From fevers and joint stiffness to problems with breathing and issues with their nervous system and heart, Lyme's disease can have a profound impact on your dog's health and quality of life. The best way to protect your dog from this devastating illness is to keep the carrier of the disease at bay: deer ticks.
Your Dog and Lyme Disease
Whether you need to treat your yard or learn how to safely identify and remove ticks, there are several ways you can prevent your dog from being infected by Lyme's disease.
Start by Treating Your Yard
One of the most effective ways to prevent your dog from contracting Lyme's disease is to keep ticks out of your yard. To accomplish this, you must work in tandem with a pest control company to prevent ticks from finding a fresh meal on your dog's back.
Here are a few simple ways you can make your lawn less attractive to ticks:
- Mow your lawn regularly. Ticks prefer longer grass because it provides more cover and protection.
- Avoid overwatering your lawn. Ticks and other insects you don't want on your pets, including fleas, are attracted to moist environments.
- Limit the amount of wildlife on your property. Squirrels, raccoons, and other pests that enter your yard are carriers of ticks.
In addition to taking these steps, it is critical to have your yard regularly treated by a professional pest control company. There are several environmentally friendly products on the market that will safely and effectively control the tick population on your property without causing any harm to your children and pets.
Talk with Your Vet About Tick Prevention
Now that you've made your property less attractive to ticks, it's time to speak with your veterinarian about any available treatments. Your vet will have a variety of treatment options available, and they will help you determine the best option for you and your dog.
Here are a few of the options available that you should discuss with your pup's veterinarian:
- Once-a-month topical treatments. You've probably seen commercials for treatments that are applied to the back of your dog's neck and provide exceptional protection against ticks. Your vet can suggest the best of these treatments to protect your dog from ticks.
- Tick prevention sprays. There are sprays available that will work to repel ticks. Make sure to follow the package directions while applying these products.
- Other topical treatments. From shampoos and powders to dips, there are several traditional topical treatments that are available at your local pet or home improvement store.
Be aware that these are only temporary solutions, and if your dog is an outdoor lover, make sure to ask your veterinarian if these are the right options for you.
Finding and Removing Ticks from Your Dog
Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, it is still possible for a tick to find its way onto your dog's skin. This is why it is critical to examine your dog for ticks on a daily basis and to remove any ticks that you find right away.
The best way to examine your dog is to start at the head and work your way to their back legs. Make sure to check every square inch of your dog, including between your dog's toes and inside their ears. Using a tick comb is a great way to spot pests that you would not have found otherwise.
If you find a tick, grab a pair of tweezers and carefully put it out of your dog's skin. Be aware that if the tick has been there for a while, it might be embedded deeply in your dog's skin. If this is the case, use caution and avoid twisting the tick, as this could cause it to break in half.
Once you have the tick out of your dog's skin, dispose of it immediately. Place the tick in a sealed plastic bag and toss it into an outdoor garbage can.
Whether you live in the suburbs, the city, or the countryside, ticks are an avoidable part of life. If you are ready to protect your dog against ticks and Lyme's disease, don't hesitate to contact a professional exterminator right away.