How to Prevent Dog Tick Disease in Jenison, MI
Do you have a dog who loves to spend time outdoors? If so, it’s important for you to understand how to protect your dog from catching a tick-borne illness. Ticks are noted carriers of diseases, and dogs are often prone to developing these diseases from tick bites that go unnoticed.
In the article below, you’ll find out more information about how to help your dog stay safe from tick diseases. You can use this information to keep your dog protected, and you can also use it to choose when to talk to your veterinarian for more assistance.
Check your dog for ticks.
After your dog spends time outside, especially in wooded areas or places with lots of overgrown grass, be sure to check her carefully for ticks. Look under her fur and inside her ears, and don’t neglect her nose and genital region as well. A tick can potentially bury itself up anywhere on your dog’s body, so it’s important to pay close attention to areas you might normally overlook.
Remove ticks immediately.
As soon as you spot a tick on your dog, get rid of it right away. If the tick is crawling on the fur or skin and has not buried at all yet, then there is no cause for concern. You can simply remove it, destroy it, and make sure there are no other ticks on your dog as well.
If the tick is buried at all, even just a little bit, you’ll need to remove it with tweezers. Grip the body of the tick and pull straight up to prevent the head from breaking off and remaining in the skin. With the tick fully removed, wash the bite gently with warm water and a mild soap, and then monitor your dog closely for a few days for any signs of infection or illness.
Use a flea and tick combination preventative.
There are many types of combination preventatives on the market that work for fleas and ticks–and sometimes for fleas, ticks, and heartworms all at once. It’s up to you to choose the type that works best for you and your pet. Some preventatives come as oral medication, some as topical medication, and some as medicated collars for your dog to wear.
If you have any concerns about using any of these preventatives for your pet, be sure to talk to your vet for more information. Your vet can help you choose the right option for your dog and can help ease any fears you may have about using them, too.
Bathe your dog often.
It’s a good idea to give your dog a bath about once a month for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons is because you can check her body carefully for any signs of ticks you might have missed during your normal tick checks. During bathing and grooming sessions, it’s easier for you to notice these types of problems.
Additionally, if your dog is bitten by a tick and it causes a rash or other skin irritations, you can find these more easily when bathing your dog as well. If you don’t bathe your dog at home, your groomer can also let you know if anything seems out of the ordinary during your pet’s regular cleaning.
Have your dog vaccinated.
Although it is not possible to have your dog vaccinated against every potential tick-borne disease, you can have her vaccinated against one of the worst ones: Lyme disease. The Lyme disease vaccination is safe for puppies as young as about five months of age, and it is strongly recommended for dogs who spend any time outdoors.
Additionally, in some parts of the United States and around the world, some locations are more prone to Lyme disease than others. In these regions, it is extremely recommended and sometimes required by law to have dogs vaccinated for this condition.
Go to regular veterinary checkups.
Regular veterinary checkups can help you make sure your dog is still healthy and free from tick-borne diseases. If your dog does contract a tick illness, especially the type that causes chronic health conditions, your veterinarian can help you stay on top of any concerning symptoms and can help diagnose your dog in a timely manner, too.
With the help of the information in the article above, you should be ready and prepared to help protect your dog from tick diseases moving forward. Although it may be impossible to prevent your dog from ever being at risk of any tick disease, you can do your part to cut down on the risk and potential severity alike. If you have any further questions or concerns, be sure to talk to your veterinarian for more specific information related to your dog’s individual needs.
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About Chicago Drive Veterinary Clinic
In 1997, we established Chicago Drive Veterinary Clinic in Jenison as a place where people and their pets can be treated not as clients, but as extended members of our family. Our mission as your veterinarian is to deliver care we can be proud of—care that goes beyond simply meeting your pet’s most essential needs.