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Ticks on Dogs Even in the Fall!

You Are Not Out of the Woods Yet

By: Dr. Liz Bales

Last Updated:


Are you worried about ticks on dogs? Do you live in an area with ticks? You are not out of the woods just yet. Most of us think of summertime as peak tick season, but ticks fall can be just as bad and your dog is at risk.

ticks on dogs

You have probably heard that ticks on dogs are the key source of Lyme disease for dogs. Ticks carry many diseases that can be dangerous and even deadly to your dog, including Ehrlichia, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Babesia.

An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. Avoiding tick-infested areas is the first step. Ticks can not jump or fly, so they rely on your dog brushing past them to hitch a ride. Ticks love to hang out in wooded brushy areas, tall grass, and in dry leaves and mulch. Pouncing in the leaf pile is great fun, and it is also a great place to pick up ticks. Instead of the leaf pile, rake up your leaves into bags to prevent your dog from taking that irresistible roll in the leaf pile. Ticks also love to wait around on tall grass for your dog to walk through, so keep your grass mowed, and your dog walking on paths, to reduce the chance of exposure.

When you return from walks, particularly in the woods or tall grass, be sure to do a thorough tick check. Most of the diseases transmitted by ticks require the tick to be attached to your dog for more than 24 hours, so if you can find and get rid of the ticks before then, you may prevent the disease. First, the tick will cling to your dog’s fur, then it will climb down to the skin, where it will attach and feed on your dog’s blood. As the tick feeds on your dog it will become larger and larger as it fills with blood.

To check your dog for ticks, use your fingers like a comb to feel down on your dog’s skin. Start at your dog’s head, and move down over your dog’s entire body, legs, and tail. Make sure to check inside your dog’s ears, under your dog’s collar and in between their toes. Ticks like to hide out in these hard to find areas.  

ticks and fleas dogs

If you find a tick attached to your dog, you will want to remove it as soon as possible. Get a friend to restrain your dog and keep him/her still while you are removing the tick. To keep your dog busy and entertained, try smearing peanut butter or squeeze cheese on a plate and let your dog focus on licking it off while you are working. Use a pair of tweezers to grab the head of the tick. Pull straight back with steady even pressure to remove all of the tick’s mouthparts from your dog. Put the tick in a jar with rubbing alcohol, in a sealed plastic bag or flush it down the toilet.

Keep your dog as protected as possible by using tick prevention. Ask your vet what is best for you and your dog. There are a lot of options to choose from, including collars, spot-on treatments, and sprays to keep your dog safe this autumn.

Wags and Purrs,
Dr. Liz Bales

The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine graduate, Dr. Liz Bales, has only ever wanted to be a veterinarian. She has such a passion for her job, that she says if she weren’t a vet, she would be studying to become one. She loves “helping pets and the people who love them be happy and healthy!  Helping people translate complicated medical information into practical tips on how to care for, and connect with their pets is the best part of her job” Not just a veterinarian, Dr. Bales shares her passion through writing, giving speeches, and appearing on shows such as Fox and Friends, ABC News, and Cheddar. She has even started her own company, Doc and Phoebe, and invented a revolutionary cat product—the Indoor Hunting Feeder.

Dr. Bales’ favorite quote reflects her love and compassion for animals: “When a human dies there is a bridge they must cross to enter into Heaven. At the head of the bridge waits every animal that human encountered during their lifetime. The animals, based on what they know of this person, decide which humans may cross the bridge…and which are turned away.” With this in mind, Dr. Bales tries to live every day by her grandfather’s advice: “These days are precious. Don’t waste them.”


Last Updated:

By: Dr. Liz Bales
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