This dog owner and these dogs are pooped. After a long visit with the vet to get their Lyme preventative and other shots, I treated them to our new favorite hike. Murphy's Law kicked in. For the first time, they came out of the woods covered in ticks. Little, creepy-crawly ticks. I'm still itchy. After pulling at least 6 tiny ticks off of Cooper, I started on Nama. Same thing. So gross.
I made one more quick stop with them (if you must know, back to the vet to return their stool samples), and sure enough, as I was putting them back in the car, I found more ticks. Knowing I was headed home, I took off their collars and harnesses... guess what? More ticks. I have never wanted a shower so badly. Once home, I gave each of them a good brushing and look over. I quarantined them to the kitchen while I coated their flea and tick tabs in peanut butter. It's a really strange coincidence that today was our medicine day.
Despite the preventives, ticks freak me out. For two reasons: I don't want to have to remove an embedded tick. It's disgusting and uncomfortable for the dogs. Second, Lyme disease can negatively affect them and us. According the the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Lyme is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the US.
The good news is... in addition to my vets recommendations, I can help prevent ticks by bathing my dogs more regularly with soaps like The Great Outdoors Bar. It helps protect doggies and their humans because it is chock full of essential oils that smell great to us, but repel ticks and mosquitos! And because it's safe for lakes and streams and rivers and oceans, it protects our environment, too. I'm definitely using it tonight (on all of us) and kicking myself for not giving them a bath sooner.
The CDC further recommends checking the following areas on your dog after a woodsy walk:
I can speak from today's adventure, you have to check these areas several times because the ticks are tricky little critters. AND, no matter what you give your dog on the inside, you'll need to do a little outside preventative, too. Especially in the fall when so many leaves are down. Now that I'm armed with the right soap, let the bath battle begin. Wish me luck.