Tick Season: What You Can Do to Keep Your Dog Protected
It is difficult to completely prevent a tick from biting your dog but the good news is, there are measures you can take to decrease his exposure. Ticks can carry bacterium leading to Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and can cause complications such as Anemia. Modifying your dog's environment and using gentle repellents can help!
Summer is in full swing which means our pets are spending more time outdoors. One common concern among dog owners is the fear of tick bites and the diseases they carry that may put our pups at risk. When it comes to ticks, I am reminded of my childhood dog. She was a small peekapoo breed. One hot, summer day she came inside with a large tick attached to her neck. As a child, I was terrified and had no idea how common this actually was. My sister and I stretched a towel over the kitchen counter and prepped her for what we thought was to be a pretty intense procedure. Our father removed the tick and we spent the rest of the day pampering our pet as if she had just been through a battle. I look back on that memory and laugh, knowing that ticks are quite prevalent in the dog world but it doesn't mean that it isn't a worrisome situation.
Ticks themselves only cause some minor skin irritation but the diseases they can carry pose a threat to our animals. Lyme disease is usually the first disease people think of when it come to ticks. Lyme Disease can cause painful swelling and inflammation of your dog's joints and produces symptoms such as lameness, fever, lethargy, and enlarged lymph nodes. Another common disease which ticks are capable of spreading is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). RMSF is caused by a bacterium known as Rickettsia rickettsii. Symptoms may include unexplained bleeding which you may notice in his urine, stool or emesis, lethargy, fever, joint pain and bruising. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to call your vet right away.
Although rare, your dog can also develop anemia from the loss of blood. This usually occurs in dogs that spend most of their time outdoors and is prone to many tick bites or when a dog comes from a situation where he was not properly cared for. Either way, anemia can be dangerous for your pet.
It is difficult to completely prevent a tick from biting your dog but the good news is, there are measures you can take to decrease his exposure. Treating your yard is a great way to lessen the exposure, as well as changing your landscape to be less tick friendly. A three-foot buffer of mulch or gravel can be used to separate woods from yards and make it difficult for ticks to migrate. Keeping wild animals out the yard is another way to prevent an abundance of these irritating insects in your dog's direct environment.
You have done everything you can do to decrease the exposure of ticks in the environment around your pup but what else can you do? There are many collars, shampoos, powders, oral medications, spot treatments and sprays on the market today to help ward off these pests.
However, BARF World recommends using a natural product without harsh chemicals. At www.barfworld.com., you can find Endless Mountain's Flea and Tick Spray which offers unmatchable, non-toxic protection using essential oils.
It is very important to check your pet often for ticks. The sooner you recognize and remove the tick, the less risk of complication. If you find a tick attached to your pet, the Humane Society suggests wearing gloves for removal and carefully grasping the tick as close to your dog's skin as possible with a pair of tweezers. Pull the tick out in a straight and steady motion. Leaving any part of the tick in the skin can lead to infection. Drop the tick into isopropyl alcohol and take note of the date the tick was found. If your pet has any symptoms in the future, knowing the date you found the tick can help properly diagnose any complications.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about ticks and your pets, talk to your Veterinarian or call 1-866-282-2273 to talk to one of our Raw Food Specialists for advice.
Stephanie is a Registered Nurse and proud mother of 4 who has always loved animals and the purity and beauty they bring into the world. She enjoys researching current trends and evidence-based practice in the pet industry and relating it to the healthcare industry for humans. She has passion in discovering new-found knowledge with other pet owners like herself.
"BARF®" is our acronym that means Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It is a complete and carefully balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables and bone. Our formula mimics what nature has designed our pet's to thrive on in the wild. The result is a pet free of allergies, digestive problems, and full of life!