As the weather around the country gets warmer, our pets spend more and more time outside. Unfortunately, being outdoors can expose our pets to ticks and tick-borne illnesses. Before you head-out to the great outdoors, make sure you know how to protect your pets from ticks and tick-borne diseases.
Ticks spread disease
Ticks are found throughout the United States and can spread diseases like Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, Tularemia, and Babesia. Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are a significant source of morbidity in people and dogs. Lyme disease is endemic in the Northeast/mid-Atlantic (from northeastern Virginia to Maine), upper Midwest (mostly Wisconsin and Minnesota), and the West Coast (mostly northern California).
Think ticks are just a summer problem? Think again. In warmer climates, ticks are a year-round problem. Even in colder climates, ticks can wake from their winter slumber and become active if the temperature rises above 32 Fahrenheit. Some ticks, like the brown dog tick, can even survive indoors and inside kennels year-round. For these reasons, the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) recommends year-round tick control. So, what can you do to protect your pets from tick-borne illnesses year-round?
How to protect your pets
1. Tick control
Luckily there are numerous products available to prevent tick infestations. Speak with your veterinarian to find out what tick control product is best for your particular pet.
2. Lyme Vaccine
If you live in a region where Lyme disease is endemic, consider protecting your dog with a vaccine against Lyme disease. For more information and to find-out if your dog is a good candidate for the Lyme vaccine, speak with your veterinarian.
3. Daily Checks
Inspect your pet for ticks on a daily basis. Know what ticks look like and give your pet a head-to-tail inspection. Your pet will love the extra attention and you might find a tick before it has a chance to spread disease.
4. Lawn Maintenance
Take care of your yard. Mow regularly and keep your yard clear of tall grass and weeds where ticks like to hide.
Ticks are more than a nuisance; they pose a threat to your pet’s health. Talk to your veterinarian for more information about ticks and the best way to protect your pets.
For more information about ticks and how to protect your dog check out the CDC website.