American Dog Ticks get their name because they choose dogs as their primary resource for food. While they are aggressive towards humans, they will first go to pets for their next blood meal.
Male Dog Ticks usually die once they mate with a female; but female American Dog Ticks lives in grassy areas with little tree coverage. They can live up to two years if a host is not located. As with other types of ticks, they do not fly or jump, but instead crawl from the ground up.
Adult American dog ticks commonly feed on pets; but they do not transmit Lyme Disease; however, they can transmit other pathogens including the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia - similar to Lone Star Ticks. Adult male and female dog ticks are active from April-early August, while the weather is warm, and can be found in grassland, bushes or under leaves.
There is not a cure for tick diseases; but tick diseases can be treated with antibiotics administered by a veterinarian. Spot-on treatments are available to prevent and kill dog ticks including medicated dog shampoos, tick collars and tick dips. Talk to your vet about these types of dog tick prevention tools.
If your dog is not acting like him/herself, they may have experienced a tick bite. Check for embedded ticks in the fur of animals after outdoor playtime. Remember, ticks like to hide in these common areas:
- Between toes
- In the groin area
- Underneath dog collars/clothes
- Under the tail
- In and around the ears
See steps to remove ticks now.