How To Protect Your Dog From Ticks and Fleas | It’s A Must

Thank God we are finally done with winter here in Saskatchewan.  Everyone knows that certain parts of Canada can have some crazy winter weather.  By the time March and April roll around we are all ready for the spring to happen.  With every changing season, dogs owners face a different challenge.  For example in winter, dog owners deal with keeping their pet’s warm.  In spring and summer, it’s how to protect your dog from ticks and fleas!

dog scarf snow

If your are a dog owner it’s the dreaded season of ticks and fleas that everyone hates.

We all know that it is vital for our dog’s health to ensure that we do our very best to eliminate these dreaded issues. Not to mention, nobody wants an infestation of fleas in their home. The decision is just as important for us, as for our dogs.

There are many ways that dog owners can try to tackle this issue.  All the options offer a completely different solution, that will be unique to everyone.

dog walk

To medicate or not

There are lots of reasons to medicate your pet against fleas and ticks, but it isn’t for everyone. With most vet and store bought repellents (which is what we call them)  rely on harmful chemicals to either kill the eggs or the adults themselves.

These chemicals, can be harmful to you, to your children, and the other pets in your home. For this reason, some people refuse to use this type of medication and rely on making other decisions.

An outbreak of fleas, can be a real big hassle to deal with. The rate that the lay their eggs and reproduce, can quickly cause an outbreak of fleas in your home.

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If your dog has every had fleas, your understand what a difficult and overwhelming problem they are to get rid off.  A lot of work goes into cleaning everything over and over again just to ensure you’ve got them all.

On the tick side of things, they may not cause as big of a clean up issue, but depending on where your live, a certain percentage of ticks carry lime disease, which your dog and you can get.

The tick clings on with its mouth parts to your pet to pierce the skin to get to the blood. This action is what can cause our dogs to get lime disease, because it gets into their blood stream.

For every dog owner, the decision is a very personal choice. There are negative and positive reasons for both.

Choices

There many over the counter chemical style repellents that your can choose from. You can purchase these choices in different forms.  Some of these options are:

Now if your decide not to use these type of repellents, there are other choices your can make.

You could opt to go down the non-chemical route of prevention. There are many options now that you can choose from. Some of the choices are:

These are just some options to choose from. Doing your own personal research, will help your make the decision that’s right for your dog.

Parents

There are things that us, as parents, can do to help prevent our dogs from getting ticks and fleas.

For example: In your own backyard, if you have an unmanicured and overgrown yard, this can contribute to a breeding ground for ticks and fleas.

Avoiding walking your dog down by the river, or letting them run through any long grass. Ticks especially love the long grass. Your dog could come out covered in ticks.

Some other spots, that your can try to avoid are : Bushes, or trees around campgrounds or hikes.

If your are going to take your dog to some of these spots, just be aware that your will likely be picking ticks off your dog. Fleas on the other hand are harder to see,  and you may not seem them right away.  Unfortunately they could still be there. It can take awhile.

dog blond hair

What do you do

When you do find a tick on your dog, what do your do?

Personally anytime I am taking my dogs around one of these danger areas where they are most likely to find fleas and ticks, I always have a tick twister with me.

In my own personal experience, taking a tick off of your dog, is easiest with the tick twister.  Years ago we tried some well-known home remedies, like Vaseline, tweezers, or nail polish type chemicals.  Using any of these methods, more times than not, would leave part of the tick behind.  Removing the entire tick is very important.  Pulling at the tick and not getting all of it, can cause problems.

How to protect your dog from ticks and fleas Scree

The tick twister slides under the tick and allows you to twist the tick twister, pulling the tick off in its entirety. 

Tick twisters come in a few different sizes.  We always keep at least 2 with us at all times.  One of the small ones actually hooked onto our car keys, so that way we would always have one with us,.

For the larger ticks, we purchased one a bit bigger that we would keep with us in the glove box of the vehicle. Most of the time we would be using the vehicle to get the dogs from a to b, so it is always handy.

