Dog lovers know how annoying Ticks on dogs can be. These tiny parasites, resembling spiders, attach themselves to the fur of the pets and suck on blood. If left too long or not removed entirely, ticks can cause some serious diseases like hypersensitivity, anaemia or tick fever, skin infections, muscle weakness, Lyme, babesiosis and hepatozoonosis by transmitting bacteria and microbes when they bite an animal or human.
Ticks aren’t insects but fall more into the category of arachnids similar to scorpions, spiders, and mites. All adult ticks have eight legs and have no antennae.
Humans can catch Lyme disease from ticks, just as dogs can.
How do dogs get ticks?
Dogs may get infected by ticks which cling on to their fur during their walks in or around tick-infested yards, tall grasses and dense vegetation. Even indoors, there are few tick breeds which may make their home on rugs and furniture. Ticks wait for host animals on the tips of grasses and shrubs. During your dog’s walks or plays, if he brushes past the vegetation, the tick can quickly climb onto him. This process is often referred to as questing
While you must sanitize corner areas in your house with due care to thwart ticks and fleas, it is also advisable to wash blankets, linen, and cushion covers regularly.
Always check your dog and yourself for ticks after a walk and remove them quickly.
How to spot if your dog has ticks?
Ticks are relatively easier to spot because of their size – they look like spiders and get bloated and darker as they hold on to a host. Try patting your dog and run your hand along with the fur, if you sense any lumps – look closer.
How to remove ticks on your dog?
1. Manual tick removal Although often hard to dislodge, you may remove ticks with the help of tweezers. Also, do remember to comb your dog upon return from walks as it helps sweep off ticks and prevent irritation.
2. Medicated Shampoos and powders control and prevent ticks and fleas. In case of flea bite allergies, fungal skin infections, and pyoderma, you may administer a course of Furglow, a blend of Omega fatty acids.
In case your dog is sick or if you are unable to shampoo your dog regularly, you may try spray baths to keep your dog’s hygiene in check.
3. Natural remedies also work great against ticks and fleas. However, you need to ensure avoiding the sensitive area around the dog’s eyes.
4. Herbal tick collars –Mix 2 tablespoons almond oil with Rose Geranium Oil. Dab a few drops on your dog’s collar or neck area before heading out.
5. Lemon juice – Prepare a home-made citrus solution by putting lemons in boiled water overnight. Spray the solution all over the dog, especially behind the ears, around the head, at the base of the tail and in the armpits. You may similarly prepare Orange oil, also a tick repellent.
6. Neem oil – Pour a few drops of neem oil on your palm and gently rub it on the affected region. With its anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties, neem oil helps fight off ticks and fleas.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar – Add 2 tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar (without honey) to your dog’s food or water bowl as a preventative measure against ticks and fleas.
8. Eucalyptus Oil – Boil 15-20 Eucalyptus leaves in a liter of water for approximately 10 minutes. Use it after 3-4 hours… once it cools down by spraying on your dog’s fur to ward off ticks.
9. Tea Tree Oil and Cinnamon Oil with their medicinal properties also help in getting rid of ticks.
Ticks are indeed unwanted guests that neither you or your dog desires. So if you notice them, please remove them safely, and in case of any concern, reach out to your vet at the earliest. Here’s wishing your pooch the very best of summer and spring cleaning, tick the above preventive and prescription measures and help your puppy say NO to ticks!
Got any other tips to get rid of ticks on dogs? Please suggest in the comments below.