Ticks are fascinating creatures, believe it or not. But, that does not make them any more pleasant! There are about 80 species of ticks found in the United States. Fortunately, not all types of ticks affect dogs, but several do, and the brown dog tick lives out its entire life cycle on or around a dog. Because ticks survive better in warmer climates or microclimates during the winter, recent warmer winters have allowed ticks to thrive, which is bad news for you and your dog.
Ticks can live for years, waiting for their opportunity to attach to a host. When your unsuspecting dog passes by on a walk through brush or thick grass, the tick crawls onto your dog, bites and attaches to your dog, and sucks your dog's blood. The tick may stay attached for a few hours or several days, and then drop off to lay their eggs. Most tick bites are acquired from walking in thickly wooded or brushy areas where ticks reside waiting for a host, however, ticks can infest kennels, and homes and transfer between animals. Because they present several health hazards, and can even bite and infect people, preventing tick bites in the first place is the best way to protect your pet.