Ticks are my enemies No. 1. In fact, any bugs that can harm my dogs are my enemies, but ticks always come first. The very idea of them gives me shivers because while it is relatively easy to deal with bees, wasps and mosquito bites, ticks are known for carrying viruses and disease that can lead to a tragedy.
We lost Oscar to haemolytic anaemia.In his case it was due to the immune system “miscommunication”, but it can also be caused by ticks carrying Babesia parasites. For a long time we were lucky not to have them in the UK, but sadly, they are definitely appearing in the country here and there according to the reports and I want to do anything in my power to share the information that may possibly save your dog’s life and protect you from a heartbreak and loss we’ve experienced.
What can be done to prevent tick bites?
Learn about tick season in your area and try to avoid places known for “tick colonies”. Normally it starts in spring and ends in early summer, then re-starts in autumn around October time. Also remember that ticks love long grass, damp areas and shady woods.
Check your dog every day and definitely – after each walk. Unless your pup has dark hair, the ticks are pretty easy to spot as they craws through the coat. Ticks never attach themselves straight away because they needs to find a suitable spot and prefer eye lids, nose, ears and genitals – wherever the skin is the thinnest. While they are busy locating the spot you can go through your dogs fur in a manner of an ape checking her babies for bugs, and then use a comb to brush the hair and increase your chances of finding a few offenders that will look like millet-size black insects.
Hoover your home daily to remove any ticks that went off searching for their new victims.
You may wish to use an anti-tick collar, but I am not a huge fan of those because the chemicals can cause skin irritations.
Have a tick removal device called O’Tom Tick Twister at home. It makes tick-removal more effective. Admittedly, it’s best to ask your vet to show you how it’s done or watch this video, but easy enough to master.
Rose geranium oil makes a natural tick repellent and the beauty of it is that the oil doesn’t need to be diluted prior to application. Having said that I personally still mix a few drops in some almond oil (approximately 10 drops per 1tbsp of oil) before using it and, because the scent is rather strong, prefer adding the drops to a DIY’ed bow that I tie around the collar at the top of my dogs neck (so he doesn’t get all the smell hitting his sensitive nostrils).
A chemical-free and rather interesting solution is TickLess Pet – an ultrasonic device that repels ticks through the power of sound undetectable to human ears. I came across it a couple of months ago and haven’t had a chance to use yet, but I definitely will.