Summer can be hard on pets. Imagine wearing that much fur in this heat. No thanks. To make matters worse, summer is tick season, and this summer’s tick season is particularly bad. Being hot, covered in fur, and getting your blood sucked? That’s just untenable.
Just thinking about ticks on your good boy or girl probably sends you spiraling into a dark, angry place. We don’t blame you–ticks are gross! That’s why we put together some tips on how to keep them away from your furry friend this summer. Remember: these steps can’t replace anti-tick ointment. Always apply your vet’s recommended anti-tick product, and then follow these steps. We gotta do all we can for our panting pals, after all.
Watch for Wild Animals
Ticks can feed on wild animals like raccoons, rabbits, mice, and squirrels just as easily as they feed on pets. Unlike pets, however, wild animals are always outside and don’t have a good owner like you looking out for them. If your pet ends up with ticks, it’s probably because they had close contact with a wild animal or wild animal remains.
Limiting your pet’s exposure to wild or stray animals is one of the most important ways to keep ticks off of them. Make sure wild animals can’t wander into your yard, especially if you let your pet outside to roam around. Consider keeping your pet inside at night, when wild animals tend to become more active. Don’t count on a fence to keep animals like squirrels or raccoons out of your backyard.
Ticks like to perch on the top of tall grasses, shrubs, or plants when they’re looking for food. They watch and wait from these vantage points and sneak onto your pet when they wander close enough. They also prefer to shelter in the shade or under heavy foliage, where they can remain hidden. Depriving ticks of their favorite tools will make your yard and home look a lot less viable as a hunting ground.
Mow your lawn frequently, especially during the summer. Keep your hedges, shrubs, and ornamental grasses trimmed close and avoid uncontrolled growth. Keep your garden well-trimmed, watered, and weeded. Consider simplifying your landscaping if you have a pet that spends time outside. Pay particular attention to plants that require a lot of water and produce or hang on to moisture for extended periods of time. Do your best to keep your pet from charging through your bushes (if you can stop them).
Stick to the Path
Ticks are most likely to latch onto your pet while you’re out on a walk with them. Think about it: instead of saying in roughly the same area, you and your pet pass all kinds of different habitats. Ticks move slowly and subtly, so It’s difficult to observe the moment they latch on. You may have been looking directly at your pet when a tick hitched a ride!
Look out for overgrown or poorly maintained path or overhanging plant life on your walking routes. During bad tick seasons, consider walking your pet around your neighborhood instead of going through a park. Keep your pet on a leash at all times while you walk them outdoors, and don’t let them run too far ahead of you. Don’t let your pet sniff around or dawdle near tall plant life for too long, especially in the evening.
This is the most important step, even if you regularly apply anti-tick ointment. Give your pet’s coat a thorough inspection every time they come in from outside. Use a fine-tooth comb to brush aside fur and check the surface of their skin for bites. Don’t forget to check paws, ears, and tails. If you find a tick, use a tweezers to remove it immediately. Simply grab the tick with the tweezer and pull quickly and firmly. Wash the site of the bite after removing the tick and consider administering anti-tick soap.
If you’re having a hard time inspecting your pet, consider giving it periodic tick baths. You can find anti-tick pet shampoo at most pet stores. Bathe your pet thoroughly, lathering the anti-tick shampoo into its fur. You’ll also have an easier time seeing ticks when your pet is wet. Make sure you reapply your pet’s anti-tick ointment after you bathe it.
Ticks picked the wrong pet to mess with when they chose yours. Follow these steps, and you and your best, furry friend will make it through our severe tick season no problem!
If you feel like your home or property has a particularly bad tick problem and you can’t figure out why, give us a call. We can perform exhaustive inspections to figure out your tick problem, fix it, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. We hope you and your little buddy enjoy your summer!BACK TO BLOG