Ticks are pesky parasites. They can bring upon a lot of discomfort and problems in dogs, due to irritation or even loss of blood. The little external pests dine on canine blood, after all. If you own a dog, tick control should be a big priority of yours, especially if you reside in a warm region. Sprays can help in that department.
If you spot ticks on your pet's body, talk to a veterinarian about properly extracting them. Some owners opt to get rid of ticks through tugging them off via tweezers -- without tweaking dogs' skin. When the ticks are off, they often use antiseptics to thoroughly cleanse the affected areas. When you speak to your veterinarian regarding tick management, ask her about how you might be able to stop your pet from experiencing future infestations. If you ever notice any hints of infection or any problem on your cutie's skin post-extraction, notify your vet as soon as possible. Also, be alert to indications of diseases caused by ticks, whether arthritis, exhaustion, fever, neurological troubles or absence of appetite. All of these things call for immediate veterinary assessment.
Tick sprays are one form of topical management. These sprays aim to destroy ticks rapidly. They also aim to defend dogs against any older ticks that might still be lingering in their coats. Some owners choose to apply tick sprays onto their pets prior to heading for outdoor excursions in woodsy locales. Ticks are particularly common in those types of environments. It isn't uncommon for owners to apply these sprays onto their dogs in the middle of applications of other tick management options -- think medicated shampoos. While some people spray their dogs before going outdoors, others do so within 1 minute after they come back in. Topical tick preventive sprays can help prevent these arachnids from invading your unsuspecting dog's body.
Don't just use any type of tick spray on your pet. Get a veterinarian's recommendation for a specific kind of product. Veterinarian Jody Sandler, consultant for the book "Vet On Call," suggests tick sprays that consist of pyrethrins, which are contact poisons and botanical insecticides. Pyrethrins are common components in sprays as well as in flea and tick dips. Note that many tick sprays also work to destroy fleas. These sprays exist both in pump bottles and as aerosols. Make sure that any tick spray you use is suitable for your pet's age. Some tick sprays specifically indicate that they're acceptable for use on on young puppies, for example. Your vet can make a good choice for you in this regard.
Before applying tick spray onto your dog, discuss appropriate application methods with your veterinarian. When you discuss tick spray, make sure the vet is always fully aware of any and all other forms of parasite management your pooch is using, if any. In applying tick spray, avoid drenching your dog while you endeavor to distribute the product in an even manner. Never allow any tick spray into your dog's eyes, period.
- ASPCA: Ticks and Lime Disease
- The Humane Society of the United States: Getting a Tick Off Your Dog
- PetMD: 10 Ways to Stop Ticks From Biting Your Dog
- Canine Oregon; Lizann Dunegan
- Welsh Corgis; Richard G. Beauchamp
- Vet On Call; Matthew Hoffman
- American Pit Bull Terriers/American Staffordshire Terriers; Joe Stahlkuppe
- Rogers Animal Hospital: Flea Infestation
- Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images