The warm weather has not only encouraged you and little Fido to explore the great outdoors, it has also encouraged a nation of pesky ticks to invade your innocent walkies.
Alas, tick season is upon us, these tiny critters are almighty villains but these tips can easily save the day:
No, we don’t mean going full tux for a summers evening walk (unless you want to) but the more clothes, the merrier. So, break out those long sleeves and knee-high socks for both you and Frodo, make a fashion statement and stay safe! Just be sure to give any ticks that attach to your clothes the finger, and flick them away – preferably directed away from Fido.
If you are in tick-infested area or you just want to be cautious to ensure your dog’s safety, there are medicines to prevent ticks. You can find a whole host of products to prevent ticks, such as special collars, tablets, and spot-on treatments, but it’s always best to talk to a vet about this and read the instructions. Please remember that the medicine may repel ticks but it is not a cure.
Be aware of your surroundings
Ticks, as overwhelming as they are, do not live in everywhere. Although leaving the house between Spring and Autumn will heighten the risk of being bitten by a tick, the level of risk will vary by area. Areas with a lot of grass or woodland tend to be hot spots and a firm favorite for the critters, the more wildlife there is, the greater the risk – simple maths!
Avoid the pretty foliage
As much as you may want to stop and sniff the flowers or pick a juicy berry, doing so in tick season be dangerous. Ticks are unable to leap or jump, rather they just like to chill on long blades of grass and in the bushes. So, be sure to check yourself and little Frodo if you do tumble in the weeds.
It is good practice to check your dog after each walk, run your fingers through their fur and give their paws a good checking over. If possible, brush your dog or go through their fur with a fine comb. Try and spot those disgusting critters before they properly latch on.
This is your time to be a superhero and defeat the enemy, acting fast can prevent disease and save you and Frodo from years of pain. Remember to stay calm and twist the tick with a tick remover tool, got that? These things do the trick (or tick!) every time. Although it is tempting, do not squeeze the tick or pull so hard that its legs get stuck in the skin, as this is how the disease is spread. The final rule is to give the area a good scrub and sanitize, cleanliness is key.
Know the signs
A rash, fatigue, muscle, and joint pain are all symptoms of Lyme disease which is extremely dangerous. If it has been two weeks since a tick nibbled Fido and he develops a swollen tummy, sensitive gums and is just not himself, this may be babesiosis and although rare, it can be fatal.
If you or your dog start to feel ill after a tick bite, don’t hesitate, go and get checked. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Don’t let the fear of the dreaded ticks ruin your fun this season.