Black-legged, or deer, ticks are the species responsible for transmitting Lyme disease to dogs and people. Lyme disease can affect your dog at any point, so it is important to know how to prevent Lyme disease and the resources you have to help maintain a healthy dog.
#1: Avoid walking your dog in areas where ticks are likely to be
Ticks don’t fall out of trees to attack their victims, but they are likely to be found in heavily wooded areas. Tall grass, brush, and weeds provide the perfect opportunity for ticks to “quest” for their next meal, which means they climb up the plant and stretch out, waiting for the next warm body to venture past. To avoid ticks, walk in the center of trails through the woods, or stick to sidewalks in more populated areas.
#2: Discourage ticks from making a home in your yard
If your dog spends a great deal of time in the backyard, you may be inadvertently exposing them to ticks. Landscape your yard appropriately to discourage ticks and their hosts from making a home there. Start by clearing tall grasses and brush around your home and at the edge of the lawn. Mow your yard frequently and keep leaves raked. Place a 3-foot-wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between your lawn and any wooded area, in addition to around your patio. This will restrict tick migration into your most frequented areas. Also, stack wood neatly and in a dry area to discourage rodents that ticks feed on.
#3: Vaccinate your dog for Lyme disease
An annual vaccination is available for dogs to help protect them from Lyme disease. Speak to our team to see if adding this vaccine to your dog’s protocol is a good idea.
If there is ever a tick on your dog, remove it carefully with steady pressure. Tweezers are helpful to grasp the tick’s head as close to your pet’s skin as possible, then pull straight back with a steady motion. Our team then can identify the tick and inform you about possible tick-borne illness signs to watch for in your dog. Contact our team for further assistance if you notice a tick on your furry friend.