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Four ways to protect your dog from tick bites

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Keeping your dog tick-free involves vigilance and year-round protection. Learn how to protect your dog against ticks in four steps.
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Yellow Labrador standing in field of high grass

1. Choose a tick treatment for your dog 

The most important step in the fight against ticks is prevention. Apply an effective tick prevention product all year round. Use a product such as the Seresto® collar or Advantix®, which repel ticks and kill ticks without the need for a blood meal, and help to prevent tick-borne diseases such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis.

Learn more about the pros and cons of each product type:

Seresto flea and tick collar for dogs

Pros:

  • Remains effective for several months
  • Weatherproof and water-resistant^
  • Doesn't require ticks to bite your pet to be killed
  • Also protects against fleas

Cons:

  • Some dogs aren't used to wearing collars, so make sure it is fitted correctly and check it daily for the first few weeks for any signs of discomfort

Tablet/chew

Pros:

  • Quick and easy to administer
  • Little opportunity for owner error, however the dog might vomit it up after treatment 

Cons:

  • Requires ticks to bite the host for the tick to be killed
  • Owners must remember to administer tablets regularly, and check that their dog has not vomited it up

Spray

Pros:

  • Works quickly

Cons:

  • Must be applied to the entire animal, wetting the coat
  • Application may be tedious and time consuming, and has a higher likelihood of owner error

Spot-on treatment

Pros:

  • Advantix doesn't require fleas or ticks to first bite your pet to be killed
  • Works quickly
  • Easy to apply for most dogs and pet parents 

Cons:

  • Always check the label of the product you are using - most spot-on treatments (except Advantix) do require fleas and ticks to bite your pet to be killed
  • Owners must remember to administer
  • Some pet parents find spot-on treatments messy to apply 

Whichever tick treatment you choose, it’s important to discuss with your vet if it needs to be used all year round in your area, to keep your dog protected in the long term.

2. Regularly check your dog for ticks 

Any dog, especially one that has a tendency to roam through tall grass or heavy bush, should be checked periodically for ticks, focusing on the neck (especially under collars), head, ears, feet and between the toes. Check out our complete guide for identifying and finding ticks on your pet.  

Keep in mind that tick bites are hard to detect once the tick has fallen off your dog after feeding. Often these bites don’t itch, so unless you see the tick or your dog starts to show signs of paralysis tick toxicity, you probably won’t know your dog has been bitten. Checking for ticks daily, especially in paralysis tick areas, will increase the chances of you finding a tick while it’s still on your dog. 

3. Know where ticks like to hide 

The location of ticks depends on the species of tick. Brown dog ticks feed on the same dog at each stage of their lifecycle (larvae, nymphs and adults) and are therefore often found in the dog’s kennel, bedding or garden. They can also survive inside your home. The natural hosts of paralysis ticks are native animals, including possums, bandicoots and kangaroos. Long grasses, bushland and rainforests provide the perfect environment for these ticks. Town parks, residential gardens, dog parks and kennels are not immune. 

4. Treat your garden for ticks 

Look for places in your backyard that may be harbouring ticks. Overgrown bushes and patches of tall grass can be tick hotspots, so tidy them up by mowing, weeding or trimming. If you are noticing a significant infestation, outdoor garden treatments for ticks can also help - make sure you follow the label for application and how long to keep your dog and family away after application. 

^See product label for details

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