This guest post is written by Jordan from the blog Natural Dog Owner. Read more about Jordan at the end of the post.
The leaves are starting to change, which makes it the perfect time of year to go camping. Hiking with your dog and enjoying the foliage is a fun time for the two of you. However, you need to make sure that you’re both protected while you’re exploring the wilderness.
Even though bugs are more prevalent in the summer, fleas and ticks are still around in the fall. (Side note, your dog should be on some form of flea and tick protection regardless of the season — your animal is susceptible to fleas and ticks just by exploring your backyard.)
Thankfully, there are many different options that you can choose to keep your dog tick-free whether you are on a camping trip or in your backyard.
Choosing your tick prevention medication
The best way to prevent fleas and ticks is through medication. There are oral medications, topical treatments, shampoos, and even flea collars.
We have found success with the Seresto flea collar that also protects against ticks and has two active pesticides that are safe for your dog. If you are considering a flea collar, make sure that it doesn’t have any harmful chemicals for your pup.
A flea collar is a great solution for someone that doesn’t want to administer medication, but a collar can be pulled off and generally only protects the face and neck of your dog. When placing a flea collar on your pup, make sure to monitor for any skin irritation for the first few days.
You can buy oral medication at a pet supply store or from your veterinarian. We recommend doing research on pills if you are going to buy them yourself or asking your veterinarian what fleas and ticks are in your area.
Some medication attacks immature fleas and ticks, others attack adult fleas and ticks, and there are those that repel fleas and ticks. Make sure to read the label closely in order to select the right product for you.
Medications listed as “broad spectrum” are effective against many different species with just one dose.
A topical treatment is one of the most popular ways to treat ticks, because they protect your pet for up to a month. You administer the medication by rubbing it on the back of your dog’s neck and that’s it!
You can buy these medications at pet supply stores, online, or at your vet’s office. Always make sure to ask your vet about any treatment that you buy before administering it to your animal.
My dog has ticks, now what?
Even with medication, it’s possible for your dog to come back to your campsite with ticks.
We recommend having a first aid kit handy that has materials to remove ticks. Your dog could potentially contract diseases from ticks like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Ehrlichiosis. So, you need to remove ticks from your dog as soon as possible.
Removing ticks from your dog:
Make sure that you remove ticks within 24-36 hours of the initial bite. When your dog comes back to the campsite, make sure that you go over all of their body. If you see your dog biting at a certain area, they could be showing you that they have a tick. So, make sure you monitor your pet after each hike or trip in a wooded area.
Ticks enjoy hanging out in warm places on your dog’s body. You should check eyelids, in between toes, the groin, around the tail, their ears, and near their bottom.
If you find a tick, separate the hair and use tweezers to get as close to the head of the tick as possible. Then pull upwards away from the skin.
After the tick is removed, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol, soap, and water. You can also use iodine. Wash your hands once you are done.
Kill the tick by flushing it down a toilet or drowning it in rubbing alcohol. If you’re concerned that your dog has contracted a disease you can save the tick for testing. Drop the tick in a sealed plastic bag and take it to your local vet.
Don’t worry if the head of your tick stays in your dog’s skin, it will fall out in a few days.
Last tick tips…
Ticks can easily crawl back to your campsite if you throw them off in the woods, so they need to be killed.
And, if your dog has come back to the campsite with ticks, you could have them too. Check your body and your bedding to make sure that no ticks are hiding out in your gear.
Meet The Guest Author
Jordan is the founder of Natural Dog Owner, a website dedicated to eliminating the headache that comes with developing a healthy and loving relationship between you and your dog. His main goal is to help give your four-legged family member the best quality of life imaginable. When he’s not in front of a computer he loves to spend time outdoors with his Goldendoodle, Carl, sharing stories and interacting with other dog lovers.