Protecting Your Pet (And Your Family) From Ticks

Ticks are an external parasite that are a danger to people and pets because they can spread a number of serious diseases. Here, our Memphis vets explain what to look for and how to keep ticks away from your pets and your family.


What are ticks?

A tick is an external parasite that feeds on the blood of animal and humans. Ticks cannot fly or jump, but instead rely on hosts for transportation. Wild animals are usually responsible for bringing them onto your property. Once on your property, pets often become hosts and can introduce ticks into your home.

Are ticks dangerous?

Ticks are a danger to people and pets because they can spread a number of serious diseases. Their saliva contains germs and bacteria that can be transmitted to people, such as Lyme disease.

What do Ticks look like in Tennessee?

There are up to 15 species of ticks that live in Tennessee. The most commonly found species include the brown dog tick, the lone star tick, and the American dog tick.

The brown dog tick is most likely to inhabit warm environments. They are a reddish brown color and are approximately 1/8 of an inch in length if they haven't fed, and up to a 1/2 inch in length if they have fed. 

The American dog tick is most active in the spring, summer and fall. They are reddish brown in color with white or yellow markings. Males are about 1/8 of an inch in length and females are a bit larger and can grow up to a ½ inch in length when fully engorged. They live in parks, along wooded paths, and in farm pastures.

The lone star tick is least likely to come into contact with people living in Tennessee. They are about 1/8 of an inch in length and brown in color; the females have a white spot in the middle of their backs. They are most active from April through July. 

How do I check my pet for ticks?

Be sure to carefully check your dog for ticks even after short walks through grass and brush. Look between the toes, inside the ears, between the legs, and around the neck, deep in the fur.

How do I get rid of or prevent ticks? 

There are many different methods for getting rid of and preventing ticks on a dog or small pet. Your vet can help you find the right option for you. Options include oral medications, spot treatments, tick collars, and even bathing your pet with a shampoo that contains medicated ingredients to kill ticks on contact.

Keeping your lawn trimmed will also help reduce ticks in your yard. If there are fewer areas for ticks to live and breed, there will be fewer of them around. It's also a good idea to limit the amount of time your pet spends outside during the height of tick season. 

Tick Prevention is part of our annual Wellness Plans. Choose the Wellness Plan that's right for your pet.

Looking for a vet in Memphis?

We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Related Articles View All

How to Get Rid of a Yeast Infection in Your Dog's Ear

Yeast ear infections can be a real problem for dogs living in hot and humid climates, even for just a few brief summer months, but you may be able to help prevent your dog from developing a yeast ear infection. Our Bartlett vets explain how.

Why is my dog scratching?

Itching, scratching, and licking are signs that your pooch has a skin condition known as dermatitis. Our Bartlett vets explain what could be causing your pup's skin problem and how you can help your pet to feel better.

What Pet Owners Need to Know About Babesiosis in Dogs

Babesiosis is a disease seen in dogs that is spread by the bite of an infected tick. Once the Babesia organisms infect your pup they attack your pet's red blood cells causing anemia. Our Bartlett vets explain more...

Anaplasmosis Symptoms in Dogs & How This Disease is Treated

Anaplasmosis is one of the many tick borne diseases that threaten the health of people, pets and other animals across the United States. Today our Bartlett vets explain the symptoms and treatments for Anaplasmosis in dogs.

(901) 377-2244