Prevention is a golden rule when it comes to keeping a dog free from tick-borne diseases. Here are eight tried and true tips to achieve this:
While ticks are common throughout North America, year-round tick prevention is recommended, and the time of year when they are most problematic varies from region to region. Ask your veterinarian when a tick period will appear in your forest. It will be the time of year to be the most vigilant of tick control agents.
Ticks prefer areas with dense vegetation. Most of the time is spent on the ground, but they can crawl on the tips of bushes and grasses. This observation point increases their ability to successfully jump to a passing animal. It is best to avoid exposing your dog to such bushy and grassy areas, especially in the peak season.
There are many products on the market that prevent and/or kill ticks. Some tick collars work well but are not a good choice for dogs that swim a lot or those that have “snouts” with other dogs (chemicals in the collar can be swallowed by your dog’s companion).
Check every dog every day, especially after trips outside. Getting rid of small bugs before they have a chance to settle, eliminates the possibility of disease transmission. The favourite places for ticks are the neck, head and ears of the dog, so special attention should be paid to these areas.
Sounds stupid, I know, but saving the ticks you will remove may be useful. Different species of ticks carry various diseases. Considering that the symptoms of various tick-borne diseases overlap, knowing the type of tick that your dog has been exposed to can help your vet diagnose more accurately. I recommend folding and storing ticks in a disposable container filled with isopropyl alcohol. Show them to your vet if your dog gets sick.