Tick bites are often a worry which remain in the back of your mind, that is until they become a problem. Not only can they cause debilitating diseases to your pets, but they can even cause the same to you. Lets find out how to prevent ticks on dogs while hiking.
How to Prevent Ticks on Dogs While Hiking
You should ensure your dog smells of lavender, peppermint, citronella, lemongrass and citrus scents as these will repel ticks. To prevent ticks from latching on, stay out of the bush and on the path. Brush and check your dog often and always carry a tick pick.
Here is a run down of my solutions on how to prevent ticks on dogs while hiking so you are prepared for those summer adventures.
Look After Your Dog on a Hike and Prevent Ticks
Lets start with where ticks are typically found. They are usually found in woodland, grassy areas and parks. If you are out walking in areas where ticks could be, then it may be very difficult for you to prevent ticks from latching on to your pets. However, there are plenty of products which are good at preventing ticks from attaching to dogs whilst hiking before you even need a tool such as a tick pick. Keep yourself and your dog smelling good because Lavender, peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, citrus and rose geranium works well at repelling ticks. Prevention is always better than the cure, especially when the prevention tools are environmentally friendly and can last all year round. What are these tools of the trade?
What Is The Best Environmentally Friendly Tick Repellent?
Instead of simply trying to kill ticks there are environmentally friendly products which deter ticks rather than killing them.
After 12 months this tick repellent can be disposed of.
This repellent is for cats. It is smaller in size and is also rechargeable.
This repellent is for dogs. It is also rechargeable.
This repellent is perfect for humans for use and will last for up to 12 months.
This pet shampoo is great to you use before you head out.
If the preventative measures did not work, then you will be tooled up with this ready to remove a tick.
Here is a video showing how ultrasonic technology works to repel a tick from trying to penetrate your dogs skin.
What if you find a tick and need to remove it?
You will need a tick removal tool such as a tick pick, tick hook or some tweezers.
- Use your device to remove the tick as soon as possible
- Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible
- Pull upwards and out gently and try to ensure you remove all of the tick
- Don't aggravate it by applying anything to it or by squeezing it
If your dog has been bitten by a tick contact your vet immediately for your dog to be checked over.
What Is a Tick and What Can They Do To Your Dog?
A tick is a tiny, blood sucking member of the spider family, they are not insects but they are also not specifically spiders! They are arachnids, or relatives of spiders, scorpions and mites. These arachnids are tiny initially but swell up when they have consumed blood.
There are about 20 species of ticks here in the UK but many more varieties exist worldwide especially in the US. It is known as the sheep tick and affects many wild animals, but our primary concern is the fact that they can affect our pets with disease transmission.
Tick-borne diseases in dogs can include Lyme disease which is probably the most notorious one you will hear mentioned when discussing ticks and dogs. One of the most unfortunate things about Lyme diseases is that signs and symptoms may not appear until several months later.
You will hear that ticks in the UK can only transmit Lyme disease via the bacteria 'borrelia burgdorferi'. This is not true. According to Themayhew.org - There were four cases of dogs in Essex diagnosed with a tick transmitted disease which was not Lyme disease. It is called 'Babesia Canis'.
The real eye opener here was that these dogs had not been outside of the UK which means this occurred here on our door step meaning Dermacentor reticulatus ticks exist in western Wales, north Devon, south Devon and Essex and is just another potential problem we need to be aware of.
How Does a Tick Attach Itself to a Dog?
Ticks do not jump on to their host. First they detect the scent of a human or dog via carbon dioxide signals, heat or vibrations. They wait on the edge of bushes and grass and hedge tips and when a dog brushes past them on a dog walk, they latch on with tiny claws and are very difficult to remove thanks to their backward-facing spines!
* Pro Tip - They are intelligently designed and utilise naturally generated anaesthetic which is secreted through their saliva which means they can ensure the sensation of being bitten is not always noticed!
Can Ticks Make a Dog Aggressive?
Just like any disease, illness or discomfort. A tick if noticed could cause your dog to behave different and show signs of frustration, illness, irritation and aggression.
Do Dogs Need Tick Prevention In Winter?
It is a common misconception that ticks are only around in the Tick season (summer), they are are also around in winter too meaning dogs can pick up ticks any time of the year. They just happen to be more active in the summer months with warmer weather and that is when more of us and our pets just happen to be outside.
Did you know?
Ticks in the cold is an interesting topic in it's own right. It's a two-edged sword when it comes to ticks in the cold. According to to one study they actually have developed an anti-freeze glycoprotein to survive the cold by preventing their cells and tissues from freezing. On the one hand this is not ideal for our canine pals. However, these proteins can be used by Scientists to explore reducing damage caused by frost bite which could one day be a great result for mankind. Ticks are useful for something!
Can Ticks Cause Kidney Problems in Dogs and Other Issues?
Ticks can cause diseases such as Lyme disease but not all ticks are infected. New studies were uncovered on the topic of Kidney Disease in 2020 via A study by Dr. Melissa Beall, DVM, PhD and it mentions the following:
- dogs exposed to Lyme disease are at a 43% higher risk of developing kidney disease
- Lyme disease signs include fever, fatigue, and enlarged lymph nodes
To conclude, ticks can be a small problem which can quickly turn into a dangerous situation. However, we now have so many good tools and kits which can prevent these problems which allows us to go on that sunset hike in the summer with our wonderful pets.
Happy and safe travfurling to you all.