Tackling ticks

24th Apr 2024
3 min read
Biscuit Pet Care

Ticks might be tiny, but they can pose big problems for our furry friends, especially in the UK where they thrive in the lush greenery of parks, forests, and gardens. These pesky parasites can latch onto your dog, causing discomfort and potentially transmitting diseases. As responsible pet owners, it's crucial to understand the risks ticks pose and how to prevent and deal with them effectively. 

Understanding the Threat 

Ticks are small arachnids that feed on the blood of animals, including dogs. They're commonly found in grassy and wooded areas, particularly during warmer months. In the UK, they're prevalent in rural and urban green spaces, making it important to stay vigilant year-round. 

Aside from the discomfort of their bites, ticks can transmit various diseases, including Lyme disease, which affects both humans and dogs. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, including fever, lethargy, joint pain, and in some cases, even neurological issues. Therefore, prompt removal of ticks and preventative measures are essential. 

Prevention is Key 

Preventing tick bites is the first line of defence. Here are some ways you can keep your dog safe: 

Regular Check-ups: After walks or outdoor adventures, carefully inspect your dog's fur for any signs of ticks. Pay close attention to areas like ears, armpits, between toes, and around the tail. 

Tick Control Products: Use tick control products such as spot-on treatments, collars, or oral medications. These can help repel ticks or kill them upon contact. Itch fast acting flea, tick and wormer treatments are vet approved and scientifically proven to protect your pet and home 🐶⁠ check out their amazing offer on the Biscuit App Rewards Store!

Tick Repellents: Consider using natural tick repellents like essential oils (e.g., cedar, eucalyptus) or specialized tick repellent sprays. Be cautious with essential oils, ensuring they're diluted properly for canine use. 

Maintain Your home: Keep your garden well-maintained by regularly mowing the lawn, removing leaf litter, and trimming shrubs. This reduces the tick habitat around your home. 

Safe Tick Removal 

Despite preventive measures, your dog may still pick up a tick. Prompt and proper removal is important to prevent disease transmission. Here's how to do it safely: 

Use Tick Removal Tools: Invest in a tick removal tool, which allows you to grasp the tick firmly at the head and remove it without leaving behind mouthparts. 

Gently Pull: Using the removal tool, grasp the tick as close to your dog's skin as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure. Avoid twisting or jerking, as this may cause the tick's mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. 

Disinfect the Area: After removing the tick, disinfect the bite site and your hands. 

Dispose of the Tick: Dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet or placing it in alcohol to ensure it's dead. 

Monitor for Symptoms: Keep an eye on your dog for any signs of illness in the days following tick removal. If you notice symptoms like fever, lethargy, or lameness, contact your vet immediately.  

Ticks are a common concern for dog owners in the UK, but with proper precautions and quick action, you can minimize the risks they pose to your furry companion. Regularly check for ticks, use preventative products, and know how to safely remove them if found. By staying vigilant and proactive, you can help keep your dog happy, healthy, and tick-free.