The number of ticks in the UK is on the rise and so too are the health risks to you and your dog. Increasingly warm wet winters have meant that ticks have longer to feed and so have become more common.
At Bone Idol we always put the health and wellbeing of you and your dog first so here are some key things we think you should know about Ticks.
What are the health risks?
Ticks are not only active earlier than ever, they are also carrying potentially new and harmful diseases such as Lyme disease and Canine Babesiosis.
What are ticks?
Ticks are spider-like, egg-shaped, blood-sucking parasite. They have eight legs and vary in size from about 1mm to 1cm long. Ticks don’t fly or jump, they climb or drop on to your dog’s coat when it brushes past them.
Where do ticks live?
Ticks like areas of dense vegetation, such as long grass or bracken, woodland, and overgrown shrubs and ground-cover plants in gardens can provide this. Visiting wildlife (such as squirrels, hedgehogs, birds and deer) or livestock provide the necessary blood feeds for tick survival.
How to check for ticks?
Ticks are not always big enough to see with the naked eye. Run your hands over your dog’s body when you get back from a walk to check for any lumps or bumps. A tick will feel like a small bump on your pet’s skin. They tend to attach themselves to areas around a dog’s head, neck, ear and feet. Ticks vary in size between 1mm and 1cm long, depending on their age. They look like tiny spiders with a whiteish, egg-shaped body. The body becomes larger and darker as it fills with blood.
How do I prevent ticks?
Prevention is always better than a cure: There are many safe products on the market to prevent ticks: including spot-ons and sprays, we sell a full range in the Bone Idol shop and are happy to discuss the products we would recommend for you and your dog.
What do I do if I find a tick on my dog?
Do not attempt to burn, cut or pull the tick off as this will likely leave the mouth parts of the tick embedded in the skin. The best way to banish ticks is by using a special purpose-built hook device which you can buy in the shop.
The hook is slid under the tick at skin level to grip the head of the tick then rotated to pull the parasite cleanly out. When attempting to remove a tick, avoid handling the parasite directly as ticks carry unpleasant infections. If you have any concerns it is advisable to visit your vet. If you would like further information or guidance on tick prevention or would like us to show you how to use a tick hook, just pop in to see us at Bone Idol and we'll share our expertise with you.
More information about ticks can be found at The Big Tick Project.