Camping and spending time outdoors is a favorite Summer pastime for many North American families and their pets. With this Summer seeing more ticks than in years past, it’s more important than ever for pet parents like you to know how to avoid them and what to do if you discover them on your pet!
There are a variety of ticks found all over North America and several different species. Research your destination prior to leaving to find out the risk-level for tick bites, the kind of tick native to the area and any associated diseases they might carry.
Purchase a tick and flea collar and speak with your vet to find a repellant lotion or oral medication safe for pets.
Pack a tick-removal kit or bring tweezers, iodine scrub, rubbing alcohol and shampoo.
Ticks prefer humid, moist environments and are most often found in heavily wooded areas, brush and overgrown grass. If you have control over where you set-up camp, choose a clearing, away from the woods.
Ticks feast on blood and seek out warm moving animals like dogs, cats and humans. They latch onto their host and can feast for several hours up to several days, depending on the tick! Diseases found in ticks are transmitted up to 24-36 hours after the initial bite, making early detection and removal even more important.
To check your pet for ticks, run your hands over their body and feel for any unusual lumps or bumps and watch their skin for any signs of irritation.
Although you may feel squeamish about removing a tick from your pet yourself, doing so can help prevent your pet contracting a disease from the bite. If you can’t successfully remove the tick yourself be sure to see a healthcare provider ASAP and always follow up with your vet after a tick bite if you have concerns about your pet’s well-being.
Follow these steps to remove a tick from your pet’s body:
To help calm your pet and keep them from moving during the process, always have another person present to help.
If a tick is found before it has successfully attached, remove it from your pet using a pair of tweezers. Always wash your hands and never crush a tick, doing so can inadvertently spread disease.
If the tick is found after it’s attached, use the tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your pet’s body as possible.
When you feel you have a firm grip on the tick, slowly but firmly begin pulling the tick in an outwards direction away from your pet’s body.
Avoid pulling too quickly, jerking or twisting the tweezers, this could cause parts of the tick to break off underneath the skin where you can’t grab it.
After removal, use iodine scrub to clean the area then apply rubbing alcohol. Finally, give your pet a bath using shampoo and warm water to thoroughly clean the affected area.
Consider placing the tick in a plastic bottle or container with a moist cotton ball and bring it with you to the vet to have it identified.
Monitor your pet and the site of the bite for signs of illness or infection.
Seek medical attention immediately if you feel your pet may have contracted a disease or has an infection caused by the bite.
With record-breaking temperatures a regular occurrence during the Summer months, it’s more important than ever to take care and prevent overheating in our pets. We break down need-to-know information and helpful tips to help you keep your pet cool, safe, happy and healthy all summer long!
SCHEDULE YOUR WALKS ACCORDINGLY
You should shift your daily walk to early morning or early evening, before or after the sun is at its highest point in the sky.
SHORTER SPURTS OF RIGOROUS ACTIVITY
Avoid going for lengthy walks or exercising your pet too vigorously while temperatures are high. Try having shorter spurts of activity outdoors throughout the day and monitor your pet for cues to how they’re managing the heat.
WATER, WATER, WATER
Like humans, it’s important to replace fluids your pet may lose to the heat. Unlike humans, a dog cools off from panting more than they do from sweating. Making sure your pet has easy access to cool, clean water throughout the day can help prevent dehydration or heat stress.
QUICK TIP: Bring a travel bowl and fresh water with you when going on walks during the summer and remember to pack a serving of their favorite TLC Whole Life Pet Food or treats. Making sure your pet is getting adequate nutrition and keeping hydrated will help to keep them happy and healthy all summer long!
SPRAY YOUR PUP’S BELLY & PAWS
If you notice your dog is feeling the heat, start by cooling their paws and belly first. It’s this part of their body where heat escapes the quickest and doing so can help to bring your pup’s temperature right down. Use a spray bottle with cool water, a hose on a gentle setting, wet cloth, or sponge.
LET ‘EM DIG
Allowing your pet to dig in the dirt is just another way they instinctually cool themselves down! Digging into the top layer of dirt helps to expose the cooler earth beneath the surface. You may find after digging, your pup will curl up on the cooler dirt and help themselves to a little summer’s nap!
SHADE & SHELTER
If your pet will be spending any length of time outside, it’s important to make sure that they have access to a shaded area outside of their dog house and preferably on the grass. Even the largest dog houses can reach fatally high temperatures during the summer months.
Giving your cat a nice brush and trimming your pup’s hair is an excellent way to lose excess fur and provide a little heat-relief. Take care not to trim all the way to the skin as your pet’s fur actually acts as a sunblock and without it, their sensitive skin is exposed to the sun’s rays.
QUICK TIP: Did you know there is sunblock for pets? Protect your furry family member’s ears and nose by applying a pet-approved sunblock prior to letting them outdoors!
NEVER EVER LEAVE YOUR PET UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE
With rising temperatures, your vehicle can become as hot as an oven in under ten minutes and in as much time, your pet could be affected by heat stress or even death if left alone in your car. This hazard is avoidable and preventable and TLC encourages you to commit to never leaving your pet alone in your vehicle even for short periods of time!
PROTECT THEIR PAWS
Before you take your pet on a walk or let them out in the yard, feel out the sidewalk or asphalt by using your bare hand or foot. If the surface is too hot for you to handle, then it’s definitely too
hot for your pet!
QUICK TIP: Find a pair of heat-resistant booties for your pet to protect their paws this summer