If you’re going for a hike in the hills, your preparations would probably include tick control for dogs. That’s smart. But the reality is that you should think about tick bites on dogs anytime you venture out.
Where ticks can be found
You and your dog could encounter ticks almost anywhere. While ticks are most frequently encountered outdoors on grass, bushes or shrubs, some can be found indoors. For example, the brown dog tick can be found across the United States hiding in:
- Cracks and crevices in your home
- Dog runs
Ticks use an ambush approach
Contrary to popular belief, ticks do not jump or fall out of trees onto animals or people. Instead, they lie in wait on a piece of grass or other plants and use an ambush approach called questing.
Once ticks catch a ride, they will begin to explore your dog's skin for the best place to set up camp and bite your dog. Ticks can suck your dog’s blood for several days before detaching and then possibly laying several thousand eggs back into the environment.
Dog tick diseases
Just one bite from the wrong tick can infect your dog with a variety of diseases:
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Tick paralysis
Symptoms of tick disease in dogs
If your dog has been infected by a tick-transmitted disease, you might notice the following tick bite symptoms:
- Swollen joints
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Swollen legs
- Joint and muscle pain
- Red spots on gums
Tick treatment and prevention
Because avoiding ticks is nearly impossible in the United States, prevention is more effective. We suggest choosing a tick preventive product that kills and repels them. If a tick is repelled, it cannot bite and transmit diseases. Two Bayer products, K9 Advantix® II and Seresto®, both kill and repel ticks through contact. No biting required.
K9 Advantix II is for use on dogs only. Do not use on cats. Seresto is for both dogs and cats.
Related article: The flea life cycle and how to take control of flea bites