Everything you need to learn about ticks

Ticks are parasites that dwell in wooded and dense vegetative areas. They bury their heads into a dog's skin and gorge themselves on its blood, which can transmit dangerous diseases or cause the dog severe discomfort. Ticks can cling to skin, fur, or fabric when your dog brushes up against vegetation, and you may not notice them until they have already begun to feed. The best way to prevent a tick attack is to avoid taking your dog through tick-infested areas, but you may also consider using a bevy of tick-repellent products to keep the buggers away. Some of the control measures-

 

1. Keep your dog away from known tick habitats.

Ticks inhabit dense, wooded vegetative areas--patches of overgrown shrubs, meadows with thick brush, and places where the ground is covered with decaying leaves. 

Ticks engage in a behavior called "questing": they climb low shrubs and grass until they're 18-24 inches off the ground, and they lurk in wait for animals--like your dog--to brush against their perch.

Ticks have heat sensors that can detect the body heat emitted by a dog. The tick uses its legs to grab onto your dog's fur as the dog passes by. It worms its way through the fur like a covert operative, like a heat-seeking, blood-thirsty missile toward the skin. The tick begins to gorge itself on the dog's blood in order to fertilize its eggs.

 

2. Identify tick habitat in your yard. If your dog spends a lot of time running about your yard, it may be at risk of encountering ticks.

Ticks don't usually live out in the open--say, in the center of your lawn. Ticks congregate on the fringes: where yards border wooded areas; where there are ornamental plantings and thick gardens; and anywhere shady, where leaves are decaying with high humidity. Rake up decaying leaves, trim overgrown brush, and keep your dog from sticking its nose into wooded areas. Keep your lawn trimmed low (below ankle height) so that it doesn't become a hospitable environment for ticks.

 

3. Check your dog for ticks every day, especially if it's been outside. Be thorough. Dogs tend to pick up many more ticks than humans do.

Groom your dog after a walk in the woods. Work through its fur with a fine-toothed comb to remove any ticks that are clinging to the hairs. Part the fur with your hands and inspect your dog's skin to make sure that no ticks have already taken root. Remember to check between your dog's toes, behind and in the ears, in the armpits and belly, and all around the tail and the head.

 

4. Check your home for ticks. Dogs can carry ticks in that do not latch on immediately, but instead spread throughout a home. Keep your eyes peeled for small, eight-legged, spider- or mite-like creatures.

 

5. Pyrethroids like Deltamatrin, cypermetrin, flumetrin, pyrethin etc...are commonly used tickicides. It can be diluted in 0.2% solution and sprayed all over the lawn, woods, cracks, crevices, balcony, corridors where all dogs move with. There are readymade pour on and spot on products too available for pets. 

 

Always checks with your vet for the products available depending on the severity of infestation and immunity of the breed characteristics.

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