In dog parenting circles, fleas and ticks are usually mentioned in the same breath. So, in finding out how do dogs get ticks, you might think that also includes fleas but that might not be totally true.
Fleas are very different from ticks as you’ll get to see in this article. And this could suppose that the process of contracting one would be different from contracting the other.
Anyway, let us get to the article.
First off, ticks are ectoparasites which means that they only attack from the surface of the skin of their host.
Furthermore, all ticks are bloodsucking and in very rare cases can suck enough to make the infested dog anemic.
Between fleas and ticks, we have to say that ticks are tougher and more deadly. Two pretty common diseases associated with a tick infestation are Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. And we must say that either of them could be fatal.
Something else that is interesting about ticks is that humans can get them too. You could either get them the same way dogs get them or get them from your dog. Now….
How Do Dogs Get Ticks
Ticks are pretty tenacious creatures and while they feed on blood, they can actually survive for up to a year without feeding.
As a result, they can survive outside host and lie in wait for a really long time.
That said, you’d usually find them in really grassy areas, woodlands and bushes. Also, if you have grass in your yard, your yard is a potential waiting area for ticks.
Now, ticks cannot jump very high but they do not need to. From the grass, they can latch onto basically anything; your dog, anything on your dog, you or anything on you.
And even if it is only one tick that you have managed to house, you could have an infestation on your hands in about 60 days.
That said, unlike fleas, ticks rarely ever move from host to host. They would usually either stay on the same host for till they die or have to be forcefully removed.
As a result, it is rare for dogs to get ticks from other dogs but not impossible.
Getting Rid Of Ticks
In all honesty, this is not the easiest thing you’ll ever get to do. There are a number of products that are targeted at removing fleas and ticks. However, those are usually more effective for removing fleas.
That said, of the different kinds of tick removal methods (shampoos, drugs, on the spot treatments, collars etc), tick collars are probably the most effective.
They only work for a short time frame at a time but that is usually longer than what you get with the other methods.
However, bear in mind that it is practically impossible to get rid of tick eggs. As a result, whatever removal method you decide to go for will have to be administered for about between 4 and 6 weeks.
The idea is to periodically administer the removal method till the tick eggs have developed into adults and can now be gotten rid of.
Get in contact with your vet if you suspect that your dog has a tick infestation. They’ll be able to recommend an appropriate curative measure specifically for your dog.
Now, considering how tenacious ticks are, it isn’t enough to just get them off your dog. You have to go on an aggressive decontamination of your home and everything your dog has come in contact with.
Quarantine your dog till they have been declared tick free and you might need to continue the contamination for some time after your dog has been declared tick free.
Ticks can survive without blood, people, so you do not want to give them any breathing space, at all.
How Do I Know My Dog Has Ticks?
Much like every other insect infestation, a tick infestation is usually accompanied by intense scratching and hair loss.
However, with a tick infestation, a telltale sign is usually redness. And this could be seen on a dog or a human.
Preventing A Recurrence
Discuss with your veterinarian to come up with strategies for preventing a tick infestation for your dog.
You could also invest in some tick control collars. These serve to both prevent a tick infestation and take care of the ticks if they are already on.
However, if you’ll be going for the tick control collars, do not combine those with any other curative measure.