Tick Precautions and Safety Tips for Dog Owners and Their Pets

Updated on July 5, 2019
alexadry profile image

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, former veterinary assistant, and the author of "Brain Training for Dogs."

Dogs Are Often Targeted by Ticks

Little Laura Ingalls used to run happily through the tall grasses in the "Little House in the Prairie" along with her dog Jack, but what about getting ticks? These blood-sucking creatures are vectors of various diseases and are certainly a nuisance that can ruin the best summer outings. They can pop up when you least expect it, whether you are enjoying a picnic, playing with your kids in a park, or hiking a trail. They can ruin your bond with your dog (who likes to pet a dog with ticks on him on a daily basis?), the pleasure of camping, and the pure joy of running through tall grasses.

Preventing tick-borne diseases can be an arduous task. It really comes down to the fact that ticks are hardy creatures that can live up to a year without feeding and hide in the most secretive places. While most people may think a tick is an insect (six-legged creatures), they are closely related to scorpions and spiders and belong to the arachnid family (eight-legged creatures). Perhaps they should be considered parasites. Avoiding them all together can be a difficult task, but knowing them better and the places they like to frequent may slightly reduce the chances of having one hop on you for a meal.

Where Ticks Thrive

The best place for a tick is, of course, feeding on the warm blood of a mammal. They are pretty eager creatures that will steadily feed until they increase their size to double or even triple. When not on a mammal, they will be found in tall grasses, bushes, trees, wooded areas, and even crevices of homes. Ticks cannot fly or jump, rather they patiently await on grasses for a mammal to pass by and then let go and crawl on the mammal as its body brushes against the tall grasses.

Tick-Borne Diseases

While there are over 800 types of ticks in the wild, only a few are capable of causing tick-borne diseases. According to the CDC, the most common diseases transmitted by ticks are as follows:

  • Babesiosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Southern tick-associated rash illness
  • Tick-borne relapsing fever
  • Tularemia

How to Avoid Ticks

The best way to avoid tick-borne diseases is to avoid tick habitats and remove them as soon possible. As mentioned previously, it is difficult to avoid ticks altogether especially when heading outdoors. However, there are some precautions that may lessen the chances of becoming a host:

  • As obvious as it sounds, avoid areas where ticks thrive.
  • Be cautious during tick season (typically from spring to November).
  • Wear white clothing so the dark color of a tick may be more visible.
  • Wear your socks over your pants so it is harder for ticks to crawl up your pants.
  • Tuck your shirt into your pants.
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves.
  • Use tick repellents.
  • Check your body frequently for ticks and remove them promptly. Lyme disease is more likely when the tick has been attached for 24-48 hours.
  • Put possible tick infested clothing in the dryer for one hour prior to washing. Ticks have been found to survive on washed laundry.
  • Adopt a Guinea Fowl hen. These birds are effective tick eaters.
  • Put your pets on topical veterinarian-approved tick repellents such as Frontline Plus and/or Preventic tick collar.
  • Should you get bit by a tick do not discard it; put it in a jar of rubbing alcohol labeled with the date just in case you experience any symptoms.

As seen, there are various ways to reduce ticks from your yard and lower the chances of disease, however, should you still get bit and develop symptoms, consult with your doctor immediately.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      10 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Thanks for researching that answer :)

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      10 years ago

      Very good question, of which I did not know the answer :) but according to


      ''Ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and other biting insects are not known to carry or spread hantaviruses. In the U.S., cats and dogs are not known to be carriers of hantavirus. Guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, and other similar pets also are not known to carry hantaviruses.''

      Happy I do not have to add another disease to the list of tick borne disease, I think we have enough! :)

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      10 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Useful advice thanks, can they transmit hanta virus if they have previosly been on mice?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)