Dog Articles

Dog Ticks - What Dog Ticks Are, and How to Treat Them

Dog ticks, these creepy blood suckers get under everyone's skin, sucking up anyone they can while causing irritation and illness in their victim. Ticks spend most of their lives with their mouths buried inside a mammal's flesh, feeding on their blood. Although ticks are very small, they expand to about 50 times their normal size after they have finished feeding. Dog ticks are also responsible for spreading Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease in dogs.

Fortunately, there are several ways to keep ticks from feeding on your pet. Below are seven helpful suggestions to keep ticks at bay:

1. Before they get into their victims, ticks like to stay several feet off the ground on top of vegetation along roadsides and paths. They patiently remain there waiting for your dog to come along. In order to give the ticks fewer chances to hop and attach themselves to your dog, always keep your grass and weeds trimmed to below ankle height.

2. Generally, mature ticks look for large victims, such as your dog. On the other hand, younger ticks usually feed on mice and other rodents until they are old enough to go after bigger prey. To help eliminate both old ticks as well as young ticks, make sure your yard is uninviting to rodents. Secure your trash cans with strong lids and take out any rock piles and brushy cover.

3. When hiking with your pet, stay on the trails and make sure that your pet remains with you. Avoid wooded areas and long grasses where ticks are waiting.

4. Before going to an area where ticks are standing by, protect your pet's coat by spraying it with insecticides that can kill ticks on contact. Consult with your vet before you administer the insecticide.

5. Ticks tend to target dogs that are not in premium health. So feeding your dog a natural diet will go some way to warding off these nasty parasites.

6. Ticks can be prevented by a natural parasite treatment, which will repel most types of parasites, including ticks, without dousing your dog with toxic chemicals. Click here for more information on a natural tick prevention remedy.

6. If you happen to see ticks, lightly spray your dog with a tick insecticide and then comb his coat using a fine-toothed comb. There are some pet stores that sell combs which are used specifically for ticks. They are also great for catching fleas.

7. Sometimes you can actually see the tick while it's feeding on your dog. In this case, quickly remove the tick. The longer the tick feeds on your dog, the more likely it will transmit Lyme disease and other types of illness.

8. When removing the tick, never use a match or anything that can burn your dog. Making the tick back out using fire does not work and can only cause harm to you and your pet. The most effective way of removing a tick is by using a pair of tweezers and aiming for the tick's head, while gently pulling it out. This way, the tick comes out in one piece and leaves no mess on your pet. For additional protection after removing the tick, rub the infected area with an antibiotic ointment or topical antiseptic.