Keep tick safety top of mind this spring and summer

Its spring, which mean it is tick season here in the Maritimes. As the weather warms up, it’s important to remember that ticks will be more present within our communities and the places we love to adventure with our pets. Whether you are letting your dogs out in your yard, or heading to a local trail to get some exercise, you will need to be diligent about checking for ticks on both you, and your pet. Here are a few tick tips to help keep the potential disease-bearing bugs away.

Where ticks are present:
Ticks are small so it can be difficult to spot them not just on your pets, but where you are outside that they could be hiding.  The most popular ticks in our area are called Blacklegged ticks, or commonly known as deer ticks. Ticks can be as small as the size of a poppy seed, so be vigilant! Typically, ticks can be found in tall grass, woods, shrubs, walkways and trails.

Ticks can also be found in your own backyard. In fact, most people contact Lyme disease from ticks within 100 yards of their own homes in areas with woods or tall grass. If you are doing some spring cleaning around your yard, be careful of the shrubs, sticks and trees when you are doing your chores in preparation for the summer.

Pet owner tip: if you are doing yard work, wear long pants and boots and wear clothing that is light in colour so you can easily identify a tick. Spray yourself with repellent and remember to take a hot shower once your yardwork is complete.

Where to check your pet for ticks:
The more frequently you check your pet, the more likely you are to locate ticks before they fully latch onto your cat or dog. Here are a few places they like to hide on your animals.
Ears: In and around the ears are popular places for ticks to hide. They could even be inside your pet’s ears! If your dog has floppy ears, be extra vigilant of this area.
Between the toes: Check in between each toe of your pet, on each paw. Ticks like to burrow in between these areas as they are drawn to dark, warm places.
The tail: Naturally your pet is going to be happy when they are out adventuring, but this makes for some extra wagging in areas where ticks hide. Check at the base of the tail and your pets groin for ticks.
Under the collar: Your pet’s neck is another likely place for ticks to latch onto. It can be extra difficult to spot ticks in this area, especially with pets who have lots of fur or scuff on their neck area. When it’s safe, remove your pet’s collar and check for ticks underneath it where they might be burrowed.
Under back and front legs: while this may seems standard, it’s important that this area is checked as carefully as other furry areas on your pet!

How to prepare for tick season and protect your pet:

Preparing your tick season means beginning with preventatives for your pet. It’s important to talk to your vet before choosing a treatment to best suit your pet’s needs. At Feeds’n Needs, we carry many preventatives, topical treatments (Infestop, Advantix, and Advantage products), oral preventatives, sprays (Zodiac and Atlantick) and many tick accessories (tick removing tools, shampoos, etc.) in-store! Ask our Experts for help on your next visit, and remember to always check your pet for ticks!

Marie Baines

Store Manager, Sussex NB