Do Pets at Home Remove Ticks? What You Should Know About Pet Tick Removal
- Author Aymen Issaoui
- Published November 21, 2022
- Word count 923
Pets are wonderful companions, but unfortunately, they can also bring risks of exposure to new and unfamiliar diseases. One such risk is tick exposure. Many households with pets have seen a recent surge in the number of ticks found on their furry companions. This isn’t necessarily because pet ownership has increased; rather, it’s because people are becoming more aware of the tick-borne illnesses that pets can transmit to humans. More than ever, people are keeping tabs on their pets and making sure they have the best protection against ticks and other parasites. With this information, you can make smart decisions about protecting your pet from ticks and other parasites so that both you and your cat or dog remain healthy through all seasons!
What is a Tick and How Can Pets Contract Them?
A tick is an arachnid parasite that feeds on the blood of mammals, reptiles, and birds. Ticks are vectors of disease, which means they transmit bacteria or viruses from one host to another. The most well-known disease transmitted by ticks is Lyme disease, which is most commonly found in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic areas of the United States. Dogs, cats, and other mammals (including humans!) can contract ticks if they go outside and are not protected against them. All pets (and people!) are at risk of getting tick bites when they are outside where ticks live. Ticks typically feed on the blood of mammals during a specific time frame, so they are less likely to bite humans than they are to bite cats and dogs.
Why Are Ticks Dangerous for Pets?
Ticks are dangerous because they can transmit diseases when they bite your pet and then bite you during the removal process. Diseases that can be transmitted via tick bites include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, and Lyme disease. Even if your pet is vaccinated against these diseases, they can still contract them from tick bites if they don’t wear a collar that keeps ticks away. Even if your pet has never been vaccinated against any diseases and does not get sick, you can contract the disease from the bite and pass it on to other people in your household.
Which Pets Can Get Ticks?
All pets can get ticks, but certain breeds are more susceptible than others. Dogs with short, thin fur are more likely to be bitten by ticks than dogs with long, thick fur. Ticks are less likely to bite cats than dogs, as they don’t like the smell of cat blood. Outdoor cats are more likely to be bitten by ticks, but indoor cats still need to be protected against ticks because they can bring pests into the house. Dogs and cats of all ages are at risk of getting tick bites, but puppies and kittens are more at risk than adult animals.
How Do You Remove a Tick From Your Pet?
It’s important to remove ticks from your pet as soon as you see them, as ticks can spread disease over several days. The sooner you remove ticks, the less likely they are to transmit disease. There are several methods you can use to remove ticks from your pets. If the tick is still small and hasn’t embedded its mouthparts in the skin, you can use tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and remove it. If the tick has embedded its mouthparts, you can use an antiseptic solution to kill the tick, then remove it with tweezers. You can also use a special tick removal tool, which resembles tweezers with a magnifying glass on one side. If you’re not sure how to remove ticks from your pet, talk to your veterinarian or local pet store.
Tips to Prevent Ticks From Biting Your Pet
- Examine Your Pet Regularly for Ticks: Examine your pet for ticks daily to make sure they don’t have any attached to their fur or skin. This is particularly important when your pet is outside, as ticks are more likely to attach to dogs than cats. You can use special tick removal tools to help remove ticks as soon as you see them. - Use Tick Prevention Products: There are a number of products you can use to prevent ticks from biting your pet. Flea and tick collars are a common choice, as they work to repel ticks and kill larvae that fall off the parent tick and try to feed on the blood of your pet. You can also use sprays, shampoos, and monthly topical treatments to keep ticks away. - Avoid Hiking or Camping in Tick-Infested Areas: If you take your pet hiking or camping in an area where ticks are common, wear long pants and sleeves to protect yourself from ticks. As soon as you return home, examine your pet and yourself for ticks. If you find ticks on yourself, you can remove them with tweezers. If you find a tick on your pet, consult your veterinarian for advice on how to remove the tick.
Ticks are a dangerous pest that can cause a number of diseases in humans, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever. When you take the time to learn how to protect your pet from ticks, you also protect yourself from tick-borne illnesses. Examine your pet regularly for ticks, use sprays and collars to repel ticks, and avoid hiking or camping in areas where ticks are common. With these tips, your pets can keep safe from ticks all year round!
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