Having a dog is a great addition to any household. Rather the dog becomes a member of your busy home or gets to enjoy quality time spent with just you, they’re a member of the family either way. Similarly, to how you apply sunscreen to protect yourself and your children during warm weather months, there are extra precautions you need to take to protect your furry friends too!
Knowing the Threats
Before you can begin protecting your dog, you have to know the enemy. The biggest threat that dogs face during warm weather months are ticks and tick-borne diseases. Ticks typically stay in highly vegetated areas, such as tall grass. When your dog is playing outside, the ticks can quickly attach and begin to feed from your dog. Since you know that heavily vegetated areas are more tick prone, it’s best to avoid them during the summer months.
There are multiple forms of protection against ticks. Many people choose to use a flea and tick collar. This is a good start, but it isn’t enough to keep the ticks at bay completely. In addition to the collar, you should administer an oral or topical flea and tick medication once a month. There are a variety of brands to choose from; speak with your veterinarian to decide what’s the best option for your dog.
Check Your Dog
During the warm weather seasons when ticks are out in full force, you should preform regular tick checks on your dog. Look through their fur, behind their ears, and in between their paws for ticks. Try to do this quickly after an outdoor adventure to reduce the risk of the ticks imbedding and spreading a disease to your dog.
Speak with your dog’s veterinarian about the Lyme disease vaccination for your dog. The vaccine reduces the risk of your dog contracting Lyme disease if they’re bit by a tick. This vaccine has been around for years, but a surprisingly low number of dog owners actually use it.
If you find a tick on your dog or notice a change in behavior that could indicate a disease is present, contact the veterinarian right away. Embedded ticks need to be carefully removed to ensure both you and your dog are safe. Summer time should be your dogs favorite season, don’t let something as small as a tick get in the way of that and compromise their safety!