New Pet Tick Prevention.
New Pet Daily Prevention
Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tick-borne diseases. Daily prevention behaviors can help reduce tick encounters for your new pet, you and your family.
The BLAST acronym stands for:
Bathe within two hours of outdoor activity
Look for ticks and rashes daily
Apply repellents to skin and clothing
Spray the yard and maintain a tick-safe landscape
Treat pets with veterinarian recommended products
These points highlight the most effective evidence- based recommendations for avoiding tick attachments and potential tickborne diseases. The program is based on peridomestic Lyme disease prevention research conducted in Connecticut.
Do Frequent Tick Checks
Ticks live in woodland edges, leaf litter, ground cover and other shady areas with high humidity. When your dog visits these outdoors areas, including your backyard, a tick may crawl onto your pet. You may be able to see a tick crawling on the surface hair of your pet. Ticks crawl along your pet and may eventually attach. These attached ticks can be more difficult to find. To look for attached ticks, feel for bumps and spread your pet’s hair to look closer to their skin to see attached ticks. Be sure to look where ticks like to hide:
- In and around the ears
- Around the eyelids
- Under the collar
- Under front legs
- Between back legs
- Between toes
- Around the tail
Create a fun habit of doing tick checks when your dog comes inside. Include brushing your dog. If your new pet is not familiar with being touched or handled, talk with your veterinarian about handling conditioning.
Check your pets collar, leashes and frequently wash your dog’s clothing and bedding.
Remember to check yourself for ticks after checking your pet!
Tick Removal from Dogs
If you find an attached tick, use tweezers or a tick removal pet tool to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick. Do not try folklore remedies such as "painting" the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible--not waiting for it to detach.
If you see a tick crawling along the surface hair you can use a piece of tape to tab it off and then securely wrap it in tape. Lint rollers may also pick up ticks on the surface.
*Tip Bring a roll of tape with you on walks and hikes to quickly and easily remove ticks crawling on surface hair.
*Tip Keep the tweezers and tape in a convenient location, for example with the dog leashes, so that you can quickly retrieve them when you find a tick.
Learn Your New Dogs Behaviors
Getting to know your new pet’s typical behavior, energy levels, eating habits will give you a baseline to compare if you notice tick borne disease symptoms.
Signs of tick-borne disease may not appear for 7-21 days or longer after a tick attachment.
Some typical symptoms are:
- Lack of appetite
- Fatigue and fever
Call your veterinarian if you notice symptoms.
Discussion Points for your Veterinarian
Your veterinarian will help you decide on prevention products that fit your pet’s health needs and your lifestyle. There are a number of options including collars, topical treatments and chewable tablets. There is also an annual Lyme disease vaccine for dogs.
Give your veterinarian a clear picture of your pet’s lifestyle and chance of exposure to tick habitats.
Tell your veterinarian about your home environment:
- Your yard area that your pet frequents
- Wildlife on your property and neighborhood
- Cats in the home
Tell your veterinarian about outdoor activities:
- Walks, hiking
- Camping, fishing, hunting
- Dog parks, boarding, day care
- Places that you and pet travel.
Talk with your veterinarian about consistent application of prevention products. Discuss the type and frequency of application that is best for your lifestyle.
Reduce the Number of Ticks in your Backyard
Consider the area that your pet frequents while outside and consider creating a space that is unfriendly to ticks. Ticks live in woodland edges, leaf litter, ground cover and other shady areas with high humidity.