Ticks and fleas are probably the worst part about being a dog. I am a family pet, as well as, a hard working Termite Detective and live in a warm and loving home. It’s a beautiful thing. I have a great life and wouldn’t change it for all the treats in the world. But when it comes to ticks and fleas; sometimes I wish I was a fish.

This is my 26th dog-blog. I’m sure you know by now that I am Hunter, Loyal Termite and Pest Control’s exclusive K-9 Termite Detective. I have been writing this weekly blog, I refer to as info-entertainment, for the enjoyment of our Loyal fans, clients, and friends. In other words, the content is directed to human adults. This and next week’s blog are dedicated to all the loving pets out there; dogs, cats, and all other pets. Fish don’t get fleas and ticks (lucky suckers), so really this is directed to all the hairy pets out there.

I wrote a What’s Buggin’ You? blog last month that spoke of the danger to humans that tick bites and Lyme disease can cause. This blog is specifically about ticks and pets and the physical danger ticks can cause pets. Next week’s Part #2 blog will be about fleas and pets.

As a pet owner, you know it is important to provide your pet with regular exercise, a nutritious diet and lots of love and affection. But you also have a responsibility to protest your pet from health risks, such as those posed by pests. Ticks can make your pets sick and can lead to infestations in your home.

Ticks can be especially dangerous for pets, particularly animals that spend any amount of time outdoors, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses. As with humans, ticks can also transmit Lyme disease to some pets. In dogs, symptoms of Lyme disease can include fever, decreased appetite, swollen and painful joints, lameness or limping, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes. In serious cases, pets with Lyme disease can develop kidney disease. I lost a good friend to this. “Buster”; he was a good old dog.

In addition to Lyme disease, ticks can also cause “tick paralysis” in pets. Tick paralysis occurs when a female tick attaches near a pet’s spinal cord, causing muscle weakness, loss of coordination and in some cases, death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become paralyzed. I sometimes roll around in my doggie bed and have nightmares about this happening to me or my brother.

Pets that spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in wooded areas or tall grasses, are more susceptible to ticks. However, other animals can carry ticks into yards, allowing pets to pick them up without ever leaving your property. Ticks can then hitch a ride on your pet and get in your home, where they can bite humans and other pets; except fish of course. Now that I think of it, when I have friends over to play in my backyard, I notice Mama Gina petting them with a keen eye.

Be sure to practice responsible pest management by adhering to a few simple rules:

  • After walks or playtime outside, inspect your pet thoroughly. Brush their coat to remove any debris or insects; be especially vigilant if your pet has been in wooded areas or high grasses, where pests thrive.
  • Bath dogs regularly, using a shampoo that kills pests. This dog likes a good bath!
  • If your pet has long hair, consider having them groomed in the spring and summer, when pests are most prevalent. Not only will this help to prevent insects from latching onto their long hair, it will help you spot any that do and also help your pet keep cool during the warmest time of the year.
  • If you notice a change in your animal’s behavior, such as a lack of appetite or decrease in energy, take them to your veterinarian ASAP. This could be a sign of Lyme disease or other health issue caused by pests.
  • Keep your lawn cut short and gardens well maintained to prevent breeding grounds for pests. Ticks often hide in tall grasses.
  • If you find a tick on your pet, remove it immediately, being careful to extract the head and mouthparts completely.
  • If you suspect your home is infested with ticks, contact a licensed pest professional.

I feel a song coming on, Who ya’ gonna’ call? Pestbusters!!  One more time, Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal!!

Look for next week’s edition; Love Your Pets? – So do Ticks and Fleas (Part #2)

Thank you for joining me this week. If you have any questions, give us a call, go to our website, or check us out on social media.

Until next time, this is Hunter, Loyal’s K-9 Termite Detective, asking, What’s Buggin’ You? Bark at you later. Ruff! Ruff!

Love Your Pets? – So do Ticks and Fleas (Part #1) in Virginia

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