forestdog

If you have a dog, you’re likely to run into ticks more than once. Ticks are not only a disgusting and unwelcome intruder, they can cause disease and harm to your dog within a few hours. Ticks carry diseases, and can even cause anemia or paralysis in dogs. We know how scary it can be to fight off a predator so tiny it often goes unnoticed. Fortunately, we’re here to help. We’ll help you spot ticks, avoid them, and even recommend a few products to help keep Fido protected during prime tick season. So check back with us soon to stay up to date and knowledgeable about these pesky creatures.

table of contents

about ticks

doginwoods

Ticks can attach to both dogs and humans, and are quite tricky to remove. Unfortunately, due to fur, ticks are hard to identify if they latch onto your furry friends. Ticks have four life stages; eggs, larvae, nymph, and adult. The eggs are common summer, the larvae thrive in the fall, the nymph thrive in the winter, and the adults are active during the spring. 

Because ticks are often hard to find, and checking for them is hard to stay on top of, it’s important that you take all of the necessary steps to prevent a tick from making your dog’s fur their new home. So how exactly should you help your furry friends stay safe? First of all, you’ll want to know where ticks and fleas typically hangout so you can keep Fido clear of popular tick hangouts. Of course, you should also use medicated tick prevention if your dog spends a lot of time outside, or in the warmer months where ticks thrive.

The summer months are the absolute worst for fleas and ticks. As the weather starts to cool down, you may feel comfortable letting your dog wander off without proper flea and tick protection. Unfortunately, fleas and ticks are still quite active in the fall season. 

what happens if a tick bites my dog?

When your dog first gets a tick stuck to them, they may experience sore, itchy skin. If your dog starts itching any particular area more than normal, take a look and find out the root cause of their discomfort, it may be a tick. Tick bites can cause a wide range of symptoms ranging from moderate to severe. Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Unsteadiness
  • Paralysis
  • Weakness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Pupil Dialation

If you notice any of these symptoms in your pup check them immediately for ticks. While it takes a few hours for a tick to really affect your pup, it’s easy for them to unnoticed for hours or even days. 

lyme disease

Lyme disease has grown over the past few years. Unlike humans, dogs may not experience symptoms for up to 5 months after the initial bite. Symptoms include fever, lack of appetite, difficulty breathing, and stiff muscles. Lyme disease can easily lead to swollen joints that will affect the way your dog walks or moves. Keep an eye out for strange or uncomfortable looking movements in your dog.

tick paralysis

Tick Paralysis is just about the worst case scenario for dogs. Tick paralysis is caused by a toxin that’s released from ticks and injected into the blood stream. Your pup will have a loss of voluntary movement as the toxin begins to affect their muscles and/or spinal chord. These symptoms will occur about a week after a tick attaches to your pooch, so it’s nothing to worry about if you thoroughly look your dog over everyday. 

rocky mountain spotted fever

The Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever affects both humans and dogs. Dogs tend to get it by from the brown dog tick. Just like its name implies, it causes a spotted rash and fever (especially in humans). If your pup catches the fever, they may experience fatigue, bruising, loss of appetite, fever, joint pain, and swelling. If you suspect Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, you should see a vet immediately. They can prescribe antibiotics for your pup to manage their symptoms and get them back to their tail-wagging self.

prevention

places to avoid

Unfortunately, ticks and fleas can be just about anywhere outdoors; however there are some places that may be a prime spot for ticks. They love hanging out in grass, bushes, or weeds around your house. They’re especially bad in the woods. If you have a wooded area in your yard, or tall grasses, it’s going to be very hard to keep your dog away from ticks. Your best bet is to keep them guarded with medicated sprays, collars, and ointments. 

When the weather starts to change they like to hide in the leaves, tall grass, and in larger plants. It’s important to trim down your grass regularly, and dispose of any leaf piles or stray leaves. Of course you should also be proactive about it; make sure you still provide your dog with flea and tick supplements to ensure they stay clear of your pup in the fall. 

tick yard spray

tick yard

If your pup spends a lot of time in your yard, it may be worth it to buy a yard spray. This will help keep fleas & ticks from entering your yard, protecting your kids and animals. The Wondercide spray is one of our favorites due to its safe ingredients. The chemicals are 100% biodegradable, and they’re an eco-friendly alternative to permethrin & pyrethroid yard chemicals. You can trust this yard spray to kill adult fleas, ticks, eggs, larvae, pupae, ants, roaches, and japanese beetles.  

This yard spray is ideal for households with children and pets. It’s safe to use around your gardens, and of course all of your furry friends. It’s effective for up to 5,000 square feet and can always be refilled. We love this product because it’s so gentle on all of the organisms and plants you want to stick around in your garden. It’s also safe to use around bees! Check out this product on Amazon and say goodbye to ticks & fleas. 

Bayer Seresto Flea & Tick Collar

dog flea collar

Flea & Tick collars are an easy way to protect your dog. They’re cheaper than monthly treatments, and not as sticky as sprays. The Seresto collar will kill and repel ticks & fleas without contact. It’s easy to use, and has a non-greasy formula that won’t get all over your dog’s coat. Because this collar works for 8 months at a time, you can easily use it throughout all of summer, and still be able to prevent flea & tick bites in the fall. 

