With summer here, it’s time to look for ways to protect your pet against fleas and ticks. Tick season this year is expected to be bigger than in years past due to warm weather kicking in sooner than expected. Knowing where ticks breed, when they’re most active and how to avoid getting bitten will put you one step ahead in protecting yourself and your pets. Here are some important facts you should know about ticks.
Technically, ticks fall under the category of arachnids, the same class as mites and spiders. Some ticks have hard, flat shaped bodies like a seed while others have soft, oval-shaped torsos like a raisin. These parasites can be distinguished by their small bodies, four sets of legs and no antennae.
Although ticks can be found in various parts of the country, they’re most common in Midwestern and Northeastern states. In the Northeast, ticks can be traced from Maine all the way down to Virginia. In the Midwest, states such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and parts of North Dakota and Illinois have been pegged as high-risk areas for tick habitats. Some ticks feed primarily on animals, such as Deer ticks and Brown Dog ticks, while others will attach themselves to you or your pet alike.
When are Ticks Most Active?
Ticks thrive in warm climates, breeding in grassy, wooded areas. Unlike other pests that die off in cold weather, ticks hibernate during winter and come back to life in the spring when temperatures start to rise. You can expect tick activity from early spring through late fall, depending on the climate. Spring and summer, however, are the times to look out for ticks the most as you spend more time outside with your dog. By being on guard against these parasites, you can prevent ticks from harming your pet.
Are Ticks Dangerous?
Ticks can be dangerous as they transmit sickness and disease. Ticks found in the Northeastern part of the country are known to carry Lyme disease, which can cause joint pain and heart tremors. Tick bites have caused rashes, allergies, fever, arthritic pain, paralysis and in extreme cases, even death. If you plan to spend time hiking or camping during your summer holidays, it’s important to take measures to protect yourself and your canine companion from this parasite.
Although ticks pose a risk of disease, staying indoors isn’t the solution to safeguarding the health of your beloved pet. At Park Hills Animal Hospital, we can help you develop a tick prevention strategy that will keep your pet safe from fleas and ticks all summer long. We’ll also provide you with anti-flea and tick medications that will keep your pet safe and sound throughout tick season. To learn more about preventative measures you can take to protect your pet against ticks, call us at 859-581-5200 today.