In a few months Tick season will be upon us again! While ticks seem pointless, they do provide a big purpose in the ecosystem, providing a meal for a few wild animals but unfortunately, your dog can be a perfect feeding ground for these parasites. Here are the things you need to know about these arachnids and the diseases they carry.
What do ticks look like?
Ticks vary in shape, colour and size but they have a flattened oval shaped body before feeding and a plump, rounded body once fed. When they’re unfed they’re the size of a sesame seed but then grow to the size of a coffee bean when complete engorged with their host’s blood.
When are ticks active?
Ticks are most active from March to October, but you might come across them in the winter months, too. Because ticks are at risk of drying out, they prefer moist and humid environments and live in grass, bushes, shrubs and foliage.
How do ticks get on to your pet?
Ticks will rest on the tips of grasses and shrubs, waiting for a host. When a host brushes past the tick will climb onto them and either attach themselves quickly or go for a wander across their victim, looking for warmer areas or places where the skin is thinner.
How can I tell if my pet has a tick?
Once you come home from a walk with your dog or your cat returns from its nightly adventures it’s a good idea to check them over for ticks. It can be quite hard to find them at first because they’re so small, but if you check every day then you might eventually find a tick feeding on your pet.
Ticks can be found anywhere on your cat or dog’s body, but they particularly like to attach themselves around their:
Ears, Head, Neck, Groin, Armpits, Feet (between the toes)
How do you remove a tick from a dog or cat?
The trick to removing a tick is in the method as it’s important to get all of the tick out, head and all.
Part your pet’s hair so you can see the tick. Using a tick removal tool, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Twist and lever upwards so that the tick is detached from your pet’s body. Make sure not to pull or squeeze the tick’s body as this could kill the tick which would release toxins into your pet’s skin.
For any more advice on all things Ticks please contact Harris Hounds and we would be more than happy to assist!