Warning: you may start to experience the feeling of something crawling up your leg after reading this blog post! This year I have declared war on all the creepy crawly, disgusting ticks in our yard! The first week in April and I found a tick on both dogs. It’s not the first time we’ve had to battle with ticks, but it is the first time I am prepared with an armory of natural tick defenses.
Think you and your dog are immune to ticks if you live in the city? Ticks can be an issue anywhere, from the big city to small country villages. Ticks are anywhere there are deer, mice, grass, leaves or ground cover.
To be prepared for my war on ticks, I needed to know everything there is to know about them. So here are all the important details so you can protect your dog and your family.
Let’s begin with some facts that you may not have known about ticks:
These symptoms may last as short as 24 hours or continue for days to weeks.
Rare but does happen:
Don’t panic if you find a tick on your dog. If the tick is already attached/engorged, then you will need a pair of tweezers or a tick removal tool. If it’s not attached/engorged, then grab a tissue and remove the tick, then flush down the toilet or place inside a baggy with rubbing alcohol. Do not throw it in the trash, it will crawl out. The rubbing alcohol will kill the tick and preserve it if you need to take it in to be tested.
Do NOT use a hot needle, Vaseline, dish soap or nail polish. These can cause the tick to regurgitate into your dog and increase the risk of disease.
When you find the tick, try to keep track of where you find it. If you have someone else at home, ask them to fetch the tick removal tool so you don’t lose its place. If you are alone, make a mental note of its placement and quickly find your tweezers or tick removal tool.
Remove the tick using the steps below:
I bought a few of the Tick Keys to have handy when I find our next tick. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet… and I hope I never have to… wishful thinking! But I will report back when I do to let you know how well it works.
Tick Key instructions according to the package:
Tick paralysis causes immediate lameness, your dog may be unable to move and appear to be in a coma. Find the tick and remove it and your dog will start to feel better quickly.
The diseases that ticks transmit can be serious. I want to protect my dogs from ticks the best I can. But honestly, I have a hard time putting pesticides on my dogs.
Up until a couple of years ago, I used Frontline or K9Advantix, which was recommended by our vet. That is until I learned the truth about these chemicals. I am now determined to use only natural options for my dogs.
After a lot of research, I found that Only Natural Pet has the largest selection of safe flea and tick control products that actually work.
I am using these for the first time this year so I will be reporting back throughout the summer. I am most interested in the tick tag, which lasts an entire year. So many great reviews on the tag, I can’t believe it works so well! I have also purchased the flea/tick shampoo, spray, treats and brewer’s yeast/garlic tabs.
Apparently, the natural products aren’t as strong as the chemical-based products, many recommend layering the options. So that is exactly what I will be doing this summer.
Do what is best for you and your dog. I can’t guarantee any of these natural products will work. But I do feel it’s worth trying. If they don’t work, I may have to concede and go back to Frontline or K9Advantix, but I am willing to do everything in my power not to. Make sure to follow our story on Facebook and Instagram.
I want to hear your story. Please leave a comment below, it could help someone else in our community struggling with ticks. How do you protect you and your dog? Have you had a battle with ticks?
And if you just haven’t had enough info about ticks. Check this website: TickEncounter.com.
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Debi McKee is a mom of three kids, two dogs and the creator of Rescue Dogs 101... where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She also volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society.