Tick season with your dog: How to protect your four-legged friend
Not only humans and dogs are happy about the first warm temperatures of the year, but also ticks feel right at home. Whether in the forest, in grasses or bushes: they linger everywhere where the four-legged friend is most attracted during an extensive walk. Not every tick bite is dangerous, but caution is advised! Some ticks transmit serious diseases. We explain how you can protect Bello, Luna and Co.
Tick season: Spring is the time when it really gets going
"Spring and summer are tick season!" - is the thinking of many. But unfortunately it is not that easy. When the thermometer climbs above ten degrees Celsius, ticks become active. Depending on the weather, this can also be the case in December or January. Strictly speaking, there is no tick season, only tick temperatures. However, the months from April to September are particularly predestined. This is when the tick weather is usually pleasant. You should be especially careful and protect your dog during this time.
Tick repellent: chemical or natural
Chewable tablets, spot-ons, collars, amber necklaces or natural helpers? When choosing a tick repellent, dog owners are faced with a difficult decision. Many manufacturers rely on chemical ingredients in the composition of the products. However, these often have undesirable side effects. Especially if you have a sensitive dog, natural protection can make sense.
Natural tick remedies for your dog
Many home remedies have proven their worth as protection against ticks for generations. Most natural remedies rely on an odour that is unpleasant to the tick and keeps the nasty critters away. However, special care must be taken when using some remedies. Even with natural remedies, the wrong dosage can be harmful. The best-known home remedies are black cumin oil, coconut oil, cistus, brewer's yeast and garlic.
Black cumin oil
Black cumin oil is an essential oil with high potency. It is used in many ways for humans and animals - and has been since ancient times. The dog takes it pure or already pre-dosed in powders or snacks. Since an exact dosage of the oil is very important, pre-dosed solutions are recommended. Once eaten, dogs give off an odour that is unpleasant to ticks. And who likes to attach themselves to something that doesn't smell good? Exactly. Our Zec ProTec powder contains black cumin oil and can be dosed according to the dog's body weight.
High-quality coconut oil contains some lauric acid, which also has a deterrent effect on ticks. However, the effect is short-lived and must be repeated daily. Coconut oil is very popular with many dog owners because it is considered to be particularly harmless and well tolerated. It is applied externally. You can spray it on the coat or spread it in your hands and massage it in gently.
Cistus is sometimes less well known in tick repellent, but that will soon change. After all, there is a lot of power in this pretty-looking flowering plant. It not only has a repellent effect on ticks, but is also antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. It is best dosed in the form of capsules or powder.
Brewer's yeast is a waste product of beer production. However, it is far too good for the rubbish, because it is an excellent tick repellent. Brewer's yeast contains vitamin B, which is not well tolerated by ticks. Since brewer's yeast tastes great to most dogs, it's great to feed.
Garlic is also used as a natural home remedy against ticks. However, great caution must be exercised here. Garlic is harmful and even poisonous to dogs when overdosed. So before you decide to use this home remedy, you should talk to your vet.
Are tick bites dangerous?
Not every tick bite is dangerous, but you should not underestimate the danger. It is estimated that one third of domestic ticks can transmit the pathogen that causes Lyme disease. This infectious disease can even be fatal if left untreated or detected too late. If the first symptoms of the disease appear after a bite, such as fatigue or a red ring around the bite, the trip to the vet is obligatory. In addition to Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis and TBE can be transmitted by ticks.
Tick infestation: How to search your dog
After an extensive walk, dogs should always be thoroughly checked for ticks or tick bites. In the best case, the ticks can then be removed even before the bite. Ticks love warm parts of the body such as the ears, neck or the transition from the front legs to the chest and hind legs to the belly. The little creatures also like to bite between the toes and on or in the mouth. When examining your dog, you should always be thorough so that you can actually find hidden ticks.
Tick removal made easy
Once you have discovered a tick, you should remove it quickly. Do not panic, but stay as calm as possible. Suitable tools for removal are a clean pair of tick forceps or a tick hook. Push the fur around the bite area to the side. With long-haired dogs, it may be necessary to trim the surrounding hair. Now you can remove the tick slowly and carefully. Avoid jerky movements or twisting. Additional tip: Do not flush the tick down the toilet or drown it in the sink afterwards - the fighting spirits will survive this. The best way to kill it is with fire or by deliberately cutting off the head.