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"Because you Love Them"
"Because you Love Them"
Has this ever happened to you?
You return home from a long hike with your dog and sit down to relax, As your faithful trail companion rests beside you...
You reach down to give him or her a belly rub. You’ve got that “Life is Good” feeling going on,
until you feel a little bump on your dog’s skin. You separate his fur to investigate and discover a blood sucking tick has embedded itself into your sweet dog. EW!!!
The warm weather and hiking season is BACK & so are the critters!!
Ticks can be located just about anywhere in the world – from sea level to higher altitudes (although they do not really like colder temps). There are hundreds of different species of ticks and according to scientists they can “range in size from nearly invisible to the size of a pencil eraser.” Ticks are often smaller than you think and to protect yourself you need to be knowledge about how to avoid ticks while hiking or playing outdoors.
When your dog gets close to or brushes up against tick infected vegetation, a tick can drop off and hitch a ride.
It then begins seeking out a warm, dark feeding site before attaching its jaws and inserting a blood sucking feeding tube.
Sounds Uncomfortable, right? Since ticks are usually found in hiking areas, here are some ways to protect yourself and your dog from these little bugs!
1. Avoid Off-Leash Tick Thriving Areas
Dogs love to sniff and investigate along the edges of trails where ticks are waiting on blades of grass or brush.
Ticks are typically found in bushy, grassy, and forested areas that are often shady and humid. Ticks then like to climb to the top of long grass or branches and then jump on you when your swish by.
You can avoid picking up ticks by keeping your dog on a leash and by walking in the middle of the trail, especially during the height of tick season.
If you stick to the middle of the trail and avoid bushwhacking, you’re more likely to avoid ticks while hiking. Seek sunny areas and you’ll improve your chances of having a tick free day.
2. Wear Proper Clothing; You and Your Dog
Wearing light colored clothing can help detect areas that are infested with ticks.
By tucking your pant legs inside your socks and tucking your shirt inside your pants, you’ll have a better chance of seeing any dark colored ticks that attempt to crawl up your legs.
You can easily flick them off before they get to your skin. Yeah, you might look a little weird, but you probably won’t run into the fashion police while out hiking the trails.
Stop occasionally and check for any crawling ticks, especially when entering a new area of your hike. If you suddenly notice a lot of the little crawlers, change your route if possible. Permethrin spray is an effective tick repellent that can be used on clothing, but it can be toxic (especially to cats and fish) and should be used with caution. A better alternative might be to buy commercially treated pants if you do a lot of hiking.
3. Know Your Types Of Ticks
The Most Common Tick we have on our West Coast is the Black Legged Tick, also known as the Deer tick.
These guys can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, Lyme Disease Tularemia, Ehrlichia, and Tick Paralysis!! So Beware of those two kinds of ticks especially!!
Below is a chart to help you indentify the different types of Ticks!!
Tick identification is important. Everyone is worried about Lyme Disease.
We've attached the poster below to to avoid unnecessary worry and unnecessary trips to the vet.
The tick that primarily carries lyme disease is I. Scapularis, also called the Black-Legged Tick, or the Deer Tick.
The deer tick is very very very tiny, approximately the size of a fleck of black pepper. They are very nearly impossible to see on a dog, and can still be difficult to see even when engorged.
The common dog tick can range in size from very small, but clearly visible, to quite large. Then when they're engorged, they blow up like a big greyish/greenish blob (green or grey color tick).
4. Inspect yourself & your dog when you get home!
Do constant checks as you make your way through the trails but also do a more thorough tick inspection of your dog when you get home, as it is needed.
Even if you use an oral or spot-on preventative treatment. Do a visual inspection and use your fingers to feel for bumps that may be attached ticks.
Ticks can be found anywhere on your dog, but popular hiding areas are on the head, neck, legs, armpits, belly, chest, tail, between the toes, and in and around the ears.
Since it can take several hours before an attached tick can transmit a disease to your dog, you can eliminate most of the risk by performing a thorough inspection and removing any ticks soon after arriving home from your hike.
If you’ve been hiking in a tick infested area, first remove your clothes and put them in the dryer for 15 minutes on high heat, then head for the shower to thoroughly inspect yourself for any ticks. I also like to leave my shoes outside for awhile in case there are any ticks hiding in them.
It’s almost inevitable that one day your dog will have a tick, even if you’re not a hiker.
5. Learn Proper and Safe Tick Removal Practices
How to Remove a Tick From Your Dog
1. Once you discover a tick, don’t panic. It’s easy to remove and you’ll want to keep your dog relaxed during the procedure.
2. Here’s what you’ll need: Fine-tipped tweezers (precision tweezers) and a small jar or plastic bag to put the tick in once it’s been removed. Latex gloves and a magnifying glass are also helpful if you have them on hand. Special tick removal tools are useful if your dog gets a lot of ticks, but they may not be effective for removing small ticks
3. Separate the fur around the tick, then use the tweezers to grab the tick close to where it’s attached to your dog’s skin. Don’t grab or squeeze its body which could separate from the head or inject the contents of the tick into your dog’s skin.
4. Gently and slowly pull the tick straight upwards. You may notice your dog’s skin pulling up just a little bit when you do this.
5. Gently hold pressure on the tick while being careful not to twist or crush it. The goal is to remove the entire tick, so be patient as you hold pressure. After a few moments, it should release its grip.
6. If the tick’s body comes off and the head or jaws are still attached, try to carefully remove the pieces left behind. If you’re uncomfortable doing that, check with your vet to see if a visit is required.
7. Place and seal the tick inside the jar or plastic bag along with a small amount of rubbing alcohol to kill the tick. You may want to date and retain the container for analysis in the event your dog develops any symptoms of illness.
8. Apply chlorhexidine, Betadine or an antibiotic ointment to the area where the tick was attached.
9. Wash your hands and the tweezers thoroughly and give your pup a treat for being so cooperative
10. Keep an eye on the site for a week or two. Some mild irritation or swelling is normal, but contact your vet if you notice anything unusual or signs of infection.
Don't Let the Bugs Discourage You!!
Would your dog like the chance to go on a hike with us?????
Introducing the perfect doggie daycare add on!!!
Here at Just About Pets we know all about ticks and which natural remedies to use, we even have some natural remedy items in our store!!
To start, Adventure Hikes are a great way to keep your dog fit physically and mentally! It is a way for their daily exercise to also include socialization and basic obedience refreshers.
Here is our top 5 reasons Adventure Hikes will help benefit your dog on the daily!