Springtime weather in California is a nearly perfect time to get outdoors. It isn’t too hot yet, making it a great time to load your dog into the car and hit the wooded trails. Just like you pack your sunscreen and bug spray to protect yourself from the elements, you must also plan for your pet.
What is a tick?
A tick is a type of external parasite. They stay alive by feeding on the blood of mammals and some reptiles. Ticks can survive in temperatures above 45 degrees, making them a year-round problem in Northern California.
Where do they live?
Typically, ticks live in wooded areas with low vegetation grass and shrubs. It is fair to say your pet is likely to come in contact with a tick while enjoying a beautiful hike in the woods. However, you don’t need to go far from home for your pet to encounter tick territory. While they rarely live in suburban yards, if you have other wildlife visit your yard like squirrels, raccoons, and feral cats, it is entirely possible your pet picked it up in your own yard. If your pet spends any time at all outdoors, it is important to check your pet for ticks regularly. Since ticks are small and dark, they can be hard to find under your pet’s fur, so it’s important to look carefully using good light.
What is the big deal with ticks?
Ticks carry awful diseases that can make your pet rather sick, including Lyme disease, Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, and Tularemia. If you find a tick on your pet, carefully remove the tick and monitor your pet for illness. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our veterinarians if you have any questions at all regarding tick removal or illness in your pet.
How can I protect my pet?
Protecting your pet from tick-borne illnesses is pretty simple. You can start by making some changes in your yard, trimming down or eliminating long grasses and shrubs for ticks to hide in and around. We also recommend that every pet be on tick prevention medication to provide full-time protection. There are several medications available, so talk to our veterinarians about which one is right for your pet.
Ticks shouldn’t stop you from enjoying and exploring the great outdoors. While ticks are found in a variety of landscapes, we here at Sierra have solutions to keep your pet healthy. Schedule an appointment or call the office if you have any questions about tick prevention for your pet.