Ticks can be pesky little buggers that love to latch onto our four-legged pals, causing discomfort and potentially transmitting dangerous diseases. These little critters can be tough to spot, but with a little bit of know-how, you can keep your pooch tick-free. We’ve teamed up with Bob Martin to help you sniff out any ticks and help your dog to feel “tick-ety boo” all year round. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to tick-checking!
What Is A Tick?
Ticks are not your average creepy crawlies. They are actually small, spider-like creatures that feed on the blood of animals, just like fleas. But unlike their jumping counterparts, ticks are patient lurkers that wait for the perfect moment to attach to your pet’s coat as they brush past.
These egg-shaped bloodsuckers can be difficult to get rid of and transmit a range of harmful diseases, including Babesiosis and Lyme disease.
In fact, tick numbers are on the rise across the UK, with a staggering 76% of dogs travelling outside the country returning with ticks, only making the problem worse. So, it’s important to take tick prevention seriously to keep your furry friend healthy and happy.
Start with the Basics
The first step in checking your dog for ticks is to get them used to being handled. Make sure your furry friend is comfortable with being touched and combed, so that they don’t get spooked when it comes time to check for ticks. A good belly rub or scratch behind the ears can go a long way in helping them relax.
The Ears Have It
Ticks love to burrow into warm, dark, and moist places – and your dog’s ears are prime real estate for them. So make sure to give your dog’s ears a good once-over. Gently lift up their earflaps and check the ear canal for any signs of ticks. Be sure to check behind the ears as well, as ticks love to hide in the folds of skin there.
Don’t Forget the Face
Ticks can also be found around your dog’s mouth and nose. Check the area around your dog’s lips, and the folds of skin around their nose. You can also use your fingers to gently feel around the fur on their face, looking for any bumps or lumps.
Take a Peek at the Paws
Ticks love to hide in the warm and moist spaces between your dog’s toes, so it’s important to check there too. Take a good look at the spaces between their toes, and gently feel around for any bumps or lumps. If your dog has long hair on their paws, you may need to trim it back a bit to get a good look.
Your dog’s belly is also a popular spot for ticks to hang out. Part your dog’s fur and check the skin around their belly button for any ticks. Don’t forget to check under their legs and around their armpits too – these are also warm and cozy spots that ticks love.
The Tail End
Finally, don’t forget to check your dog’s tail. Lift it up and check the skin and fur underneath for any ticks. If your dog has a particularly fluffy tail, you may need to use a comb to get through all the fur.
Around The Butt
Yes, you read that right. Around the butt. You may not want to think about it, but ticks can make their way to some pretty, shall we say, intimate areas on your furry friend. This area is prime real estate for ticks, as it’s warm, cosy, and oh so close to your dog’s tasty blood vessels. Now before your mind goes racing in the wrong direction, we mean checking around the butt and not up. And while it may not be the most glamorous spot to check, it’s important to make sure your pet is tick-free all over.
What If I Find A Tick?
If you do find a tick on your dog, don’t panic. It’s important to remove the tick as soon as possible, as this will help to reduce the risk of any tick-borne diseases. Use a tick removal tool to gently twist and lift the tick off, taking care to remove the entire tick – including the head. Never try to remove a tick with your fingers or any other household tools, as this can increase the risk of infection.
And don’t forget, once you have safely removed the tick from your furry friend, make sure to thoroughly clean your home as well. Ticks lay eggs that can make their way into your pet’s bedding and surrounding environment. Give your house a good hoovering and discard the contents of the vacuum cleaner immediately in a sealed bag. It’s also a good idea to wash your pet’s bedding over 40°C to ensure that you haven’t missed any of those nasty little suckers.
Remember, the best way to protect your dog from ticks is to check them regularly, and to use preventative medication. Bob Martin provides a range of preventative medications to help protect your furry friend from ticks and other parasites. By using Bob Martin’s products, you can give your dog the best possible protection against ticks.
Share Your Tips and Ticks!
Do you have any tips for ticks that you’ve found useful? Share them in the comments below.
For more helpful advice on caring for your pet’s healthcare needs, and tips to avoid fleas on dogs head over to bobmartin.co.uk. Feeling social? Follow Bob Martin on Facebook (@BobMartinUK) and Instagram (@bobmartinpets).