Spiders, mosquitoes, roaches-it’s summertime and the bugs are out in full force! There’s one bug that’s a particular nuisance to your pet.

The tick.

They’re seriously gross, with their blood-sucking grip and disease-carrying little bodies. They live in tall grassy and wooded areas, just waiting for you or your pet to walk by. Luckily, ticks can’t jump or fly, which greatly reduces the chances you’ll pick one up. However, they’re a smart bug, knowing the most used paths to stalk. No one should have to suffer from pests like these, especially if there are ways to get rid of them. Considering they can transmit Lyme disease, it is always best to be safe than sorry. So it then comes as no surprise to find that some people may decide to get a lyme disease test kit to see if there are any potential issues to their health.

When you can’t stop your pooch or kitty from exploring the wild, be observant. Search daily for ticks on the fur. Don’t freak out if you find one! Just remove it quickly.

Here’s how, per the CDC:

  1. Grab some tweezers and gloves, then grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward. Be steady. It’s all about removing the head, not just the body. (I know, gross!) Don’t twist or jerk the tick, and don’t squeeze the body. If the head gets left behind, try a warm compress to the area and use disinfectant. Per the ASPCA, using tweezers to go back in after the mouth parts could cause infection.
  3. After removing the tick, head and all, clean the bite area (soap, water, rubbing alcohol). Wash your hands thoroughly, too.
  4. Kill it. The CDC recommends submersing it in alcohol or putting it in a sealed bag. I say crush it with a shoe (just don’t use your fingers!).
  5. Watch the bite area. If within a few weeks a rash develops or the skin becomes inflamed, go see a doctor or a vet. Ticks can carry lyme disease, rocky mountain fever and other infections, so it’s crucial to deal with it early.

The best way to prevent ticks? Mow your yard, walk in the middle of trails and use tick repellent products on you and your pet.

By Deanna Morono

Fluffs of Luv Pet Care offers an array of customized pet care services, including in home pet sitting, dog walking, cat only pet sitting, overnight visits and cat and dog grooming and more. As the most reputable pet sitters and dog walkers in Charlotte and the surrounding area, Fluffs of Luv has put countless clients at ease by caring for their cherished companions while they were away. Give Fluffs of Luv a call for a free in home consultation or to set up a grooming appointment 704-421-3492 or visit www.fluffsofluv.com.