The Seresto Collar has a polymer matrix design that constantly provides two active ingredients; imidacloprid and flumethrin. The collar will continuously replenish your dog’s skin and coat with these active ingredients for the entire 8 months. As soon as you put the collar on your pup it will quickly kill all fleas within 24 hours, making flea & ticks a problem of the past. The collar is available in two sizes, making it suitable for dogs of any size. We definitely recommend this collar to pet owners looking for a simple way to protect their dog for long periods of time. 

coconut oil

coconut oil for ticks

Coconut Oil is a more natural way to handle your flea & tick issues. It not only protects your pup from fleas, ticks, and mites, but also helps to heal their skin if they do get irritated by fleas or ticks. If you’d like to give coconut oil a shot, we recommend Raw Paws. Their coconut oil has a variety of health benefits for your dog, and is 100% organic. Additionally, this coconut oil is 100% pure, it doesn’t contain any additional ingredients or artificial fragrances or colors. You can simply add the oil to your dog’s food, or give it to them as a treat. You can give your small breeds and puppies 1/4 tsp daily; or give 1 tsp daily per 10 lbs of body weight. 

You may be surprised to hear that coconut oil has a long list of benefits for dogs. It can sooth your dog’s skin, getting rid of itchy, dry skin, or skin irritated by bug bites. It also works to kill yeast, bacterial and fungal infections. Additionally, coconut oil is safe for your dog to ingest, so you can use it to freshen their breath, or just to brush their teeth. 

Coconut oil is a great all natural, holistic healing remedy for just about any problem your pup has. It’s great for dry skin, infections, and its safe to ingest. In our opinion coconut oil is a staple for households with pets.

how to check for ticks

Especially during the warmer seasons; spring, summer, and fall, it’s important to check your dog for ticks everyday. Run your fingers through your dogs fur, close enough to the skin to feel any tiny bumps. Make sure your check their tail, legs, paws, and belly. This can prove to me a time consuming task if your dog has a lot of fur; however, it’s worth it to catch ticks immediately. If your pup manages to track ticks or fleas into your house you’ll then have to worry about your entire house. 

how to remove ticks

If you do decide you have a tick problem, there are several alternatives. If you just find one or two, you can safely remove them with tweezers, or even better, a tick tool. Put the tool as close to your dog’s body as you possibly can, and gently pull it away from your dog’s skin. Once removed, make sure that nothing is left on your dog’s skin, and then promptly flush the tick down the toilet. Make sure to thoroughly wash the affected area when you’re finished. 

If you discover that your dog has dozens of ticks on them, it may be best to find a spray or alternative medicated treatment to safely remove all of the ticks quickly. 

tick twister

tick twister

The tick twister is a great tool to have on hand if you have pets in the house. It’s much safer, and easier to use than tweezers. Additionally, the twister won’t squeeze the tick like tweezers do, reducing the risk of infection. You can also be sure that no part of the tick will be left behind. With the tick twister all you have to do is put the tip around the tick, and twist until the tick is removed. It’s a safe, comfortable way to remove ticks. Each set contains two twisters; one for removing larger engorged ticks, and one for removing smaller ticks. In our opinion this is a necessity for households with pets. It’s easy and safe to use on both dogs and cats. 

vet's best flea & tick spray

vet's best flea & tick spray

The Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Home Spray is a great way to get rid of flea and ticks if your pup manages to get into a bad situation. This spray kills fleas, flea eggs, and ticks. Fortunately, it will also repel mosquitos! We love this spray because it’s not only safe to use on and around your dog, but it’s designed to work on all of your home surfaces as well. Use it on pet beds, blankets, upholstery, carpets, or just around your yard. Your dogs will be safe around this formula, and you won’t have to worry about pesky mosquitos, fleas, or ticks during the fall season. 

The Vet’s Best Flea spray is one of the best sprays to use for both home and pets. It won’t stain any of your upholstery, and it doesn’t have a harsh smell. They use a unique formula of natural essential oils and plant-based ingredients such as peppermint oil and eugenol.  The ingredients are safe to use on dogs over 12 weeks old. Simply massage the spray into your dog’s coat to give them full coverage. 

This spray is manufactured in the USA, and uses quality ingredients you and your dog can trust. We recommend this spray to any dog owner looking for an indoor and outdoor spray to keep their dog safe during the summer and fall months.

adams flea & tick shampoo

precorshampoo

Fleas and ticks are not pests that you want to deal with. Finding a good flea and tick control shampoo that actually works can be hard to come by. The Adams Precor Shampoo is one of our favorite flea and tick shampoos. It kills fleas, ticks, flea eggs, flea larvae, and lice on dogs of all sizes. The Adams shampoo is safe to use on both puppy and adult dogs no matter what they’ve gotten into. Even if your dog has sensitive skin, this shampoo is fantastic. 

Adams Flea & Tick Control Shampoo also contains ingredients to help sooth your dog’s skin. Ingredients such as aloe, lanolin, coconut extract, and oatmeal all work together to help your dog’s skin stay moisturized and free from irritation. This shampoo also contains Precor which will provide 28 days of control of pre-adult fleas. This will prevent fleas from growing to the size where they can bite your pup. 

We definitely recommend letting your dog run around outside for awhile after you use this shampoo. You will notice soon after their bath that the fleas and ticks simply fall off of them (which can prove to create a nasty little mess if your dog is covered in ticks). We highly recommend this product for dogs exposed to fleas or ticks, it’s a great precaution to take, and your dog will thank you for it!