Yes, summertime is fun, and it is also the prime time for ticks to have their fun. As dogs and kids play in the yard more often and families enjoy outdoor activities, ticks become much more of an unpleasant threat. Please take heed of this invaluable information and maximize your tick prevention skills.
Did you realize that tick populations are increasing each year due the use of less awful, poisonous pesticides (which is a good thing) and overall warmer climates? Let’s ruin their next meal and learn about some practical tips that help you avoid the unpleasant experience of finding those ugly critters sucking the blood out of your dog, you or your child. It’s possible to protect the whole family from the myriad possible diseases that can be associated with those grim little insects with a bit of planning and awareness.
Dogs are very susceptible to tick-borne diseases. Ticks may transmit diseases within 24 hours after tick attachment while symptoms may take up to 21 days to manifest. Symptoms of a tick-borne illness include difficulty breathing, neurological problems, anemia, and arthritis.
Fortunately, there is a large selection of flea and tick repellants available from your vet, pet stores, and grocery stores. For dogs who are allergic to the active chemicals in the more common therapies, natural topical treatments can be used, as well as garlic or apple cider vinegar.
Outside Tick Prevention Tips:
Mow your lawn regularly and clean up branches and other trash. Ticks relish long grass and damp, shady conditions.
Designing your yard:
When using mulch, choose cedar or gravel. It’s interesting to note that ticks avoid materials that will irritate their legs!
Did you know that there are plants that ticks avoid? You probably have these in your garden already – garlic, lavender, rosemary, lemongrass, even sage. So now, in addition to adding a delightful aroma to your garden and invaluable taste to your dinners, these remarkable herbs are Anti-Tick Super Heroes. Plant more!
Dressing for success (ticks can be spread from humans to dogs too!):
When you and your family venture into places where ticks may be, wearing white socks, the longer, the better on the outside of the bottom of your pants can help you to spot those unwelcome hitchhikers. Ankles and feet are the most accessible place for ticks, so they’re the most likely place you will find them on your body. This may not be your favorite look, but once you notice a tick holding onto your socks instead of your skin, you’ll be grateful for this fashion faux pas.
Natural Insect Repellent:
There are many pesticides sold everywhere that may be harsher than you are willing to use on your dog – or family, for that matter. Here’s a natural tick repellent – and extremely easy to make!
Add I cup water to 2 cups of white vinegar along with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Pour into a spray bottle.
This solution is safe to spray onto your dog, your clothing, and your kids before venturing into tick territory.
Choose a kennel with care:
Ticks can breed where many dogs are kept and are quickly spread from one to another. Should you be leaving your dog when heading for vacation, inspect the kennel you are considering. Your best furry friend will be glad you did.
Inside Tick Prevention Tips:
Check both dogs and humans regularly and thoroughly! That means everywhere! Ticks come in many shapes and sizes and can be easily missed with just a cursory check. And dogs, with all that hair, often serve as living hiding places for nasty ticks. Here’s a Guide from Carrington Collegeon “How to Check For and Remove Ticks.”
Inspect dog beds and furniture closely:
Ticks may find their way into bedding and furniture after a summer outing and multiply there! Check your dog’s favorite resting spots on a regular basis.
All clothing or bedding used in suspect outdoor areas should be placed into the dryer first, and then washed. Yes, you read that right. As mentioned in this interesting post, “the stubborn little suckers don’t drown, but they do bake.” 15 minutes on high should be sure to kill all different species. With an electric dryer, you may want to add an extra 5 minutes. Washing in hot water will get some of them but drying them out is best.
Piles of clothing are perfect hiding places for ticks. Maybe a little bit of “tick education” will inspire your kids to put their clothes in the hamper!
This may not be the most enjoyable blog post we offer, but for anyone who heeds these tips and avoids a tick bite, it may be one of our most important! Easy tick prevention precautions measures can make your summer both happy, and healthy!