It has been raining non-stop in Rio Blanco County or so it seems to the residents. It has been a very wet summer so far and with that comes the ticks. These nasty little bugs are running rampant in the county right now and can be harmful to the health of both humans and pets. Dogs are at a great risk for this if they spend a lot of time outside.
Although there isn’t much you can do as a pet owner to get rid of the ticks around, you can do a few things for your dogs to help reduce the number of ticks that can get on your pet. Some may cost a bit of time and money but are well worth it to keep your pets happy and healthy.
- Bathing: Unlike cats, dogs cannot completely clean themselves simply with their tongues and therefore they require bathing. How often you bath your dog is up to you and can depend on a number of factors. These factors include whether the pet is an indoor or outdoor pet or both, whether they go places where they get especially dirty, and your personal preference. If your dog is an indoor only dog it will not get as dirty and may not require bathing as often as a dog that goes both indoors and outdoors. Even strictly outdoor dogs need bathed periodically to help protect against ticks and disease. You can either bath your dog yourself or you can have them professionally groomed. If you bath them on your own look for a shampoo that has tick protection in it. There is a Petco in Glenwood Springs, both a PetSmart and a Petco in Grand Junction, and many private groomers in Vernal, Grand Junction, Craig, Rifle and Glenwood Springs.
- Tick Collars: There are special collars that you can put on your dogs that help repel ticks. These are put on along with your regular collar and typically last about 3 months before you would need to buy a new one. In Meeker and Rangely you would probably want to protect them for about 6 months out of the year so two collars a year should do. In the winter it is too cold for the ticks to survive. The collars are sold based on the weight of your dog so make sure you choose one that is right for your pet.
- Tick Drops: Some owners prefer the drops to the collar. These are especially helpful for animals that easily get a collar off. The drops work in a similar way to the collar and are also usually good for three months. These are based on the weight of the dog as well. Both the collars and the drops can be found at pet supply stores.
- Brushing: The more often you brush your dog the less likely a tick will have a chance to get embedded. If you brush your pet frequently they will become used to it and not fight it.
Whatever method or combination of methods you choose to protect your pet from ticks, it is certain your pet will love you for it. They will be so much healthier and happier and you will have the peace of mind of knowing you are taking care of them and helping to ensure a healthy life.