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How to Stop your Pets being Terrorised by Ticks
Saturday September 17th 2016
Warm and wet weather over the summer months has created the perfect breeding ground for parasites.
These conditions mean grass and bushes have grown longer and thicker, creating the perfect habitat and increasing the numbers of ticks and fleas.
Bloodsucking ticks can't jump, but can attach themselves onto our pets and feed on their blood, causing skin irritation and discomfort. They can also spread a number of dangerous diseases, including Lyme disease which can be caught by humans.
They are generally oval-shaped, flat and small – about the size of a sesame seed – but if they’re completely engorged with blood, they grow to the size and shape of a coffee bean.
A recent study by Bristol University found that almost a third of 15,000 dogs checked at random across the UK last year were found to be carrying a tick.
So what can we do to protect our furry friends?
• Groom your pet regularly
Give them some time and attention. Work through fur with a fine-toothed comb to remove any ticks that are clinging to the hairs. Then part the fur with your hands and inspect their skin.
Feel for irregular lumps and remember to check your pet’s toes, ears, armpits and belly, as well as all around its tail and head.
• Clean up your garden
Ticks are sneaky creatures. They won’t live out in the open but they could be hiding in thick foliage or wooded areas in your garden. They especially love anywhere with thick grass or bushes, that is shady with decaying leaves and high humidity.
To stop them congregating, rake up decaying leaves and trim overgrown brushes. You should also cut the lawn regularly so that it is kept short. Also make sure your rubbish bins are secure and remove any rock piles or bushy cover, anywhere tick-carrying rodents might hide.
• Take care while out walking
When you’re out and about enjoying countryside walks with your pet, always tuck your trousers into socks to help prevent ticks directly latching onto your skin.
Ticks like to lie in wait for animals passing through grass and bushes, so try and keep your pet on the path if possible. When you get home check over both your pets and your own body for ticks.
• Use the right treatments
Despite your efforts to keep the ticks at bay while out walking and in the garden, your pets may still be at risk of exposure. Tick control products can kill the parasites, whether they’re fully grown or eggs, so be sure to treat your pets regularly.
There’s hundreds of products on the market, from shampoos to pills as well as tick collars which will repel them. Make sure you read all labels carefully, and if you have any doubts, ask your vet for advice.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.