3 Ways to find ticks AFTER your dog hike? I'll get to that in a sec.
A couple of things before we get to the 3 Ways to Find Ticks...
One: You don't have to wait until the hike is done.
Keep looking at your dog's legs, snout, etc. DURING the hike or walk also--and of course your own body. Take advantage of any sunlight on your path that can make spotting them much easier. I can't tell you how many ticks I've stopped "in the act" while still out on the trails and streets!
Two: I've added a Bonus Guide in addition to this post:
BONUS MATERIAL: As a pro dog walker and owner of a large dog care company for several years, I've learned so much and I enjoy sharing this knowledge. So, in addition to this blog post, I'm introducing yet another free resource for you after you're done reading.
Basically, within this this post, I've provided the chance for you to access a Free, MUST-SEE and even more power-packed collection of OVERALL advice in the form of a FREE online guide. It helps you deal with the issue of ticks, while still being able to enjoy the outdoors with your dog. This complementary guide is called: "FREE 5-Step System: Don't let Ticks Prevent Your Dog from Enjoying the Outdoors!"
INSTANT ACCESS: 5-Step System: Don't Let Ticks Prevent Your Dog from Enjoying the Outdoors!
Yes...Your dog CAN still enjoy the outdoors with moderation. Feel less guilty by wondering if your dog is happy, and help reduce the chance for disease from ticks, by following my 5-Step System! From learning about various treatments, to finding great ways to check for ticks that you may not have thought of yet! Download it today! You'll get my views as a longtime dog care business owner...I can't wait to share! CHECK OUT THIS QUICK VIDEO THAT EXPLAINS IT:
...But lets' get back to the 3 Ways to Find Ticks after Your Dog Hike.
AT A GLANCE...THE 3 WAYS:
bEFORE GETTING IN THE CAR
The light colored clothing you put on before the outing, will let you spot them on yourself when you're done with the hike--before you get in your car. I know. You're not a dog. But you still are part of the equation--an important one--so I listed this one first. Ticks can go from you, to your car seat or couch, to your dog in seconds.
THE LIGHT (AT THE END) OF THE TUNNEL
Use what's already there to help spot ticks at the end of your hike, before you get in the car or begin to walk home. The sun! And if it's not shining, you can use a powerful but simple tool that you'll be keeping in your car or on your counter for when you head out....more on this further down.
LIGHT SHEET TO "WRAP" THINGS UP
Always have a light colored or white sheet in your car or stored near your couch at home...or near your dog's bed. Give your dog a quick comb after the outing while on this sheet. Takes seconds!
Obviously, there are many more ways to reduce the chance that you dog gets ticks. But let's start with these three!
Disclaimer: If you head out, no matter the circumstance, ticks are an issue. My own experiences portrayed in this post are NOT a guarantee that you will avoid ticks. The aim of this post is to REDUCE the chance of getting ticks, and to give you some ideas to think about. Please talk to your vet about the dangers of ticks.
1. BEFORE GETTING IN THE CAR: CHECK YOUR LIGHT CLOTHING
Of course you need to make sure you keep ticks off of your dog. But...
Since you're the one who ultimately decides to take your dog on outings, you shouldn't resent the process due to frustrations that you may experience.
Think about it. If ticks are embedding themselves into your own skin each time you take your dog out for a walk or hike, guess what? You ain't bringing your dog out onto the trails or paths anymore...and even routine outings in the yard can become stressful.
So take some simple, common-sense steps.
First, check the light clothing you wore to the hike, when you're done. If the pants became un-tucked from your socks, make sure you scan as much of your legs as you can (the skin) at the end of the outing as you can. You'll give the more comprehensive body check at home, in front of a mirror. But that is neither effective, nor appropriate, in public!
And if it's a colder time of year, and you use a doggie jacket, pick a light colored one. When you check it after the hike, hopefully ticks will show up more clearly.
