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It is very easy for our dogs and cats to pick up ticks when they are out and about, especially in woodland areas. As ticks transmit bacteria and microbes which can cause disease, such as Lyme Disease and Babesiosis, it is always important to check your pets for ticks, and yourself too if you have just been on a nice long woodland walk with your four legged friend. It is important to remember that ticks can also be dangerous for people too!
Although ticks are most active between Spring and Autumn your pets can pick up ticks at any time throughout the year, so make sure you are checking them all year round. A good way to check your pet for ticks is to just run your hands over them once they are settled, feel for any small lumps or bumps, especially around the head and around the feet, these are common places for ticks to attach.
Ticks can either be a whiteish colour and quite small, or they can be larger and a much darker colour. When the ticks are darker it means they have fed and are filled with blood, the paler, whiter ticks have yet to feed off your pet.
If you do find a tick on your pet you need to remove it as soon as possible. The best way to do this is by using a tick remover, which can be purchased online or at a local pet shop or your vets. The tick remover will sit flat against your pets coat, you need to ensure the tick is between the two prongs of the tick remover, then twist anti clockwise, making sure you do not pull the tick out, turn anti clockwise until the tick comes away from your pet. Check the ticks body, head and legs have all been removed. If you pull the tick off of your pet it is very likely that the head will get left behind which can lead to an infection.
There are lots of products available that can repel and kill ticks, they are available as spot on treatments, tablets and also collars. Chose the treatment that is most suitable for your pet and your pets lifestyle. If you are unsure which form of flea treatment you should use you can always speak to your veterinary surgery for advice and guidance.