Ticks on Dogs: How to Protect your Dog During this Summer

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Ticks are the bane of every dog owner’s existence. The small, blood-sucking insects are virtually everywhere outdoors. Ticks on dogs can be difficult to spot hidden in your dog’s fur. They can cause discomfort and even illnesses in your beloved pooch. 


While ticks can be found outdoors year-round, summer is the most common time for bites to happen. This is because people - and their dogs - are spending more time outdoors. Read more to find out how to get rid of ticks on dogs. 


Dangers of Dog Tick Bites


Ticks aren’t just a danger to dogs. They can migrate from a dog’s fur to a human’s skin and vice versa. However, dogs are more prone to ticks because so much of their body is close to the ground where ticks are found. Ticks can be found in many places, but are most prominent in grass, shrubs and even piles of leaves. 


A tick bite itself can be uncomfortable - often leaving the area red and itchy - but not necessarily dangerous. However, the dog (or person) bit can experience an allergic reaction. Another big concern is the tick transmitting diseases that can be deadly. 


One of the most common diseases passed from ticks to humans, dogs or other pets is Lyme disease. Lyme disease is carried by deer ticks. The symptoms can show up months after the original tick bites. 


Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include loss of appetite combined with lameness when walking and fatigue. A dog may also have a fever and experience stiffness in the joints. 


Your veterinarian can test for Lyme disease if your dog is showing any of these symptoms. 

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Symptoms of Other tick-borne Diseases


While Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease, it’s not the only one. There are several other types of tick-related illnesses, such as the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The symptoms of other tick-borne diseases are similar to Lyme disease symptoms - difficulty walking, disinterest in food or play, etc. 


However, some of the other tick-borne diseases can result in heart problems, neurological problems, and even death. For such a small bug, ticks can cause very serious problems for dogs and humans alike. 


Where Ticks Are Likely Found on Dogs


In humans and dogs, once on the body, ticks head for a warm, moist place to bite. For dogs, that can be the space under their front and back legs. However, ticks can also be found between a dog’s toes.


More obscure hiding places for ticks include in or around a dog’s ears and eyelids. They can also bury themselves in your dog’s furry tail. 


How to Protect Your Dog From Ticks


Ticks are not easy to spot with the naked eye. They are very small and are usually brown or black, making them difficult to see in most dog’s fur. 


One way to protect your dog from ticks is to brush your dog every time they come inside after walks or playtime. Even if the grass is short, ticks are present. 


Even with regular brushing, you can miss any ticks that may have already bitten your dog. It’s important to take your dog to the vet if they start showing any potential symptoms from tick-borne diseases. 


Many dog owners use over-the-counter topical flea and tick repellent. Many vets now offer such protection in pill form, as well. 


In addition to brushing and repellants, dog owners can take the extra step of covering some of their dog’s fur while outdoors. Walkee Paws dog leggings protects your dog from getting ticks and also keeps them from carrying them into your home.