It’s that time of year, and those parasitic arachnids are back. Whether we like it or not, ticks are a part of our environment, so we need to know how to properly prepare. Here’s what you need to know about ticks.

Prevention

Ticks are typically found in long grasses, wooded or bushy areas, and any leftover leaf litter. 

There are steps you can take to prevent a tick bite on you and your pup. At home be sure to keep your lawn mowed and clean up any leaf litter. 

For your four-legged pal, you may want to talk to your vet about the best preventative. I currently have Targa and Scout on NexGard, a monthly chewable. 

For you, if you’re going into an area with ticks, it’s best to wear long sleeves and long pants. There are recommended insect repellents such as those containing DEET. For more about these, click the link down below.

If you’re heading out for a hike, stick to the middle of the trail. Don’t wander off into long grasses or bushy areas (okay, it might be your pup that does the wandering). 

As soon as you return home, be sure to do a thorough tick check on both you and your pal. Don’t forget in between his toes!

How do I remove a tick?

If you have a tick attached to you or your pup, don’t panic. Just take a sterile pair of tweezers, get as close to the skin as possible, and carefully and gently pull straight out. Don’t twist, you don’t want to leave any parts behind (sorry, I know that sounds awful).

After removing the tick be sure to wash the bite area and your hands with soap and water, or apply alcohol to the area. 

What do I do with the tick?

You want to kill the tick, so either put it in a sealed bag, or my personal favorite, drop it into alcohol. I actually keep an old pill bottle ready with some alcohol, for whenever I find an offender. 

Symptoms to watch for

There are several possible symptoms, including fever and chills, rashes, and the “bullseye”, to name a few. I’ve included a link below for more in-depth information.

Now what?

Well I know this all sounds like we should never leave the safety of our homes, but fear not. Don’t let life with ticks keep you from enjoying the great outdoors. Your pup’s counting on you for some great adventures, so just take some precautions and get out and have some fun.

For more information check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This website’s a great resource.