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Your decision

Deciding what type of tick and flea prevention your are going to choose, can sometimes depend on your dog.

The first few years we had our Cockapoo Boo, we did purchase a repellent type ointment/cream from the vet that we rubbed on the back of his neck and back area.  It was kind of greasy substance and the vet said to ensure that your wash your hands after applying it.

This made me think, if it’s not OK for my hands, then how can it be OK for Boo?

Not to mention at the time, we had 2 cats and the vet said to make sure that Boo didn’t rub up against the cat and transfer any of the repellent onto one of them. She said it isn’t good for the other animals.

puppy grass

We did all the things she said and the product did work and Boo was safe from ticks and fleas.  A few years later, when the season arose to treat Boo again, we used a similar type product.  This time however, he twitched weirdly for 2 or 3 days after we applied it. This was difficult and scary to watch. The vet said that some dogs do have this type of side effect from the treatment.

From that moment on we never treated our dogs with any type of chemical repellent again.  This was just a choice for us, that made sense. The thought of applying or giving our dog a chemical, just wasn’t something we were willing to do anymore.  I guess it was an out of sight outta mind thing.  When we saw how Boo reacted it struck a cord with us, and we couldn’t go back.

How to protect your dog from fleas and ticks, is a decision each dog owner makes on their own. There is no right or wrong answer.

dog water scene

Talk to your vet about all your options, and as always do your own research.  Get all the information for yourself, so that your can make the best informed decision that will suit your family.

Spring and summer are such a fun time of year.  Nobody wants to deal with an infestation of fleas, or be picking ticks off their dog.

Do your part and hopefully this won’t be something your will have to deal with.

I hope this post has been helpful for your. If you would like to comment of share your story, please comment below.

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14 thoughts on “How To Protect Your Dog From Ticks and Fleas | It’s A Must”

  1. I have two dogs and this is really important stuff here. I love shampooing my dog I think that is safest, my opinion though. I always clean my backyard so they can have a clean environment to play with my younger ones. Anyways thank you for the tip about not letting them run along long grass. this is super helpful.

    Reply
    • Hi Lerakinz,

      Thank you for reading my post. I am glad you could find some helpful information here.

      If your dogs are good with the shampooing, you are way ahead already. I have not had as much luck with my dogs as you, so that isn’t a great option for me. Glad that it is working for you.

      It is so true what works for one dog owner may not work for the next. Every dog and owner is different.

      Best of luck and thanks again.

      Coralie 

      Reply
  2. I learned about the tick twister the hard way.  I went hiking one day, and the next morning when I took my shower, there was this black dot on my leg.  I thought maybe I had cut myself and it was a scab, so I tried to pick it.  I tried and tried, and then I asked my husband to look at it, and he said it was a tick.  I almost died.  He said, “I’ll get tweezers” but when he tried to pull it out, it broke apart (the worst thing that can happen).  Then when I told my sister about it later, she freaked out.  She said that the lyme disease is housed in the tick’s intestines and if you break them, the disease spills into your blood.  She sent me to the doctor for antibiotics.  My doctor is the one who told me about the tick twister.  He said it gets the ticks out without breaking them or causing them to regurgitate inside you.

    Reply
    • Hi Babsie,

      Wow thank you for sharing your story about you getting a tick. I have also had a tick on my arm and it is horrifying, they are so gross ticks. I absolutely hate them. Even when you get the tick off, you still feel creepy for awhile.

      The one thing I was told by the doctor about when a human gets a tick. Apparently the way you can tell if you may have to worry about lime disease is if a bulls eye red ring on your skin is left behind. Just something to think about.

      As your read in the article I too have tried tweezers on more than one occasion and you are right, they just don’t work. Thank god for the tick twister.

      Thanks again for sharing.

