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Tick Prevention: 10 Things You Need To Know

Finding ticks on your dog or cat is one of the more troubling parts of being a pet owner. Not only can the dreaded tick carry harmful disease to your beloved pet but it can also infect your children and family. Since May is Lyme Disease Awareness month, there is no better time to think about tick prevention. Shortly after we adopted our dog, Hayley, my daughter found a tick on the back of her hind leg and thus began our introduction to those nasty little creatures.

40,000 human cases of Lyme disease are documented in the United States each year, and countless pets are also infected. Lyme disease is a debilitating disease. Early symptoms include fatigue, fever, depression, and rash. Since these early signs could also account for a host of other ailments (or simply just an indication that you are wearing yourself too thin), it can be difficult to pinpoint in humans and animals. In addition, the strange weather this year has lead many experts to predict that more insects will be abound this summer than usual.

It is imperative that pet owners remain vigilant about preventing tick infestation in their dogs and cats. While it is not always easy to keep your eye on a rambunctious canine or kitty, there are simple ways to greatly reduce the odds of your pet contracting harmful ticks. The time to think about ticks is now- before your dog or cat ever gets them.

Click through the photos below for 10 things you need to know about tick prevention!

  • Follow these simple tips! 1 of 11
    tick prevention
  • Grooming 2 of 11
    prevent ticks

    Keep up with regular grooming appointments, and ask for a flea and tick bath for extra insurance.

  • Check, Please 3 of 11
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    Do periodic tick checks (on yourself, children and pets) and carefully remove any found. (Wear light colored clothing so ticks are easier to find.)

     

  • Religious Preventive Application 4 of 11
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    Make it you're a priority to apply monthly preventives. Use those stickies that come with the flea and tick prevention boxes to remember.

  • No Free Roam 5 of 11
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    Don't let dogs wander unaccompanied into forest areas.

  • Keep Cats Indoors 6 of 11
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    Unlike dogs, when cats go out they don't have leashes and can head smack right into the middle of places with the heaviest tick infestations. Four years ago, before I got smart about flea & tick prevention, our youngest cat, Baby, got out and brought back fleas which she shared with every pet in our home. Not fun at all!

  • Location 7 of 11
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    Despite popular belief, ticks are not out in the middle of your lawn, they live where yards border wooded areas, or anywhere it is shaded and there are leaves with high humidity. 

  • Wood Chips 8 of 11
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    Place a layer of wood chips between your grass yard and the woods edge. Ticks are attracted to the wood chips because of the shade and moisture it provides.

  • Outdoors 9 of 11
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    When on a hike, bike, or walk, remain in the center of a trail in order to minimize your exposure. Remember that ticks cannot fly; they crawl up. Avoid sitting directly on the ground, woodpiles or fallen logs, which are areas where ticks love to live.

  • Dress You Up! 10 of 11
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    Wear tick repellent clothing on walks. Buy tick repellent bandanas to place around your dog's neck.

  • Consult Vet 11 of 11
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    Your local vet will know if there are any infestations going on in your area as well as nearby places you and your dog should steer clear of to avoid ticks.

Images: iStock

Follow Danielle on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest (where she maintains an ‘Adorable Pups’ board), or find her at her blog, Just Write (Pet) Mom.

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