Summer pests are ticked off!
The Center for Disease Control recently announced that reported illnesses from mosquito, tick and flea bites have tripled across the United States, with nine new germs from mosquitoes and ticks being introduced into the country over the past 13 years.
Fighting against such a small nuisance as the tick can seem difficult, especially for pets who can’t take precautionary measures on their own. To help keep pet owners at ease and protect animals and their parents from the hazards ticks can bring, the CDC has put together some simple tips that can help keep ticks off your pet and out of your home.
Tick protection is necessary for outside pets. Both for your safety and your pets, you should seek out preventative treatments against ticks for your furry friends, especially if they spend time outside. It is easy for pets to unknowingly bring ticks inside your home and for them to be bitten without showing signs of illness until later. There are not canine vaccines for many of the diseases that ticks carry, so preventative treatment is your best defense. Consult with your veterinarian to see which treatment is right for your pet. It is especially important for cat owners to talk to their vet, since many cats are sensitive to the chemicals in tick treatments.
Check your pets for ticks daily. Whenever your pet comes in from the outdoors, especially hikes and time in the woods, check them for ticks. Make sure to check creases, like where their legs meet their body, and in and around their ears. Catching and removing ticks early can be key to keeping your pet healthy.
Treat your yard for ticks. To decrease your pet’s chances of being pestered by ticks and other pests, treat your lawn and the other outdoor areas where your pets spend time. Also consider treating furniture that your pet enjoys inside the house. The CDC has a list of suggestions for chemical-free ways to make your yard less inviting to ticks, as well.
If you find a tick on your pet, remove it immediately. While some folklore remedies might suggest trying to cover an attached tick in petroleum jelly or nail polish, the CDC suggests removing the pest right away and not allowing it to stay on your pet in attempt to get it to detach. There are products designed to safely and quickly remove ticks from animals, but tweezers can work, as well.
Don’t crush ticks you find on your pet. Instead flush live ticks down the toilet or drown them in rubbing alcohol and then dispose of them in the garbage in a sealed and taped shut sandwich bag.
Visit your vet if your pet seems ill. If you know or suspect that your pet has been bitten by a tick, and they are exhibiting odd behavior, take them to the vet immediately.