Summertime fun with your dog outdoors means checking them for ticks when they come inside your home. While many people rely on topical treatments, there are other options such as simple flea and tick comb, tick spoon to release the tick and even products that are natural and can release the tick from your pet (www.tick-sr.com).
Yes, there are ticks in Nassau County — maybe not as many as the East End of Long Island — but they are here. As a pet owner, make it a routine to check your pet each time he comes indoors, train them to sit still or lay down as you check him. Of course you can use treats and praise as you check him.
Ticks love to attach themselves in dogs’ ears — inside and out, in areas where your dog has little to no fur, between your dogs toes, folds of skin, and the inside upper of the dogs leg. (Think underarm.) If you do find a tick, don’t panic — you can use the tick spoon to scoop away the tick from your pets skin. Put the tick in a zip lock bag or between a piece of tape to discard or bring with you to the vet if you are unsure if your pet has contracted a tick-borne illness. If you find the tick engorged you can always bring your dog to the vet if you are unsure how to remove it — but also to have a quick Lyme disease blood test done on the dog to make sure he didn’t contract it.
Over the years, I have had ticks on both my dogs after a romp in the woods, beach or even the backyard. Because of being diligent in always checking my dogs daily, neither one of them ever contracted any tick-borne illness, and I never used a topical treatment. It is all about your lifestyle — if you don’t have time to check your pet daily for ticks, a topical treatment might be the right option for you and your pet. You should talk to your veterinarian about your options that are best for your pet and you should feel comfortable and confident in what you choose for your pet.
Nancy E. Hassel is the founder and president of Long Island Pet Professionals, LLC.