Tick Season has Arrived, Michigan. Here’s How to Protect the Pets
Don't you just love Spring? The weather is getting warmer, the flowers are starting to bloom, the threat of a massive group of cicadas looms overhead (oh yeah...that's real)
And it looks like 'tick season' is officially here.
Browsing through Reddit I came across this post from a user in Kalamazoo. It urges fellow users to, "Check for ticks". The post goes on to say that,
We found a lot buried underneath our puppy today after our walk . He likes to lay down in all these bushes . Are other two dogs didn’t have any. They were real small though and completely hidden under his white coat. Stay aware!
Fellow Kzoo residents began sharing their similar experiences and sharing input. Like:
u/skyeatsmikee wrote: We live in the Edison neighborhood and have found 2 ticks on our little puppy this week already.
u/kzoobeergirl said: If you're routinely finding ticks on your dogs you should also make sure they're vaccinated for Lyme disease.
u/fahrvergnugman commented: flicked at least 50 off me so far. granted I do a lot of bush whacking. but yeah they are bad this year.
And u/mothernatureisfickle gave this advice: Ticks are awful. We use a product called Sawyer Insect Repellent. We use the spray and lotion. The spray works really great on our dogs’ harnesses and rain coats and our sneakers and coats. The lotion is obviously for daily use for our skin. We use monthly flea and tick for our dogs as well, but since we started using Sawyer we have had zero tick issues.
While taking advice from strangers on the internet isn't always the best idea...when it comes to ticks I tend to listen. So far in my life I've avoided major issues with ticks and, lord knows, this is not the year to start. With that being said, experts have also weighed in with their advice. Here are a few tips and tricks to help keep your pets tick free.
1. Learn when 'tick season' is
Ticks are a problem nationwide. However, the time at which they're the worst varies from region to region. In Michigan, ticks are most active between April and September. As well, experts stress that you should use flea/tick prevention on your pet year round.
2. Frisk your animals daily
Whether your dog or your cat, routine checks should be performed daily especially if they've been outside. Check the head, neck and ears which seem to be the most common hiding spots for ticks.
3. Learn how to properly remove the tick
There are a lot of methods offered when you search "how to remove a tick". Methods from when I was a child, like burning the tick with a match or rubbing acetone on the tick, aren't necessarily the best way to remove the tick anymore. Instead, it's recommended that you pull and twist the tick slowly to remove it. And, of course, you can always consult your veterinarian.
4. Know the area where you're walking your dog
No, this doesn't mean knowing the fastest way back home. Instead, study the area where your walking your dog. Ticks prefer dense vegetation and while they normally live on the ground they are able to climb to the top of shrubs or tall grasses. They then will leap onto your animal if they pass by.
5. Know when to visit the vet
The chances of your animal catching a tick-borne illness aren't great. However, it's still important to know what symptoms to look out for. Since there's a variety of tick-borne illnesses there's a variety of symptoms from lethargy to changes in eating habits. Always consult your veterinarian when your pet begins to act differently especially if you think they've been exposed to ticks.
These are just a few tips thanks to Catster.com and Pethealthnetwork.com. As well, brush up on the signs and symptoms of tick borne illnesses in dogs here and for cats here.
Above all, the best prevention is vigilance. Keep up with the monthly prevention, do regular checks and keep those pets tick free all season!