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Removing ticks from dogs and cats is not something that anyone enjoys. They are nasty, blood-sucking creatures that are often difficult to remove. If left to long on your dog or cat, they can cause serious illness in your pet(s). Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can be deadly to both pets, and humans. It’s important to prevent and keep ticks at bay in order to avoid both ticks and tick-borne illness. Here are several methods to try:
Using an over the counter medication is an effective way to treat ticks on the spot. These medications keep ticks away for up to a month and can be purchased at your veterinarian or local pet store. Some have the dual power to kill both fleas and ticks, all at the same time.
Oral medications are pills that your dog or cat chews once a month. They are effective, as well, against both fleas and ticks. They cost about $25.00 a pill, but are discounted if you buy six, or even twelve, at a time.
Flea and tick shampoo might cost less than medication but bathing your dog is a time consuming process that he might not enjoy. If your dog isn’t one that enjoys getting wet, you might want to consider using another method of flea protection.
A tick dip is a concentrated solution that is very strong, exercise caution if you choose to use it. You run water over your dog and apply the solution with a sponge, or by simply pouring it over his back. Using a tick dip is not recommended if your dog is under four months, is pregnant or is nursing puppies.
Tick Collars are collars that keep fleas and ticks away for up to nine months but in order for them to work, they need to come in contact with your dog, or cats skin. Once you put the collar on your dog or cat, cut off any excess overhang from the collar. This will prevent your dog or cat from chewing on the collar itself.
Powder is another method of killing ticks but use caution when applying it to the skin of your dog or cat. Be sure you are using a formula specific to dogs, or cats, and make sure the powder is suitable for the age of your pet. Powders can be messy and if you inhale them you might irritate your nose, lungs, or throat. You’ll also need to use them once or twice a week during prime tick season.
Sprays kill ticks between shampoos but use caution when spraying your dog or cats skin. Do not spray your dogs face and be careful around other animals in your home.
It’s important to keep your environment clean in order to prevent ticks from attaching to your dog or cat. Keep your grass mowed, your bushes trimmed and your trees pruned in order to limit places where ticks like to live and breed. You can buy chemicals that keep your lawn pest free but remember to be careful when using them. You don’t want to harm other animals, wildlife, or people that might visit while you treat your lawn.
Anytime you come in from the woods, do a tick check on your dog, and check yourself, as well. Check warm places that ticks like to hide and have someone run a comb through your hair. Finding ticks and disposing of them is the best way to prevent tick borne illness from spreading.
Keeping your pet inside is a good way to prevent ticks, provided you don’t have them inside your home. It’s best to let your dog outside to use the bathroom, but then, bring him right back in.
If you do find a tick on your dog or cat the best way to remove it is to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible without harming your pet.
Once you grasp the tick, pull it out in a straight motion. Make sure you have the entire tick, leaving any part of the tick behind might cause an infection.
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