It’s been a bit late starting this year, but we think it’s safe to say that Spring has now officially sprung, which means time for lots of leisurely doggy walks and playdates in the park!
However, the warmer weather and return to the great outdoors can spell trouble for our dogs – trouble in the form of ticks! Springtime is the season when ticks are at their most active and so is the prime time for dogs to pick them up. Aside from discomfort and irritation, ticks can cause a myriad of illnesses and diseases in dogs, such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaemia and in rare cases even paralysis.
But do not fear, to help you keep your dog fit and healthy we’ve put together a list of things to help you keep your dog safe from ticks this Spring.
Get up close
Get into the habit of checking your dog daily, as soon as you get back from a walk. Ticks favour the head, neck, the insides of the legs and underbelly so run your hands over its body and check for any lumps or bumps. If you feel something – take a look, ticks are big enough to see. Initially, they resemble tiny spiders with a pale white egg-shaped body, but they gradually get larger and darker.
Remove them safely
If you do find a tick on your furry friend, it’s important to remove it as soon as possible.The quicker it’s gone, the lower the risk of disease will be.Removal can be tricky and done incorrectly, it can heighten the risk of infection. The best method of removal is to twist them off your pup. Invest in a tick removal tool which will help you to do this. The main thing is to make sure that you remove the whole of the tick and that the head doesn’t remain embedded under the skin. If in doubt speak to your vet first.
Treat the area
Once you have removed the tick, clean the affected area with antiseptic. Keep an eye on it for a couple of days afterwards and if it appears sore or inflamed take a trip to your vet. Similarly, if he/she is showing any signs of being unwell seek medical advice immediately.
If you’re a regular visitor to the park, wood or countryside then it is a good idea to give your dog a tick treatment.There is an array of products available so do your research and think about which method may suit your pooch the best. Remember that no product is 100% effective so regularly examining your pet is crucial.
Have you got any other top tick tricks? Let us know over on the Wagg Facebook page!