September marks so many things – the beginning of school, the end of the summer, cool and crisp weather, and the tick season. If you’re going to be going outside to enjoy some fresh air with your best furry friend, you need to remember one important tip – check for ticks. Ticks prefer dogs and are often found in wooded, grassy areas and hang out on the edges of leaves, twigs, and grasses so that they can easily drop on a potential host as it passes nearby. The Centers for Disease Control recommends clearing tall grass and brush from your yard to make it less attractive to ticks. Once a tick lands on a host, it will find a dark crevice on the body to attach itself.
You should check your pet for ticks every day, especially after they spend time outdoors. How do you check your furry friend for these pesky critters? Here are some tips to follow whenever they come back indoors:
- You can feel a tick through touch so feel for small bumps and ridges all over your pet’s coat. They are small, round, and smooth and most ticks have a hard exterior.
- The most common locations you should check your pet for ticks are in and around the ears, around the eyelids, under the collar, under the front leg, between the back legs, between the toes, and around the tail. These are all small, warm crevices where ticks love to burrow.
- If you find a tick on your pet, you need to remove it immediately. Part the hair in the area and once you have the tick in view, use sharp tweezers or a tick removal tool to grip the tick. They tend to burrow their head beneath the skin, so it is important you get the whole tick out. This is why it is recommended that you place the sharp parts of the tweezers under the tick’s mouthparts, where the head attaches to the body. Once gripped, pull straight up, clean the bite wound, and save the tick in a baggie so that your vet can examine it as soon as possible.
We want our furry friends to enjoy the great outdoors, but we must be sure to always keep them safe during this time of year. If left unfound, a tick can present a very real threat to the health and well-being of your pet’s life. Should you ever feel you cannot remove a tick or did not remove the entire body, call your veterinarian immediately.
Once a tick is removed, we recommend a nice bath for your furry friend! Click HERE to learn more about Pets a Go Go and our services.