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How Can You Prevent and Control Ticks?

While you are shopping for dog care supplies, it is important to make sure that all of your pet’s health needs are taken care of.  If you are a new pet owner, dog tick prevention and dog tick removal are very important topics for you to learn about. 


As you probably know, ticks carry many diseases, including some various serious diseases like Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  While a dog is less likely to get Lyme disease than you are, your pet is still susceptible.  Here are some steps you can take to prevent your dog from getting these diseases:


  • Spray your yard using an environmentally-friendly product containing fenvalerate.  Do this every week or two weeks during peak tick season, and remember that tick season can easily extend into the winter, especially for deer ticks.  Get rid of any excess brush.  If ticks get into your house, use flea and tick fogger or insecticide.  Do this for your safety as well as your pet’s, and wash all bedding regularly.


  • Invest in a tick control product for your dog.  There are a variety of choices, including topical insecticides you apply once a month directly to your pet, sprays, powders, rinses, and shampoos.  Each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages, so weigh them in advance to choose the best solution for your pet.  While the topical applications, sprays, powders, and rinses are preventative products, the shampoo is usually a removal option.  You may find both a preventative product and the shampoo work great together.  The spray or powder discourages ticks from latching on, and the shampoo will take care of the stubborn ones that attach anyway.


  • There are also flea and tick collars you can purchase.  These can be quite effective; just make sure you are using them properly.  You want to make sure for example that you do not get the tick collar wet, since this can reduce its effectiveness.  Some products also lose their effectiveness over time.  Make sure the collar is not irritating your pet either; some collars may cause skin irritations for some dogs. 


  • There is a Lyme vaccine available for dogs.  It still does not have a lot of history of long-term use, but most doctors agree that it is safe.  Since there are still some safety concerns, it is best to consult with your veterinarian to see if the vaccine is a good option for your pet.


  • Invest in dog clothes for ticks.  Tick repellent clothing is one option.  Even if you invest in regular dog clothes like a jacket and dog boots, though, that can really help!  Aim for light-colored clothing when you go on hikes with your pet, and you may be able to spot ticks and get rid of them before they go hiding in your dog’s fur. 


  • Check your dog nightly for ticks and remove them right away.  Doing this can prevent ticks from burrowing and may reduce the number of tick bites your dog gets.  This reduces the chances of your dog contracting a tick-borne disease, and also helps to protect your home and you from ticks.


There really is no single solution to the problem of ticks and tick-born pathogens.  You have to tackle the problem on multiple fronts.  A Lyme vaccine will prevent Lyme for your pet, but won’t actually prevent ticks from latching on (or infecting your dog with other diseases).  Prevention methods that keep ticks away still aren’t foolproof and nothing guarantees that your pet will be safe.


That is why due diligence is probably your best weapon against ticks and disease.  Keep doing those nightly checks during peak season, and be willing to put regular effort into applying preventative measures around your house and yard.  That is the best way to protect your dog and your family!


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