2. LET THERE BE LIGHT...SUNLIGHT AND FLASHLIGHT
As shown in the video below when I finished my hike and before getting in the car, the sun can be an awesome tool to spot ticks.
At the end of your hike, be sure to find a sunny spot to do a "tick check". And certainly, be sure to conduct this visual scan during the outing as well.
And if it's not sunny at the time, be sure to use this simple tool you can carry in your pocket, your pack and/or keep in your car...
This magnifying glass with a built-in LED light is a great resource. And a small flashlight (without a magnifying glass will work as well). And certainly check out lights that can attach to your keychain.
This type of magnifying glass with built-in LED light, is great for giving your dog a "once over" after a walk or hike. Full disclosure: I have not used this brand, nor do I endorse it. Just using it as an example. You can find this, and many others like it, on sites like Amazon and other online marketplaces, with a key word search "magnifying glass with light", or similar phrases.
Also, be sure to have a light-colored sheet or blanket on your car seats. You can run the comb shown below through your dog's coat, and give a visual scan, while your pooch is on the sheet...in case any ticks drop off from your once-over with the comb. They show up way better than if done on the darker car seat fabric.
More on the sheet/blanket below also...in terms of when you're home.
INSTANT ACCESS: 5-Step System: Don't Let Ticks Prevent Your Dog from Enjoying the Outdoors!
Yes...Your dog CAN still enjoy the outdoors with moderation. Feel less guilty by wondering if your dog is happy, and help reduce the chance for disease from ticks, by following my 5-Step System! From learning about various treatments, to finding great ways to check for ticks that you may not have thought of yet! Download it for today! You'll get my views as a longtime dog care business owner...I can't wait to share! CHECK OUT THIS QUICK VIDEO THAT EXPLAINS IT:
3. WHEN YOU GET HOME: MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL; SHEETS AND COMBS...
Even when you get home, let's stay on the theme of white and light.
If your dog hangs out on a doggie bed, lays on rug or on the couch, just put a white sheet down on these or any other areas she would lay after a long walk--before she slides down to relax.
And when you change your clothes, or even if you're keeping those light clothes on, simply stand in front of a mirror (like those long ones that get tacked up behind the bedroom door) and give yourself a once-over...with and without clothes on.
You can even hold a handheld mirror at the same time to see your backside better! And you can use this under you dog's belly and hind areas too.
Remember, ticks get under those clothes and also under our skin...literally! So you've got to do a thorough check.
Comb versus Brush
At any of these points listed above, give your pup a stylin' comb job!
I prefer a comb, versus a brush, because the teeth can usually go deeper, and it's more effective to pull ticks out, versus possibly tamping them down into the coat more with a brush. Grooming combs often have two different degrees of space between the tines--one style on each half. But many types of combs will do.
Closer teeth/tines can actually keep your dog more safe from Lyme disease. Why?
...Because the "nymph" ticks (immature) are very small and harder to spot than the larger adult ticks. Hence, they are considered sometimes a more dangerous risk to transmit Lyme disease because of this.
Do the 3 steps in this article seem like a lot of effort just to take your dog on a trail? If you really think about it, it's not that bad.
You're taking time to do all of these other things: Driving or walking to the venue. Walking/hiking for 30, 45, 60 or more minutes while you're there. Up hills. Over roots and rocks. Picking up poop. You get the picture.
So how much more effort does it take to simply put on light pants instead of dark ones? Or to look at your dog in the sun? Or run a comb through their coat quickly or pass a magnifying glass over them quickly?
Ok, Nice tips Brian. But isn't treatment, for example, an important aspect I should be concerned about also--to help prevent lime disease?
Of course. This blog post is just part of the overall picture. Didn't want to write too much and have you get bored!
So I've included other very important issues, such as treatment info, in my 5-Step System...which uses a much more favorable format for consuming a lot of information, versus scrolling through one long blog post.
ACTION STEPS...Now that you know:
...And of course, consult your vet about the best options for treatment, even including tick collars, as well as other prevention and treatment advice!
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