dogs running through grass

Protecting Your Pet From Ticks

Ticks are small biting insects with powerful jaws and a big round body compared to their head.

What are ticks?

Ticks are parasites with large jaws that attach to pets, and humans, and feed on their blood. Ticks live on grass and other plants and leap onto a host as they pass by. When they attach they are generally very small, but they grow rapidly when they latch on and start feeding. They may also change colour when feeding too, often going from brown to a pearly grey. 

The most common tick in the UK is the sheep tick, or castor bean tick, and it does look like a bean when fed. Initially, ticks are small, but they can become over a centimetre long if they take a full meal!

As well as being uncomfortable, if the ticks are not removed properly, infections can develop. It is the diseases carried and transmitted by ticks that pose the largest risks to our pets – these diseases can be life-threatening in some cases.

Ticks and your dog

There are around 900 tick species worldwide, but the majority of ticks that affect our dogs here in the UK come from two species – the sheep tick and the hedgehog tick. The major risk of ticks is in the transmission of infectious disease. That’s why we’ve put together some top tips for preventing and removing ticks.
dog sleeping

Ticks and your cat

Cats are fastidious creatures, and regularly clean their coats, but they can still pick up ticks. They can cause local irritation and even transmit diseases to your cat. You can check for ticks simply by regularly running your fingers through your cat’s coat and feeling for any small bumps. The most common areas for ticks to attach to a cat is around the head, neck and feet. The best treatment is prevention.
cat lying down

Read more expert pet advice

From healthy diets to preventing fleas, find free and helpful pet health and training advice to care for your pet.

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