This Is How Your Dog Can Survive A Tick-Free Spring

At higher temperatures, ticks in green spaces become more active again and pose a threat to dogs. That is why it is so important to properly remove and prevent parasites.

What could be more pleasant in spring than a long walk with the dog through meadows and forests? Unfortunately, warm temperatures lure not only dog owners and their charges out of the freezing winter, but also ticks. Therefore, on wonderful excursions, there is always a risk.

Because as soon as a dog or other potential owner passes by, ticks fall out of their shelter in trees, in tall grass, or in a dense forest. The parasites cling tightly to the dog’s coat, make their way from there to the skin and bite hard. And preferably on soft skin areas with good perfusions, such as the ears or lumbar region. There they can taste their owner’s blood.

Ticks Carry Various Diseases

The danger for a dog is that ticks can carry various diseases. Including borreliosis, babesiosis, or meningitis. Therefore, it is important that dog owners follow a few tips to help prevent ticks and remove them safely.

When warm, the parasites become very active. Therefore, you should search your dog or cat thoroughly after every free run and walk. If you are lucky, you will even notice the ticks before they bite and you can remove them right away.

Remove Ticks From Dogs

But even if the parasite was already irritated, you should immediately remove it – and not wait until it is absorbed and disappears by itself. To do this, gently pull the tick out of the skin. It is important that the dog remains as calm as possible and that you do not crush the tick. Otherwise, there is a risk that the tick will release pathogens into the bite wound. It is best to use pulling tongs as you can squeeze the tick faster with tweezers or by pulling it out with your fingers.

Feel as close to your dog’s skin as possible with this tool. Then, slowly and evenly pull out the tick. Make sure that the head of the tick does not get stuck, but is removed with it. Just in case, take a magnifying glass with which you can very carefully examine the site of the bite.

Then, clean the area with a dog-safe disinfectant. Also, continue to observe the development of the skin around the bite site. Because if the skin remains red or infected, you should also take your dog to the vet. The same thing happens if the dog has a fever or swollen lymph nodes.

Get Rid of Ticks Properly

Proper disposal is important so that the removed tick does not find its next victim in the near future. For example, it is not enough to wash the parasite in the sink – it will not drown. Instead, you can crush the tick with glass, for example. Alternatively, you can throw it in disinfectants, chlorine cleaners, or hard alcohol, where it will die.

Important: Never apply nail polish, disinfectant, or other liquid to the tick while it is still in the dog. This can cause the mite to vomit and thus transfer pathogens to the dog.

Protect Your Dog From Ticks

Since tick bites are a health hazard, dog owners naturally try to protect their four-legged friends from tick bites. In addition to special collars, spot remedies, and pills, there are more and more home remedies available to help ward off parasites.

In general, it is recommended that you visit your veterinarian in early spring for advice on various medications. The big difference between spot-on formulations and collars lies, among other things, in the dosage of the active ingredient and whether the animal absorbs the active ingredient through the skin.

The latter is often spotted because it drips onto the dog’s neck. They often seem a little shorter but are also dosed lower. If your dog is wearing a tick collar, the active ingredient is distributed over the fatty film of the skin but is not absorbed. Instead, the dosage is higher and people come into direct contact with it when stroked. Therefore, it is recommended to be careful when working with children.

Thus, pills may be the best option for families with children as they are eaten by dogs and only work inside the body. They “poison” the blood, so that the ticks quickly die.

Are Tick Repellents Harmful?

Some dog owners are reluctant to use collars or pest pills because they fear that the substances they contain may be harmful to them or their four-legged friends. However, this is not the case. Veterinarians emphasize that all drugs are thoroughly tested in advance for effectiveness and tolerance.

This is not the case with “natural” alternatives. For example, some rely on coconut oil to rub into their fur. The lauric acid it contains is said to ward off ticks. However,  these natural defenses have limited effects and must be renewed every six hours. Moreover, such alternatives have not yet been explored. Especially in high-risk areas, it is best to use effective medical protection against ticks after consulting a veterinarian.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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