How to Identify Ticks in your Pets

Ticks are a troublesome parasite that is not always easy to spot on your pet. They are a spider-like, egg-shaped creature that has 8 legs. They can vary in size from 1mm to 1cm. Ticks are quite small but can become much larger once they have fed on your pet and have become engorged with blood.

Ticks are most common in woodland and grassland areas, and can even be seen within the city in tall grass or occasionally in your own backyard. They become active in the spring once the weather is above four degrees. They can be found in the environment until the fall, but are typically most active in the spring. They are not able to fly or jump but they can climb onto your pet or occasionally fall from trees.

Ticks love to attach themselves in warm, tight places. The most common areas you will find them are on the head, neck (under collars), or in the ears and feet. We have also seen ticks attached to the eyelids!

The best way to look for ticks is to run your hands over your pets’ body to check for any lumps or bumps. Ticks will often feel like a small mole or skin tag on your pets’ body. Once examined closer you may see the tick’s legs poking out from between its head and body. It is important to check for ticks on yourself and your pet after being outside and especially if you have been walking through tall grass or heavily wooded areas. You can use a sticky lint roller on your pet immediately after being outside to pick up ticks that may be on your pets’ fur but not yet attached.

Written by Michelle Burch, VOA