Ticks are out in grassy and wooded areas; and they are looking for warm-blooded mammals to feast on for survival. That places pets and pet owners both at risk for tick bites.
As long as temperatures stay above freezing (32 Degrees Fahrenheit) then there is a risk for tick activity. In the winter, ticks do not die; they simply become dormant; and they will hide underneath fur, logs and leaves seeking warmth. Once they spot a warm-blooded mammal, they will attack.
So far in 2018, over 4.7 million dogs have been tested for Lyme Disease with 261,000 confirmed cases. Not all ticks carry Lyme Disease; take the American Dog Tick which carries Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This type of tick species is very aggressive toward dogs and cats and will choose a human as a second place victory.
In the fall, pet owners must check their animals for ticks after outside playtime and after hiking trips. Hiding spots for ticks on pets include:
- Between toes
- In the groin area
- Underneath dog collars/clothes
- Under the tail
- In and around the ears
Be sure to remove a tick properly from pets; and keep pets safe from tick diseases. Do not hesitate to take pets to the vet after tick bites.