Owning a pet, such as a lovely dog, is undoubtedly a fun and rewarding experience. As a dog owner, basic dog care includes providing ample food, loving shelter and regular health checkups – but one’s responsibility goes beyond just that. It also extends to grooming and keeping their environment free from potential, common health hazards, such as ticks.
Ticks are ectoparasites that attach themselves to a host’s skin and feed on its blood. If you think that ticks are simply a concern for your pet, think again. These pests can bring a whole other problem to your humble abode. Discover how ticks pose a problem for your pets and your entire home and the methods for their prevention.
- Endanger your dog’s health by causing diseases
Starting from the mild concerns, ticks can consume enough of your dog’s blood to cause anaemia if they’re left unchecked for a long period. Additionally, certain female ticks can also, although rarely, induce paralysis in dogs caused by a toxin that they produce whilst feeding.
These ticks are, unfortunately, carriers of diseases that can adversely affect your dog’s health. Some of the more common ones are Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and canine ehrlichiosis. Lyme disease in dogs can cause swelling in your dog’s joints along with arthritis, leading to painful lameness. Its usual symptoms are a lack of appetite, joint swelling, fever, and a noticeable decrease in activity levels.
Meanwhile, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a disease caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, an infectious bacterium also transmitted by ticks. Although signs of this disease can often be vague and non-specific, some of its common symptoms include lethargy, fever, and weight loss.
Lastly, canine ehrlichiosis is a disease that’s divided into three stages: acute, sub-clinical, and chronic. In the acute stage, afflicted dogs exhibit swollen lymph nodes, respiratory difficulties, bleeding disorders, and fever. In the worst-case scenario, your dog may develop a host of problems such an anaemia, bleeding episodes, neurological problems and even bone marrow failure.
- Jeopardize members of your household
Humans are no exception when it comes to tick-transmitted diseases. This means that in the off chance that you bring a tick into your home, there’s a possibility that it can proliferate and latch onto other members of the household, making them vulnerable to catching Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. Additionally, a few more diseases that a person can contract from a tick bite are tularemia and Colorado tick fever, with the former being a rare case.
How To Prevent Ticks From Harming Your Loved Ones
There are many things that you can do to prevent ticks from latching on to your dogs or entering your home. For the former, make sure to run a flea comb or brush through your pet’s coat thoroughly before letting it inside. You can also use spot-on flea and tick treatments to repel them from your dog when they play outside.
For the latter, a thorough and frequent cleaning is generally the best way to prevent ticks from settling into your home. If your household includes a backyard, discourage wild animals from entering and bringing ticks inside, as well as keep your grass and shrubs trimmed regularly to give them fewer places to hide.
In the case whereby your home has become infested with these pesky bugs, the only viable option is to simply call in the experts. Pest control specialists are equipped with the necessary knowledge and technical know-how to eliminate them and ensure that these bugs will no longer be in your home for good.
Although small and seemingly harmless, ticks can pose a serious problem for your family and pets if left unchecked. By being constantly on the lookout for them in your beloved dogs and in the household, you promote the well-being of those closest to you daily. Aside from ticks, you’ll want to ensure that other common pests do not thrive at your home. Else, be sure to contact pest control specialists equipped with termite, cockroach, bed bug control and more, to better safeguard your home and health.