Ahh the Australian summer: bring on the beach trips, ice creams and cricket season. The best time of year, right? Unfortunately, it’s also the peak season for ticks. Although most ticks are harmless, Australia is home to some of the nastier ticks, which can be deadly to dogs. It’s important to take extra precautions to keep your dog safe during this time of year.
Here’s our 5 step guide to prepare your dog for tick season
1- Follow the right preventative treatment
Hopefully, you are already following a preventative tick treatment plan for your dog, but if not, summer is the time to start. There are many options available. The most popular is the monthly topical treatments, but there are also collars and shampoos designed to prevent ticks. Talk to your vet for more information and to find the best treatment for your dog. No matter what you use, be sure to follow the application frequency as per instructions, otherwise, the treatment’s effectiveness could decrease.
2- Avoid tick prone areas where possible
During tick season do your best to avoid long grass: the prime spot for the pesky parasites. If you have a backyard, keep the grass short. Mowing the lawn is something we all put off, but summer is not the best time for this! If you’re walking or hiking with your dog, try to keep them on the path and away from long grass and bushes.
3- Regularly check your dog for ticks
Even if you’re using a preventative tick treatment, it’s important to physically check your dog’s coat for any signs on ticks. It’s a simple as a quick pat down on their whole bodies, paying close attention to between their toes and armpits. Daily checks are preferable, and you can also incorporate a pat down as part of their brushing and washing routine. Your dog will love you for the extra pats!
4- Consider clipping your dog’s coat
If you have a long-haired dog, consider clipping their coat. Not only will it make potential ticks easier to find during pat downs, it will also make it harder for the ticks to latch on in the first place. Your dog will also be a lot happier on those hot days with a little less fur.
5- Know what to do if you find a tick on your dog
If you discover a tick, taking quick action is key. Remove the tick with tweezers, making sure to remove the whole body. Keep an eye on your dog for other unusual symptoms such as shivers, fever, pains or a rash. If you notice anything unusual, take your dog to the vet immediately.