Ticks at the dog? How to protect your dog
In spring, when the temperatures are slowing but certainly getting warmer, it is important that you know how to protect your dog from ticks and what immediate action you should take in the event of a tick bite.
We'll explain everything you need to know about the subject in this blog article.
Interesting facts about ticks
Ticks are a subspecies of mites and their meals consist of the blood they suck from their host animals. During a meal, depending on the exact type of tick, they absorb up to a hundred times their own body weight. In some species, the sucking process does not even last an hour, but can last for weeks.
These ticks bite dogs
Of the approximately 900 different species known worldwide, only a small proportion prefer dogs as hosts. In the case of a tick bite in your four-legged friend, the hedgehog tick, the alluvial forest tick or the sheep tick are usually responsible. In the south of Europe also the brown dog tick is widespread.
Caution is advised at these places
Ticks like it neither dry nor sunny, but usually look for moist places in the shade. Some species actively search for potential hosts, while others patiently wait for the next victim on trees, in the grass or in bushes.
When is tick time?
Usually ticks from March to October are particularly active. However, even in very mild winters you should keep in mind that at least some of the small parasites may be looking for a host.
Ticks transmit diseases
As already mentioned, a tick bite is completely harmless for your dog. The amount of blood that the small parasites absorb is very small.
What makes ticks so dangerous for dogs (as well as for humans) are various pathogens they can carry. During the sucking process these pathogens can get into the organism of your four-legged friend and infect him with the appropriate disease.
This does not happen with every bite, but you should take this risk seriously, especially as some of the diseases that can be transmitted to your dog via ticks are even life-threatening.
Ticks can infect dogs with these diseases, for example:
Lyme disease goes through various stages. Nonspecific symptoms make it difficult to detect an infection with Lyme disease in dogs. If left untreated, the disease can lead to heart and kidney problems and paralysis.
Babesiosis attacks the dog's red blood cells and leads to anaemia. Without immediate treatment, this infectious disease ends after only a few days with the death of your four-legged friend. In most cases the Auwaldzecke is the carrier of babesiosis.
FSME is an infectious disease that can be symptom-free in dogs, but can also manifest itself in the form of flu-like symptoms and fever. Frequently, the meninges and the brain of the four-legged friend are also affected in FSME or even a meningitis occurs.
Ehrlichiose is mainly in the Mediterranean a bigger problem, since their carrier in the first line is the there resident brown dog tick. The disease first expresses itself through symptoms such as nosebleeds, fever and breathing problems before it subsides again. However, after a long period of months or even years, it can recur and cause edema, joint disease and bleeding.
Anaplasmosis can cause fever, swollen, inflamed joints and paralysis in your four-legged friend. In addition, it can come to exhaustion, loss of appetite and anemia. Other symptoms of anaplasmosis include muscle hardening, central nervous system problems and an enlarged liver or spleen.
Tick infestation: you should follow these two rules
As you can see, tick bites in dogs are a serious matter. In order to avoid infection with dangerous diseases, you should therefore prevent them as far as possible or at least remove the parasites immediately.
Rule number 1: Tick control after a walk
It usually takes a moment for the tick to find a job for its bite. If you search your dog thoroughly every time you go for a walk, it is very likely that you will be able to remove any tick tick whites from his coat.
Rule number 2: Remove ticks after biting completely
Depending on the illness, it can take hours or even a whole day before the pathogens enter your dog's organism. If your coat nose has already been bitten by a tick, you should remove it with tick forceps. It is important that you also remove the head.
Tick repellent for dogs
In order to protect your dog from ticks right from the start, you have the option of using a special tick repellent for dogs. Here you can choose between spot-ons or tick collars.
However, these products offer effective tick protection for your dog, but at the same time pose a great risk to his health.
Insecticides not only kill parasites, but can also cause paralysis and coordination problems in your dog's body. In the long run, the concentration of toxins in your dog's organism will continue to rise, so that eventually even kidney and liver damage and cancer can develop.
In this context, you should also bear in mind that the health risks are not limited to your four-legged friend. People can also get sick from the ingredients in tick repellents for dogs.
Especially if you have smaller children, you should carefully consider the use of such a product for tick protection. You may come to the conclusion that the risks clearly exceed the possible benefits and would therefore prefer to rely on safer alternatives.
Bellfor tick protection for dogs: natural and free of side effects
Fortunately, there is an alternative with which you can protect your four-legged friend just as effectively against tick bites, without exposing his health to unnecessary risks.
With Bellfor ZEComplete, we have developed tick repellents that contain only natural active ingredients. Thanks to the use of insect fat and other ingredients, such as coconut and black cumin oil, our tick repellent has a particularly high content of lauric acid.
The application of Bellfor ZEComplete changes the smell of your coat nose so that it repels ticks. By the way, this effect of lauric acid has already been proven in studies (1).
With our ZEComplete Spray you as a dog owner have the possibility to protect your dog reliably against tick bites and at the same time (in contrast to conventional tick products) do not take any risks with regard to his health.
Ticks in dogs: the most important thing at a glance
Ticks are not something you should take lightly, even with dogs. Especially if you are frequently in the woods with your four-legged friend and on meadows with high grass on the way, you should keep in mind the risk of tick bites and the transmitted diseases.
We recommend that you scan your noses for ticks during the warmer months of the year after each walk and remove them immediately.
If you want to use a tick repellent for dogs as well, we advise you not to use conventional preparations containing pesticides and other harmful substances. Instead, use Bellfor ZEComplete, which you can apply as a spray to your dog's skin and also serve him as a tasty treat in the form of ZEComplete biscuits.