03 Apr 13

Spring into tick season ...

by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

Now that the snow is melted, the flowers are starting to bloom and the temps are above freezing, it is officially tick season.  If you walk your dog in the woods, along a grassy area, at a park or even if you let Buddy in your yard – chances are your dog can now pick up a few ticks.

It’s time to thoroughly check your dog for ticks each time it comes in the house or before you get back into you car.  Lyme Disease is always a concern for dogs contracting this from ticks, but there are other tick borne illnesses that your dog could get.  In most cases the tick must feed on your dog for 24 hours to infect the dog, so that is why it is good practice and training for your dog to make it a routine to check him.

Be diligent about checking your dogs ears, paws (and I in between the toes), front and back of the neck.  Ticks go anywhere, but those areas seem to be prime real estate for them. The also like moist places, so make sure you look in your dogs ears. And check yourself as well, they can crawl pretty quickly.  You can use a flea comb too to find them and if you are so inclined there are topical monthly treatments to prevent ticks from staying on your dog.  I am not a fan of most of these treatments and prefer holistic alternatives, and and a thorough daily screening of my dog.  This also helps for spotting any abnormalities on your dog that you may have not noticed by just putting monthly drops of a preventative on your dog.

Ticks are everywhere on LI, don’t fool yourself to thinking your well manicured and landscaped property won’t have any.  And check yourself as well, they can crawl pretty quickly.  Ticks are nasty little creatures, but they are a part of life when owning a dog on our infested Island. For more information on ticks click here.   And to see a video to preventing ticks and other saftey tips while out in the park with your dog, click here.

Happy tick hunting? Yes, make it a rountine for your dog and reward him or her afterwards – my old Dobie used to immediately lay down and roll on her side when we got back to the car because she knew it was tick check time.  What a good girl!

What is your best tick prevention or removal method?  Put them in the comments below!

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