(Photo taken by Sven from Pixabay)
Cold weather and snow mean no ticks, right??? WRONG! The cold weather is upon us now and most pet owners discontinue flea and tick prevention in the cooler months. However, it is recommended that you continue the prevention on a year-round basis. The reason is ticks are active in cooler weather, especially the deer tick, which is the tick responsible for the transmission of Lyme disease. The tick will come out in temperatures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit to feed. There are also other diseases associated with ticks including Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis.
If you see a tick on your pet, you should remove it. Wear rubber gloves, use tweezers or a special tick removal tool and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Once the tick is removed clean the area with soap and water and peroxide. Get rid of the tick by placing it in alcohol or flushing it down the toilet. Don't try burning, suffocating or irritating the tick. Do not crush or twist the tick. That is a fast way to expose your pet to more pathogens and cause the mouthparts to break off.
In the end, using year-round tick prevention is the best way to deal with ticks. You should only purchase tick prevention at your pet's veterinarian. You should have your dog tested yearly for exposure to tick-borne diseases. Your veterinarian can provide this testing.