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Preventing Lyme Disease: What You Can Do to Protect Your Furry Friend

Lyme Disease in dogs. How to prevent and protect your pet.
Lyme Disease in Dogs. How to Prevent and Protect

Lyme disease is an often overlooked but dangerous condition that can be deadly for your dog. Now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s a great time to take steps to protect your furry friend from this disease. Lyme disease is spread by ticks, but there are ways to decrease the risks of getting those nasty tick bites. Keep reading for helpful tips on keeping your dog safe from Lyme disease this summer.

1.   Maintain careful walking areas

Ticks are usually found in dense, wooded areas. Things like tall grass, weeds, and thick brush provide the perfect shield for ticks to live and wait for their next victims. Ticks can stretch out on grass or limbs, waiting for your dog to walk past. To avoid this, try walking your dog on sidewalks or in the center of walking trails where the grass is shorter.


2.   Vaccinate your dog

Annual vaccines are available for Lyme disease. Your veterinarian can help you decide if a vaccination is right for your pet. Medications are also helpful for preventing ticks. Some medicines are taken orally, like NexGard chews, and some get applied to the dog’s skin, like Bravecto. Talk to your vet about the best approach for your pet.


3.   Decrease exposure

Your dogs may spend a lot of time in your backyard, which exposes them to ticks. Try to minimize the exposure by keeping your grass cut and bushes trimmed. The yard should get mowed frequently. Keeping a clean area for your dog to play in will help you create a safer environment with fewer chances of tick bites.


4.   Look for signs of ticks

Check your dog for ticks frequently, especially during warmer weather when the grass grows faster. If you live in a wooded area, you may want to check your pet every day. Ticks are masters at hiding, so look inside ears, between toes, under tails and collars, and on stomachs. Ticks can be brown, tan, or black and range in size.


5.   Know how to remove ticks

If your pet has a tick, knowing how to remove one correctly is crucial. You want to act quickly to avoid disease transmission. It only takes a few hours for a tick to transmit Lyme disease to your pup. One of the best methods for tick removal is to use tweezers, grabbing as close to your dog’s skin as possible. Pull the tick out slowly and ensure that all parts of the tick get removed. Clean the wound with an antiseptic, and always clean the tweezers after use with alcohol. Flush the tick down the toilet.


Signs of Lyme disease

One tick bite can transmit Lyme disease to your dog. If you see symptoms like fever, reduced energy, lethargy, swelling, or loss of appetite, these may be signs of Lyme disease. You should take your pet to the veterinarian to get checked immediately. Time matters with Lyme disease, and the faster you act, the sooner you can get your pup on the road to recovery from a nasty tick bite. We know summer means more outdoor fun for you and your four-legged friend, and we want you to enjoy it without the worry of tick bites. With our tips, you and your pup can enjoy this season together, spending as much time outdoors as you want.