Is That A Tick? How To Protect Your Dog From Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a serious medical condition that can affect humans and dogs. If you've got dogs, and they spend time outside, you've got to take steps to protect them from this dreadful disease. Lyme disease is actually carried by ticks, which means whenever your dogs are exposed to ticks, it's potentially exposed to Lyme disease. You don't need to keep your dogs indoors 24/7, but you do need to take some special precautions to protect them from exposure. By protecting your dogs, you're also protecting yourself from the disease. Here are just a few of the methods you can use to prevent tick-borne Lyme disease:

Keep Your Lawn Mowed

If you thought your dogs needed to head out into the woods to be exposed to tick-borne Lyme disease, you were wrong. Your dogs can actually come in contact with ticks right in their own backyard. To keep ticks away, and reduce your dog's chances of contracting the disease, you should keep your lawn mowed. Once you've mowed the lawn, be sure to remove the clippings. The layer of thatch can provide the perfecting hiding place for ticks. You should also keep the area around the perimeter of your home clear of weeds and debris. If you have a woodpile, place it up off the ground, and a safe distance away from your home.

Clear the Trash Area

If you've got an outdoor trash area, you need to keep it as clean as possible. Rodents are attracted to trash cans. Unfortunately, rodents can carry the ticks that are carrying Lyme disease. Keep the rodents out of your yard, and you can keep the ticks out too. If you've seen signs of rodent activity in your yard, or home, you should contact a pest control professional.

Conduct Daily Tick Checks

If your dogs spend time outside, you should conduct daily tick checks. Checking for ticks on a daily basis will help you spot them quickly enough to prevent serious illness. When checking for ticks, pay close attention to areas such as behind the ears, under the neck, near the groin, and under the armpits. These are the cool, moist areas that ticks love to hide.

Get Your Dog Vaccinated

If you haven't had your dogs vaccinated against Lyme disease, you need to do that now. The Lyme vaccine will protect your dogs against the disease so that they can spend as much time outside as they'd like.