Ticks in dogs and cats: what you can do as an owner

Spring has begun, which means for many happy four-legged friends and owners, the walks are becoming more pleasant. Maybe you decide to go for a long walk in the woods with your dog. We all know, of course, that they absolutely love it. Or your cat decides to go outside more often and longer. Unfortunately, the spring season also means the start of the tick season (April to October). The ticks become active again and that means you have to pay attention, especially for your furry pet. Ticks like to nest in warm, thick fur. It is of course not always preventable, but there are a number of tips that you can follow to prevent it as much as possible and to know what to do when a tick has chosen your dog or cat as a new home. Keep on reading!

Good preparation is half the battle

Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to significantly reduce the risk of ticks. Of course, we don’t mean avoiding that oh-so-nice walk in the woods. But then what?

1 Preventive collar, flea drops, and flea shampoo

All three are products that serve to prevent and combat ticks and fleas. A collar can provide protection for up to eight months and the drops will need to be repeated monthly. It is best to consult with the vet about which remedy is most suitable for your four-legged friend. Also note that, for example, flea drops for dogs may not be used on cats.

2 The tick’s residential location

Ticks like to sit in tall grass, forests, and dunes. It is not necessary to avoid walks in these areas, but be sure to pay extra attention to check for ticks after a walk in one of these areas.

If you have tall grass and/or dense bushes in your garden, pay extra attention and prune them if necessary.

Tips for checking and treatment of ticks

Unfortunately, despite your prevention efforts, your dog or cat may still have a tick. It is therefore advisable to check your dog and cat regularly (preferably daily) for ticks. In particular, examine the neck (especially under the collar), the head, ears, tail, feet, and between the toes.

A must-have item in your home for you as a pet owner is of course the well-known tick remover. Because when you see a tick, it must of course be removed from your beloved four-legged friend as soon as possible. The exact method may vary per tick remover, but in general, it is important to take the tick as close to your dog or cat’s skin as possible and then pull the tick out (straight) with a few gentle tugs. Then disinfect the site of the tick bite and also note the date of the bite (if you know it). Then keep a close eye on both the location of the tick bite and the health of your dog/cat in the following weeks. Does a discoloration or red ring appear at the site of the bite? Does your dog or cat get flu-like symptoms, less strength, radiating pain, or joint pain? Then of course contact the vet immediately.

Now that you know what you can do to prevent and treat ticks, there is only one thing left: go out together and enjoy spring!

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