Hello to all our lovely followers and customers!
Today we want to do our bit to help you keep your fur babies safe and healthy. We are going to let you know about something really gross…ticks.
What are ticks?
Ticks are egg-shaped blood-sucking creepy crawlies that can look spider-like. They have eight legs and vary in size from about 1mm to 1cm long.
Ticks are commonly found in woodland, grassland and heath areas, but you can sometimes also find them in your garden if you live in an area with lots of wildlife. You are most likely to come across them in areas with lots of deer or sheep.
Ticks don’t fly or jump, but climb or drop on to your dog’s coat when they brush past the area they are living in. They are most likely to be an issue for dogs and humans between spring and autumn, but they are active throughout the year.
Ticks are usually big enough to spot. They tend to attach themselves to areas around a dog’s head, neck, ears and feet. At this time of year, if you have been walking in long grass, simply run your hands over your dog’s body when you get back from a walk to check for any lumps or bumps. A tick will feel like a small bump on your pet’s skin.
What to do if you find a tick
Ticks carry diseases, so it’s important to remove any that you find as soon as possible. This can be a challenge, as you need to be careful not to squeeze the tick’s body, or allow its head to get stuck inside your dog. Squeezing a tick’s body can cause it to expel blood back into your dog, increasing the risk of infection. Ticks transmit microbes that cause diseases, such as Lyme disease and babesiosis.
Twisting them off your dog is the best removal method, and pet shops sell handy tick-removal devices to make this easier. Ask your vet for advice if you’re unsure.
It is always a good idea to use a tick treatment that will either repel ticks or kill them if they attach. Spot on treatments, tablets and collars are available and it’s best to consult your vet about which is most suitable for your pet.
All in all, ticks, whilst tiny, can create problems for you and your dogs. Here at PlayPaws we want every dog to have the best life possible, filled with fun and playtime. If you follow these simple steps you can help make that more likely.
If you want any more information check with your vet, or have a look through this helpful page from the RSPCA