Even though ticks are often associated with warm temperatures and fields of high grass, they are not always restricted to certain times of year. Depending on where you live ticks can be a concern year round. Ticks never die off. They just become dormant and typically do not appear in winter months. However, if temperature are over freezing even for a day, ticks can reappear.
Ticks spread diseases such as Lyme disease, bacterial infections, tick paralysis, and more. There are several types of ticks that spread diseases to our dogs. The American dog tick, lone star tick, deer (black-legged) tick, and brown dog tick are among the most common.
American Dog Tick - Mostly found in central to east US and small regions on western US. The highest risk is Summer and Spring. Adult Dog Ticks are the most likely to feed off of our dogs compared to young dog ticks. They can be found in tall grass but also along roads, paths, and nature trails.
Lone Star Tick - Typically found in mid, southeast, and northeast US. Lone Star Ticks can be active year round if the temperatures are mild but are mostly out during March-July. They are mostly found in heavily wooded areas, especially near water.
Deer (Black-Legged) Tick - Deer Ticks are mostly found all along central and eastern US. This tick is one of the most common for spreading Lyme disease. They are active all year round, including winter any time the temperature goes above freezing. They're usually found in wooded areas and areas with tall shrubbery.
Brown Dog Tick - This species is widespread across the entire US. The Brown Dog Tick prefers to feed off of dogs. This tick can survive indoors which makes it able to adjust to any climate and feed off of our pets all year round. This tick can be found around homes and kennels, living in dark and small spaces.
It's important to treat your dog with veterinarian approved tick prevention to avoid any possible diseases or illnesses to your pet. Check them regularly for ticks, especially if they have just been outside. Pay close attention to places that ticks can hide easily such as in and behind the ears, in between paws, under collars, and where the legs meet the body.
Some symptoms of Lyme disease are fever, lethargy, joint stiffness, loss of appetite, and swollen joints. See a vet right away if you find a tick on your dog or if you suspect that they could have been bit.