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Dogs and ticks – what you need to know

We’ve all heard of ticks, and how our pooches are particularly susceptible to getting bitten as they bound through fields and woods. But did you know that the risk of ticks is increasing as they have now started feeding earlier in the year and for longer?

To help give you the lowdown on ticks, we’ve put together a ‘quick tick guide’ so you can minimise the risks for you and your beloved pooch.

What are ticks?

Tick are arachnids, much like spiders and mites, they are external parasites that feed on the blood of host animals for example an unlucky pup or even us humans.

Why are ticks dangerous?

Ticks can carry harmful diseases such as Lyme’s disease and Babesiosis, both of which can affect humans and dogs. You cannot catch these diseases from your dog, but coming into contact with the tick’s blood or getting bitten by a tick while you’re out for walkies, can result in you contracting them.

How to remove a tick

Spread your dog’s fur, then, using a tick hook, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Very gently twist upwards in a steady motion to prevent the tick’s mouth from breaking off and remaining in the skin.

Contrary to the popular belief, it’s not a tick’s head that can remain in the skin, technically ticks don’t have heads. It is in fact the “mouth part” that gets left behind.

Top tip: Never remove a tick with your fingers and always wash your hands and the bite site after removal. It’s also important to disinfect the tick hook.

Where do ticks live/how can I avoid them?

The “Big Tick Project” was launched in April 2015 by TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham and is all about raising awareness about the dangers of ticks and tick borne diseases.

Check out their tick map of the UK so you can see your local tick threat and veterinary practices near you that support the project.

If you are at all concerned about a tick bite on your dog, or their behavior, you should consult your vet to see what is best, but as a pawrent, being clued up can only help keep you, and your pup safe.

Don’t let ticks put you off getting out and about with your hound

As long as you’re sensible about where you walk and check yourself and your dog regularly they don’t have to ruin your walkies.

Get your pooch a PitPat to track their health and well-being. Keeping your dog healthy inside and out, will mean you can be at your best, together.