Death to Bloodsuckers (aka Ticks!)

No one thinks that ticks are cute, cuddly or desirable. Just the mere mention makes most people’s skin crawl. But ticks are much more than unpleasant to think about – they can be downright dangerous to your dog, not to mention to you and your family.

Ticks tend to live in tall grass and in wooded areas, especially areas that are cool and moist with thick undergrowth. They wait until a human or pet happens by and BAM! They crawl on for a ride – and a meal. They then commence what they do best – feasting on your blood.

Now ‘onboard’, they attach their mouthparts into the skin and start their blood meal. They feed for several hours to several days. During that time, direct contact with your bloodstream gives them the ability to spread a variety of scary diseases to both you and your pet. Those include Lyme Disease, Colorado Tick Fever, Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and a variety of other viruses and diseases caused by bacteria and protozoa.

How do you avoid the dangers ticks pose to you and your pet? Here are some quick pointers:

  • Check your dog once or twice a day for ticks, especially if you live in a wooded area. Run your hands all over your dog before he enters the house, and pay close attention to the ears, neck, skin folds and other crevices like between the toes and where the legs meet the body.
  • If you find any raised areas on the skin, part the hair to look closely. Use a flashlight if necessary. Ticks can be as small as the point of a pencil or as big as a dime when they are full of blood.
  • Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to ticks. Treating your pet with a topical squeeze-on product that prevents ticks, like SENTRY Fiproguard, is one excellent option. Fiproguard contains the same active ingredient as Frontline Top Spot, but costs much less. It’s available at pet specialty stores like PETCO and PetSmart. Other options include flea and tick collars, shampoos and sprays. When using any of these, always FOLLOW PACKAGE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY! These are very effective products, but must be used responsibly and according to directions.

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