How Do I Protect my Pet Against Ticks

Written by Lucy Marcham, Academy Trainer

Did you know around 1 in 3 dogs will have an infestation of ticks?

Ticks are an increasing problem in the UK. They spread dangerous diseases and tick bites can lead to infections and abscesses.

To help you keep your pet and yourself safe, here is the lowdown on ticks and how to deal with them.


What is a Tick?

Ticks are parasitic arachnids, that range in size from 3mm to 11mm depending on life stage, sex, and their fullness. These parasites attach themselves to animals and humans and feed off blood by digging into the skin with their specialised mouthparts.

They find their unfortunate hosts by ‘questing’. This means clinging to long grasses and foliage and waiting to cling to a host that brushes past. Once on the host, ticks will crawl around and find a suitable place to begin feeding.

Tick bites can lead to infection, tick bite abscesses and the potential for tick-borne disease. Ticks can carry pathogens (such as Lyme Disease) in their salvia. When they bite the host there is a risk of these diseases being passed on.


Where are Ticks found?

Ticks can attach to us and our pets all year round. They can be found in both rural and urban parks, gardens, woodlands, and grasslands.

Although this pesky parasite be found all year round; they tend to favour the milder weather. Spring and Autumn are peak times for ticks so it’s important to be extra vigilant during these seasons.


How to deal with Ticks

The best practice is to check your pet over from nose to tail every time they come in from an outside environment.

The sooner you spot a tick, the quicker it can be removed! The longer a tick is attached and feeding the more risk of tick-borne diseases.

Always carry with you a safe tick removal tool just in case. These tools work with the anatomy of the tick and allow it to be removed cleanly from the wound.

Never use tweezers, Vaseline, lighters or rubbing alcohol! These can be dangerous to your pet and risk leaving part of the tick in the wound.

Remember prevention is better than cure! Use a spot-on treatment that treats both fleas and ticks. This will keep your pet better protected and reduce the risk of disease or infection.

For more help protecting your pet from parasites, speak to our Academy Trained Staff in your nearest Pets Corner. For more help with parasites, watch our video on Protecting Against Fleas.

If you are worried about worms, watch our video on Protecting Pets Against Internal Parasites.