Summer is here, and many of us will be spending more time outdoors with our pets. Whether you have plans for a long camping trip in the wilderness, or a day at the park scheduled, ticks can pose an issue for your pet. At East Valley Animal Hospital, we want to help you prevent your pet from getting ticks. Ticks can transmit harmful diseases to your pet, so staying on top of tick prevention is important. Here are a few measures you can take toward preventing ticks in your pet, and what to do when you find a tick.
Why Ticks are Dangerous
Ticks are actually related to spiders, and can be considered external parasites because they feed on the blood of larger animals and humans. There are many different types of ticks, and they can live just about anywhere in the United States. Usually, ticks are found in wooded or grassy areas, but they can lurk anywhere outside.
The main reason ticks are dangerous to your pet is because they can carry all sorts of diseases, like Lymes disease and Heartland disease. Some of these diseases are more extreme than others, but many can still greatly affect your pet’s health and even pose a risk of death.
How to Prevent Ticks
Taking preventative health care seriously is one of the best ways to keep your pet healthy and disease-free. There are numerous ways to prevent ticks and ward off the dangerous diseases they carry.
Check Your Pet Daily
If your dog is allowed to play in the backyard or if you have an outdoor cat, checking your pet daily will ensure that you catch ticks before they can cause any problems. If you do find a tick on your pet, remove it carefully by using tweezers to get as close to the skin as possible. To kill the tick, place it in rubbing alcohol.
If the mouth of the tick breaks off in the skin it could cause an infection. If you are uncertain whether you have removed the entire tick from your pet, ask your vet if you should bring your pet in for an exam. This way if any disease was transmitted, your vet can begin treating it immediately.
Treat Your Yard
For pet owners with backyards, treating your yard for ticks can go a long way toward preventing ticks in your pet. Regular mowing and trimming in your backyard will also reduce the places that ticks may want to hide out.
Tick killing sprays and treatments for your yard will kill off any existing ticks in the area and prevent more from coming. If you do treat your backyard with a pest control treatment, make sure you keep your pet away from the area until the product says it is safe to let them return.
Treat Your Pet
Parasite preventive treatments are some of the best defenses against ticks, fleas, and other parasites. There are many types of preventative treatments, from collars, to spot treatments to oral tablets. Some work differently than others, so choosing the right option is important.
The best way to choose a preventative treatment for your pet is to consult your vet at East Valley Animal Hospital. We will make a recommendation based on where you live, how much time your pet spends outside, and the type of pet you have.
Still Have Questions?
If you have questions about ticks and parasites, the staff at East Valley Animal Hospital can help. Whether you have concerns about tick prevention, or think your dog has been affected by a tick bite, we want to make sure your pet stays as healthy and happy as possible. To schedule an appointment you can call us at 480-568-2462 or contact us online.