Hey all you cool cats and kittens!
Hopefully, most of you have seen Tiger King by now and understand that reference (friggin’ Carol Baskin). As if March wasn’t enough of a force to be reckoned with, we are officially back in tick season. When is tick season, one might ask? Ticks typically like the warmth, like us humans, and with the warm weather we have been given, it seems like it has started a little earlier this year. We wanted to make you aware of just how awful these little critters are, not only are they gross to look at and touch, but they are really bad for our pups. As most of you know we love walking the dogs at local beaches but with COVID-19 still in full force and the state beaches being closed, we will be spending a lot more time walking the dogs on trails and near the woods.
Ticks live in all sorts of places, although the dog park and your backyard are uncommon, they can, and will, unfortunately, post up there. The more obvious places for residence are tall grass areas and heavily wooded trails that we have here in New Hampshire. This is where most commonly they find a furry friend to latch. They generally like to hang out around your dog's ears, at the crease or inside. On their bellies, near the groin and under their armpits. Ticks can also find a nice cozy spot in between their toes to latch onto our poor pooches’ skin. Lastly, don’t forget to check their faces. Often times, ticks around the eyelids can be missed because of how small they can be. Be sure to also check the inside of your dog's mouth, those little buggers like warm, moist places and find it extra cozy around their teeth. If you happen to find a tick that has taken a liking to your dog, it is very important to remain at ease and keep him/her calm, treats always help! They don’t need to be spooked right before you are trying to take something off their skin with a sharp object.
Removal of ticks is very easy to do but you must be careful and at ease when trying to detach them from your dog. It is suggested to wear latex gloves when removing ticks, but with the pandemic we are currently facing, those might be hard to find (silly hoarders). Using clean tweezers, place the tip as close to the skin as possible and simply pull the tick out of their skin. Clean the area with alcohol to prevent irritation. Once you have removed the tick, be sure to look that the head came with the rest of its body. Dispose of the tick by flushing that sucker down the toilet for it to never be seen again. Continue to monitor the spot over the next few days for any redness, inflammation or if your dog seems to be in any discomfort, please contact your veterinarian.
In order to prevent the above from happening it is important for you, as a dog owner, to remain educated on tick preventatives throughout the year. Some have suggested that keeping a pet on tick preventatives throughout the year is unnecessary for residents who live in states with four seasons. Please note that not all methods (oral medications, collar, sprays and topical treatments) work in the same fashion as another. Like anything, some treatments may require trial and error. Your dog is unique, and you may want to consult with your veterinarian for the best one for your furry friend.
Hannah Beringer was born and raised in Hampton, NH. She earned a BA in Business Management from Chatham University in Pittsburg, PA. Spending a little over 6 years being landlocked the call of the sea became too much and Hannah found her way back to NH. Hannah now enjoys spending time with her dog Wrigley, working out and working at Hampton's best watering hole Wally's Pub. Hannah is a Salty Paws Ambassador who helps the crew from time to time on dog walking adventures, writing blogs, and the occasional pet sit.