Keeping Your Dog Tick-Free

If you have a dog then you want to make sure you do all you can to make them safe and to keep them healthy. This includes making sure you keep them free of ticks. If you live in an area that isn't known for having ticks then you have less to worry about. However, if there are a lot of ticks where you are, then you need to take quite a few steps to protect your dog from them. Ticks will attach themselves to your dog by embedding their tiny heads under their skin and feeding off of them. The ticks can stay on your dog for a long time and they can transmit diseases, such as Lyme's disease. Here are some things you should know about ticks to protect your dog:

Keep deer and other wildlife out of your yard – Deer, coyotes, rabbits, and other wild animals can come into your yard and drop ticks in the yard. Then, when you let your dogs out into the yard the ticks can attach themselves to your dog. Since they are so small, you may not even know they are there for a long time. You want to do everything you can to keep wild animals from coming into your yard so you can avoid them leaving those ticks behind. Fencing, motion sensing sprinklers, and spray deterrents are just of the few things that can help you to keep them from coming in the yard.

Bathe and groom your dog often – If you aren't very hands on with your dog, then there is very little chance of you feeling or even seeing a tick on them. You should bathe your dog often and make sure you run your hands over all the parts of their body. If you feel a very small bump then part their fur and make sure it isn't a tick. If you have a breed of dog that needs to be shaved often then make sure you stay on top of this as well. Allowing their fur to get longer than it should will only make it harder for you to spot or feel ticks.

Watch out for bushes and thick brush - Certain bushes can be more prone to harboring ticks, such as oleander bushes. If you have these types of bushes in your yard, then you should consider having them removed, or at least have them trimmed down as much as possible. Also, when you are out with your dog, try to keep them out of bushes. After you have had your dog in a wilderness setting, you want to take them home and use a dog comb on their fur to check them over for ticks.

Take your dog to the vet – If you find a tick on your dog then you should take them in to see a vet right away. Even if it is on the weekend, you should take them in if it means going to an animal hospital. You want to have the vet remove the tick properly, so the head doesn't remain under their skin. They may also want to start your dog on antibiotics if they feel there is a chance they may end up with Lyme's disease. The animal hospital you take your pets to can also check the dog over and make sure they don't have any more. Also, this is a good time for you to have your dog started on a flea and tick preventative, to protect them in the future.

Tip: Starting your dog on a flea and tick preventative can help you protect them from the start.