Now that tick season is upon us, it’s time for a refresher course on these disease carrying pests. If you or your dog has ever experienced a tick bite or worse, Lyme disease, you know all to well the dangers associated with tick season.
In this article, we’ll address some common (and not so common) questions about the habits of ticks. At the end of the article, you’ll find a detailed table that compares 3 products that kill and prevent ticks. But first, let’s answer some tick related questions:
Do Ticks Jump From Dog to Human or Can They Hop
How Ticks Attach
Thankfully, the answer to both is NO. Ticks cannot jump or hop and are only capable of crawling. So how do they get on your dog? They reach!
A tick that is ready to feed will make its way to the tippy top of a blade of grass. Once they reach the point, the tick patiently waits for the tell-tale signs of an approaching, blood-pumping host. They are:
Yes, ticks can feel the vibration of nearby movement, they can sense body heat and finally, they can smell a breathing host coming.
And as their host gets closer and closer, the tick hangs onto the grass with its back legs and reach its front legs into the air. Like a baby signaling they want to be picked up, the tick holds its front legs out and waits for you or your dog to brush against the blade of grass. Once you do, they easily make the transfer.
Do Ticks Lay Eggs on Dogs
Yes, ticks lay eggs on dogs. When the egg hatches it will be in the form of larvae and will need to bite your dog and feed on the blood. This is why it’s so important to check your dog for ticks. You will not be able to see tick eggs, but if you find a tick, you can assume eggs.
Can You Get Ticks From Your Dog
If your dog has ticks, yes, you can also get ticks from the ticks on your dog. Here’s how:
If your dog has a female tick, it’s very likely to be laying eggs on your dog. When those eggs hatch, the larvae will feed off of your dog and then usually fall off. After they fall off they morph from larvae to tick and will eventually need to feed again.
If you are the the closest host, you will be selected. Which leads us to our next topic which is: can dog ticks bite humans and feed off human blood?
Can Dog Ticks Bite Humans?
While a dog tick prefers the canine for it’s host, a dog tick can absolutely bite a human. Not only can dog ticks bite humans, but dog ticks can survive off human blood as it is closely related to that of a canine.
Can Ticks Live in the House
Ticks can live in your house but they cannot feed off of your house. They can feed off you or your dog, drop off, find a moist environment to survive and hop back on to feed as necessary.
Or, ticks can stay on the host to feed and mate at will if conditions are favorable. This is what a fed tick looks like:
They get so fat that they are prone to falling off.
Where are Ticks Most Commonly Found
Ticks thrive in warm moist environments because that type of climate allows them to stay strong, fertile and hydrated. The problem with warm, moist environments is that it makes for slim pickins’ when it comes to finding a viable host for feeding and breeding (laying eggs).
In an ideal tick world, ticks would live in a nice, moist forest floor and would have plenty of hosts to choose from. However, that’s not the case. Aside from the occasional deer, skunk, raccoon, mouse, bird, etc., ticks don’t have a lot of options in the forest which means: they have to make their way to warmer, drier environments in order to latch onto a viable, blood-filled host.
You’d be wise to protect your dog and yourself when venturing into the woods to avoid being a walking buffet for the ticks in waiting. But don’t be fooled into thinking ticks limit themselves to damp areas. They do what they need to do in order to find a host and that means moving to less favorable environments where dogs and humans are readily available.
Do Ticks Have Wings
Many people mistake the poplar weevil for ticks…and for good reason. It isn’t until you get up close and personal with the poplar weevil that you see it’s not a tick, but bears striking resemblance. Here is a poplar weevil
Ticks do NOT have wings and absolutely cannot fly. So if some little bug is flying at you or your dog, it is not a tick. Ticks also have 8 legs as they are part of the (gross) arachnid family and poplar weevil’s have just 6 legs.
Where Do Ticks Hide?
When searching for a host, ticks hide in plain site. They put themselves out there for the world to see but the problem is they go undetected because they are so tiny.
It’s common to think that ticks are intentionally hiding in pant-legs or bedding but hiding is probably not the right word. Ticks crawl and they take their time in order to ensure they reach their destination.
If they’ve made it onto your dog’s fur or your pant leg, they will typically stop and “hold tight” whenever there is motion. Ticks know that if they can wait in a rolled pant cuff until you stop walking, they have a better chance of not falling off. So it seems like they are hiding, but they are just waiting for less motion.
As for sheets and blankets, ticks will move into the folds and creases because the temperature is cooler than being right in the open. Folds and creases also help to protect ticks from sun or heat.
How to Get Rid of Ticks on Dogs
The best form of treatment is always prevention. If you live in a high tick region and you and your dog enjoy the outdoors, there are products that repel ticks and make your dog an unsavory host.
