. But ticks don’t have heads, in the conventional sense, so what gets inserted into your dog is known as “mouth parts.”
What Do Dog Ticks Looks Like
So now you have the knowledge to prevent dog ticks and remove them, but what do dog ticks look like? Are you aware of the different kinds of dog ticks and what they look like, so you can spot them on your dog before they get infected?
Ticks vary in size depending on their life stage and how recently they’ve fed. They can start off as small as a pinhead and their size increases once they fill with blood.
In general, ticks are small, round and grey/brown in color. They can occasionally get mistaken for skin lumps, but on closer inspection, you should be able to see the tick’s legs (speak to your vet if you’re unsure). When fully engorged after feeding, the common dog tick is grey colored and around 1cm in diameter.
Despite often being discussed alongside fleas and other insects, ticks are actually arachnids, just like spiders, and they even have the eight legs to prove it.
Although at least 15 species of ticks occur in North America, only a few of these ticks are likely to be encountered by people: American dog tick, lone star tick, black-legged (deer) tick, brown dog tick, and winter tick.
There are also two groups of ticks; often referred to as hard ticks and soft ticks. The hard ticks have a hard shield and are common dog ticks, soft ticks prefer to feed on birds or bats.
Now that you know how to prevent dog ticks and fleas, how to remove dog ticks and what do dog ticks look like – you will want to take your grooming to the next level.
Check out our post on the best brush for your breed. Whether you’re a groomer or a big pet lover, there’s something for everything in the post!
Also, remember that we’re here to help whenever we can. Be sure to contact us so we can answer your most pressing questions.