Don’t Miss This Part of Your Pet’s Body When Checking for Ticks
I assume that, like most people, even if your pets are considered "indoor," they spend their fair share of time outside, going for a walk with you, or using your backyard as their toilet. At our house, it's rare that our dog just goes outside to "do her business." More often than not, she strolls out into the yard, does what she needs to do first, then proceeds to stroll around the yard to check for new smells, or just sunbathe for a bit. Of course, it's important during the spring and summer months to check your dog or your cat (we have one of those that likes to go outside too) for ticks anytime they're outside for a long period of time. Chances are, your inspection involves running your hands around their body and their legs to make sure no unwanted visitors latched on, but there's one place you're probably not checking that's just as important.
The One Place on Your Pet You're Probably Not Checking for Ticks But Should
I recently saw a post shared on Facebook from Nature's Own Kennel which featured a close-up of a dog's mouth. The picture showed someone off-camera lifting the dog's upper lip to reveal a tick that had buried itself about halfway under the dog's gums where its front fang is.
Until I saw that picture, I would have never thought to check my dog or cat's mouth for ticks. But, it makes sense that ticks would find their way in there. According to Scratch & Patch, getting into a dog or cat's mouth isn't too difficult for tickets since they spend much of their time either laying or rolling in the grass, or with their snouts down sniffing around to get the lay of the land making it super easy for those little blood-suckers to latch on.
It's like he's begging for the ticks to crawl on him.
Obviously, you're not going to be able to stop your dog or cat from laying in the yard or sniffing around, and while flea and tick medications work well at keeping them from using your pet as a meal, they're not 100% fool-proof and wear off after time. So, next time Fido or Mr. Snugglepuss come back into your house from another outdoor adventure, be sure you check everywhere for ticks, including their mouths. And not just their gums and teeth, be sure to run your finger around the inside of their cheeks as well. They probably won't care much for that, but it's better than what could happen if that tick is carrying some type of disease.