by Samuel Bennett, FCAS Volunteer
With summer here, it’s the perfect time for enjoying the outdoors with your pet. But being outside in the summer has its own problems. Among the most notable things to look out for when taking your pet outside are ticks, so be sure you know how to avoid them, as well as how to handle a tick bite if it happens.
Ticks primarily live in tall grass or brush during spring, summer, and fall, so your pet is vulnerable if they get into the underbrush while talking a walk or playing in the yard. Fortunately, ticks are visible to the naked eye and can be removed before they cause problems. That’s why it’s a good idea to check your pet for ticks regularly, especially on the head, neck, ears, and feet, where ticks prefer to feed. If you find a tick, put rubbing alcohol on the area around it and remove the tick with tweezers. Be sure that its head is completely out, and be careful not to come in contact with the tick’s blood, as doing so could spread infection.
After you remove the tick, it’s a good idea to get your pet to a veterinarian for a check-up as soon as possible, as ticks can transmit a variety of diseases, including Lyme disease, paralysis, and skin infection. If not treated quickly, these conditions can be serious or even fatal, and they can be transmitted from the tick to your pet in a matter of hours.
Of course, the best way to keep tick bites from being a problem is to avoid them. Luckily, there are products available that will protect your pets from ticks, and your vet can help you determine which one will work best for your pet. If you live in an area with a lot of ticks, these can be especially helpful. You can also do your own part to keep your property free of ticks, making it safer for your pet. Mow the lawn regularly and pull any tall weeds to prevent ticks from using them as a hiding place.
With nice weather ahead, we’ll want to take advantage of it. But while the summer’s great for getting pets the fun and exercise they need, it’s also high time for ticks. That’s why it helps to be aware of how to deal with them so this summer can be safe for you and your pet.