      Coralie

      Reply
  3. Hello, I really appreciate your time and effort on writing these tips on protecting dogs against ticks and fleas.

    I live in a warm area and it’s a problem all year round. My dog runs around outside all the time and especially love to roll on tall grassy areas, I don’t want to stop him from having fun but at the same time clean up is a big chore.

    I’m definitely in favor of the non-chemical solutions, essential oils sound interesting and I may use that. I’m just wondering how effective these types of natural remedies are versus chemical ones though? I’m not against chemical solutions completely, as long as they’re not overly harmful then it’s fine in my opinion. Thanks for the article.

    Reply
    • Hello and thank you for reading my post. Living in a warm climate like you do, would be a huge chore to have to deal with.

      I agree with you about not stopping them from having fun. We get to see them out there enjoying the outdoors, and I guess as parents, we just want them to be kids. HAHA

      The non chemical solutions do work, but it does depend on each dog differently. As we know all dogs don’t respond the same. Unfortunately it is a trial and error scenario.

      Thanks for sharing your story with me. It always so nice to hear dog owners all go through the same dilemmas.

      Coralie

      Reply
  4. Thanks a bunch, Coralie for this awesome information. I am always looking to protect my dog from ticks and fleas since I had my share of experience with fleas and ticks. We have a Yorkie and she is about 5 lbs. There was this time that I was so intense about removing ticks that I accidentally pulled on one of her nipples. 🙂 She was fine after all that and the next time I’ll use one of your recommendations with the tick twister. Totally using that one!

    Great article and thanks again.

    Reply
    • Hi Eddie,

      Thank you so much for telling your story.

      When I first found out about the tick twister, I was utterly amazed I hadn’t heard about it before. It really is the best solution for removing ticks from your dogs, big or small.

      Yorkie’s are so darn cute, give her plenty of kisses and hugs. Dogs are so precious.

      Thanks again

      Coralie

      Reply
  5. Very informative post. I don’t have my own dog but me and my wife are often taking care of the dog of my brother-in-law. These tips will be very useful, thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Jonas,
      Thank you for reading my post. I agree with that this information can also be used in a way to help even dog sitters who may not have a dog of their own.
      We always want to take the best of all dogs whether they are ours or not.
      Thanks so much.
      Coralie

      Reply
  6. This is a great post. Here in Toronto ticks have become a huge problem. Last year I had to pull several off my cousin’s dog. In one spot there were three ticks biting into the poor guy’s neck. Luckily they had a tick twister so we were able to act quick.

    Ever since we have been extra careful with our own dog. We always trim her fur down in the summer and keep it short. Whenever we take her outside even for a walk we check her for ticks. We do a very thorough check when we go for long walks or hike with her and we always keep a tick twister handy.

    It’s scary to think about the damages an infected tick can do. But with proper knowledge and tools, you can act fast if you spot a tick on your best bud.

    Reply
    • Hi Ben,
      Thank you for sharing your great stories. I lived in Ontario for 7 years and left a few years ago. Once I moved there I couldn’t believe how bad the ticks are there. My vet there told me that some areas 50% of ticks are carrying lime disease.
      I then moved back to SK and pretty much realized that ticks are just as bad here as there. They have just gotten so bad everywhere now we really have to be vigilant with our searches.
      We do the same thing with our dogs in the summer too, keeping their hair short. It certainly does help.
      Thanks again for sharing your story.
      Coralie

      Reply
  7. What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for about protecting dogs from ticks and when I landed to your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for how to protect dogs from ticks and fleas.
    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to read your new posts.)

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Ali,
      Thank you so much for the wonderful comments. I so glad that you found my post engaging and relevant.
      My goal has always been to try to help people with the things that dog owners face with their dogs.
      I will continue to focus on issues that people need more information on.
      Thank you again for the wonderful comment. Keep coming back and I hope to make sure I provide information that people can use in their everyday life of owning a dog.
      Thank you
      Coralie

      Reply

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