Mild winter leads to rise in ticks on dogs
This year's mild winter means ticks are out much earlier this year than normal, and pet owners will have to be extremely vigilant to protect their animals from these harmful pests.
National exterminator company Orkin reports that inquiries about ticks and fleas have doubled compared to the same time last year. Ticks in dogs can spread Lyme disease and other illnesses if they are not removed quickly and properly, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.
"Ticks are active much earlier this year compared to last year," said entomologist Ron Harrison, Orkin technical services director. "I don't know that we're necessarily seeing any more ticks than in previous years, but because of the mild winter, we are seeing them earlier than normal."
In addition to ticks, the company reports that fleas and mosquitoes also represent a danger to pets. Fleas also carry illnesses and can also be very annoying for dogs and cause intense itchiness. Mosquitoes are carriers of heartworm disease, which can be fatal if untreated.
If your dog is having an issue with these pests, it's best to talk with your veterinarian about treatment and more importantly, preventative options. You may also need to limit the dog's time outside to prevent further exposure.