With the onset of winters, you might plan to set your dog free and play out in the winter without any tick guards. You’re mistaken here; ticks are active even in the winter season. It might be a golden opportunity for the ticks out there to latch on your dog and cause a variety of diseases. Ticks are a year-round nuisance for dogs. So, it would help if you had precautionary measures to protect your dog from ticks.
Although we have always heard that ticks die in winter, it is just a myth. Ticks are alive in the winter season. They hide in a warm and safe shelter.
Ticks cannot withstand the cold winters, so they become dormant – slow down and hide. They often form a cocoon and hide in leaf litter, barn, or debris. They seek shelter in dens, under houses, and other dark, warm places.
We think that snow is deadly for ticks, then it is just a thought. The snow acts to provide insulation to the ticks and protect them from the cold spell.
In winter, ticks actively look for a warm and suitable place where they can spend the winter season. That can be your canine companion. The young ticks that hatched in late summers enter the dormant stage and do not move out.
But the adult female always waits for a mild day to come out and search for a reliable host where it can latch and suck the blood to feed its eggs. Although there are different species of ticks, the most active among them are Black-legged spiders, which cause various diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Anaplasmosis.
The ticks do not survive the low temperatures, but as the temperature rises above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the ticks become active and move out.
Do I need to protect my dog in winter?
In the USA, there are various regions where the temperature is never too cold deadly for the ticks. That means your dog has a threat of tick encounter even in winters. So, you cannot put your guard down.
There are great chances that ticks can enter your house even if your dog does not move outside. The most significant source of ticks in the place is rats and rodents. Because ticks land on the rats and rodents and spend their winters, when a rat enters your home, it brings with them the most hated guests – ticks.
According to recent studies, the ticks have become resistant to cold and developed specific mechanisms to withstand the cold. They form a thick coat on their outer covering that protects them from freezing and helps them find food even on cold days.
You always need to take measures against the ticks even if it is winter because there are many ways that ticks can enter your house. Eventually they land on your dog and prove harmful and, in some cases, deadly to them.
Mostly, the dogs are exposed to ticks in social settings when they move out for a walk in doggie parks, grooming, and even in daycare centres.
Tick preventive measures
Whether it is winter or summer, your dog always needs protection from ticks as it is the only way to get rid of these creepy little creatures.
There are different ways to protect your dog from tick attacks. Some of them are below:
Check your dog thoroughly
Always make it a practice to check your dog thoroughly for any uneven bumps on the skin. Move your hand on the fur in the opposite direction and try to feel the ticks, if any; if you see them, then remove them immediately. They are usually found around the dog’s neck, head and ears. The vets always advise using a pointed tweezer for the removal of ticks. Please don’t use your fingers to scrape them off, as it can tear them apart and cause more infections in the dog skin.
Use oral tick-prevention treatments:
Tick prevention medicines are effective treatments. Mostly these are in the form of chewable tablets. These oral medicines become a part of the dog’s bloodstream, and when the tick latches on the dog and tries to bite him, the chemical in the blood proves fatal to the tick, and they can die immediately.
Some dogs cannot digest these medicines, and they develop some gastrointestinal problems, so it is always necessary to consult your vet for proper medication.
Use topical tick prevention lotions:
If your dog is poor in taking medicines, then you can opt to use a topical medication. The topical treatment is better than the oral medicine, and it works before the ticks can bite the dog. When the ticks land on the dog, they jump off immediately because of the topical treatment. It also saves the dog from being bitten, which eventually reduces the chances of infections that tick bite contains.
Take a vet’s advice when buying the tick repellent spray or lotions, as some ingredients in the topical treatments do not suit the dogs and irritate them.
Tick repellent collars:
When the tick population is high in your area, then you need extra prevention from ticks. You can use a tick repellent collar to double up the protection. These collars release oils that are fatal for ticks but do not harm your dog. Nowadays, new collars are introduced that are less greasy and cause minor irritation.
Consider your dog routine when selecting a tick prevention remedy because some dogs cannot go for tick collars which are customary for a swim. These collar chemicals may prove harmful to other dogs playing with your dog and can be ingested by them. So, if your dog has a social setting, then don’t go for the tick collars.
The ticks are here round the year. They cause several infections and lead to different diseases, and the most common of them is Lyme disease. Consult your vet for a proper vaccine and prepare your dog before the disease can attack. Once your dog has a vaccine, you are carefree of any risks related to your dog’s health.
There are some tick repellent natural remedies that can be helpful to keep the ticks away. Some dog owners use coconut oil, essential oils, and apple cider vinegar to avoid any risk of tick infestation.
These remedies are only helpful to repel the tick. If a tick land on your dog somehow, these remedies could not help, as these homemade products are not that powerful to eradicate a tick infestation. So, in such conditions, you should take a vet’s advice for your little canine companion.
All the remedies mentioned above help prevent ticks on your dogs in winter and all year-round. These ticks are area-specific and also vary in their time of the season. So, you should always take a vet’s advice and ask them about the time when you should be more vigilant about ticks. After the vet’s advice, you will better know which one is the best remedy suitable for your dog against tick infestation in winter.