Health Alert – Tick Season

Have you noticed? There’s been a lot of talk lately about ticks. That is because 2017 is predicted to be the worst year for ticks and Lyme disease in PA since the discovery of the disease 40 years ago. As dog owners, you may have already had the pleasure of plucking a few off of your furry best friend, or even yourself.

Here are a couple of links I found that provided some useful information that I wanted to share with you. These articles share some background on the why behind the increase, if you’re interested in the ecological science behind it, as well as some helpful, practical tips on what to do if you get bit by a tick. Also, there is a clear description on how to safely remove a tick, and it does not include lighter fluid!

Tick season typically begins in early May and reaches its peak in late summer and early fall. As temperatures get warmer, we will all want to walk our pets longer and more often. This combined with the increased number of ticks is bad news for our pups.

Ticks are a problem for pets because they can cause extreme discomfort, excessive itching or scratching, and if left untreated, bites may lead to health problems such as Lyme disease.

There are some steps you can take to help prevent tick bites in the first place, but please note nothing is full-proof.

  • Simply avoid areas where fleas and ticks are likely to lurk – such as heavily wooded areas and high grasses. Please note that the outdoor play yards at Love My Doggy Day Care are covered in pea gravel or rubber mulch. This was not by accident!
  • Administer flea and tick control products for your pets. There are lots of options to consider between oral medications, medicated collars, and topical treatments. As your veterinarian for his or her advice here if you’re not sure what’s best for your pup.
  • Mow your grass and cut your bushes back – ticks lurk in your lawn tool – keep your grass short to minimize the chances of infestation.
  • Most importantly, complete DAILY tick checks – this preventative measure is very easy and doesn’t take much time out of your day.

Taking a preventive approach could potentially amount to reduced stress and less money out of your pocket in the long-term – not to mention better health! By taking these few steps, you can enjoy outside time with your pet without having to worry about your and your pet’s health.

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