How Dogs Get Lyme
Typically, tick season begins in late March as the weather turns from cold to cool. During the warm seasons, spring and summer, people and pets spend the most time outdoors playing and exercising either at home or in wooded or grassy areas. This is when we see an uptick in tick disease cases.
Like cats, dogs can get Lyme Disease and other tick-borne infections. But, how does it happen? Tick diseases spread from animal to animal and person to animal (and vice versa). When wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, walk onto landscapes in search of food, they naturally drop ticks on the yard. The grass is where ticks are usually hiding in search of their next blood meal. When dogs roll around in grassy areas, they are at risk of tick bites.
White-tailed deer are the main carriers of ticks with Lyme Disease in North America; however the white-footed mouse; birds and other wild animals are also known carriers. To protect pets from the risk of tick bites and infections, pet owners will need to fence out wildlife with at least a 6 foot high fence. Fencing is the most recommended strategy for wildlife management and tick disease prevention.
Since April is Lyme Disease Prevention In Dogs Month, dog owners will need to be proactive in keeping wildlife away from their companion pets to reduce the spread of ticks with diseases in spring and summer.
- Jenn Smith