It’s Tick Bite Prevention week! And while these little parasites might not be the most pleasant things to talk about, it’s an important one so you can keep your dog happy and healthy.
In Great Britain, there are two types of ticks to worry about: the sheep tick, and the castor bean tick. Both have increased in numbers due to our warm and wet winters.
But before we talk about how to prevent these little pests from attaching themselves to our canine pals, let’s first look at why it’s so important to keep them away from your dog.
The risks that come with tick bites
While a tick bite can cause reactions at the site of the bite due to allergies or infection, that’s not the biggest risk to be aware of. More worryingly, many ticks are carriers for infectious diseases that could make your dog seriously unwell.
While there are a number of infectious diseases that are transmitted by tick bites, one of the most common diseases here in the UK is Lyme disease, and it causes problems for dogs as well as humans. The most common signs in dogs include lameness, lethargy and fever. In humans, you’ll also commonly see a lesion that looks similar to a bullseye.
It’s important to treat suspected Lyme disease, as otherwise, it can lead to kidney disease or heart failure.
If you suspect that your dog has become unwell as a result of a tick bite, always speak to your vet and get professional advice.
With so many potential risks that come alongside a tick bite, how can you prevent your dog from getting them?
Thankfully, there are a whole host of great tick-prevention products you can get including the Stinky Beasties Bug Off Neem Bar - a great natural way to keep ticks at bay using nature’s repellent: neem oil.
Ticks will most commonly be found in parks and woodland, so if you’ve taken a lovely leisurely walk through the countryside, make sure to check your dog’s body all over when you get home and remove any ticks if they’ve picked up any:
Groom your pet thoroughly - go with and against the grain - to spot any embedded ticks and make sure you also check:
- Inside the ears
- Around the eyes
- On the chin
- Around the muzzle
- Between pads and toes
What can you do if your dog does get irritated from bites?
No matter how careful you are, sometimes your dog will get bitten by ticks and a variety of other bugs when you’re out and about on walks.
If you find that your dog is particularly sensitive when this happens, we have a McDug recipe that might help.
Our Super Premium Salmon with Trout, Potato & Itch-EezeⓇ recipe is perfect to soothe itchy skin and eliminate scratching, and will help provide some relief from the effects of irritating bites. Itch-EezeⓇ is an all-natural formulation made from a unique blend of herbs so your dog gets all the benefits without adding any chemicals or nasties into their diet.
This recipe is also great to help combat the effects of other allergens that can cause skin problems as we move into the spring and summer months.
If you want to know more about ticks, there’s loads of great information by the RSPCA here.