If you see a tick on your dog, you remove it slowly with a good set of tweezers. You do not want to break the tick’s body away from the head as that is likely to cause infection. There are really good videos online if you are in this situation. Go to youtube and search – dog tick removal.
If you see more than 1 tick on your dog or in your home then there are likely to be many more and you may need products that help kill ticks on contact and stop the egg, larvae, tick cycle.
Where to Buy Tick Protection and What Type is Best for Dogs
For tick collars and tick topicals my first recommendation is that you check amazon’s featured pet deal page. This is where amazon promotes some steeply discounted pet products and it seems like every season I luck out and get a tick collar for at least half price. My dog doesn’t wear it 24×7, but I put it on him the night before a wooded or grassy outing and I keep it stored in a tin.
Check amazon’s featured pet deals here: Current Featured Pet Deals
Chewable Tick Protection
The type of flea prevention that’s leading the pack is the soft chew tick treatment called Bravecto. This Bravecto is so popular because it’s a one time dose that lasts for 3 months and it’s all in just one chew tab.
It will keep fleas and ticks away and it will fight a current infestation so it’s not just for preventing. It kills Fleas, black-legged ticks, American dog tick, and brown dog tick.
Most vets carry Bravecto and you can buy it from them at a premium. You’ll pay a high price, but at least you’ll have it that day. If you are not battling a current tick infestation and can wait for Bravecto to be shipped to you, there are far better prices online.
Buy Bravecto Online Cheap
The two places that carry it regularly (and affordably) are Canada Pet Care and Chewy. I’ve included direct links below, but first…a little about each company.
About CanadaPetCare: Do not confuse Canada Pet Care with Canada. They ship worldwide and your package may come from the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Asia, etc.. They usually have the best price AND they ship free no matter the size of the order.
However, their biggest customer complaint is slow shipping. While they ship within 24 hours, you won’t receive your package for about a week, sometimes longer. Their website states you’ll receive your order in 21 business days or they’ll refund. So…know that going in.
Here is a snippet of their guarantee:
Every purchase at CanadaPetCare.com comes with our Money Back Guarantee. If your order is not delivered within 21 business days or if for any reason you are not satisfied with your order, please contact our customer service and we will offer you a full refund on your purchase.direct from CanadaPetCare.com
So, if you desperately need the item, get it from your vet’s office or go to chewy because chewy ships faster. But if you’re buying for mulitple pets and can afford the wait, you’ll save a good amount at CanadaPetCare.com
About Chewy: If you’ve not yet browsed the savings at chewy.com, I encourage you to take a moment and compare everything you’re currently buying for your dog (or other animals) and how they’re priced on chewy.
I’ve personally saved lots of money and now I always tell my vet “give me the prescription because my dog is signed up at chewy.com.” This usually gets me the prescription in hand….or my vet sometimes offers to match chewy’s price. Nice!
Here are the links:
CanadaPetCare.com Coupon for Bravecto
Some people call it Canada Pet Meds but it’s Canada Pet Care. CanadaPetCare.com has a promo on Bravecto which means it will probably be the cheapest place right now. Click the link below to be taken to the product and choose the Bravecto that matches your dog’s weight.
Then Use promo code: CPC12ON for an extra 12% off. Here is the link:
Chewy.Com – Bravecto
Chewy has really good prices too but they don’t ship free unless it’s a special offer or you reach $49 (which is easy to do). In any case, it’s always worth checking them out and buying from the cheapest place:
Alternatives to Bravecto: Collars and Topical Flea and Tick Prevention
The table below compares two popular tick products for dogs and is meant to demonstrate all the things to consider when making your selection. A lot will depend on why you need the tick product such as prevention vs. infestation. Use the table below as a helpful guide.
But remember to always check amazon’s featured pet deals (link) first! You may just find an incredible deal on a tick collar or topical treatment.
Between Chewy and CanadaPetCare you’ll likely find that CanadaPetCare is cheaper, but Chewy ships much faster. Have a look at the products and read customer reviews. All of these should help you make a better informed decision.Click the Images to See CanadaPetCare Prices and Click The Last Row for Chewy Prices.
Click Pic for Price
Click Pic For Price
|Check Chewy Price|
(Link to Product)
|Check Chewy Price
(Link to Product)
|K-9 Advantix II||Frontline Plus|
|Kills||Ticks, Fleas, |
|Repels||The Above Plus|
|All of The Above|
|Starts Working||12 Hours||12 Hours|
Kills Without Biting
Kills Without Biting
|Cons||Toxic to Cats||Toxic to Cats|
|Over 7 |
|Lasts||Up to 1 Month||Up to 1 Month|
Takeaways – about ticks and tick season
Ticks are not just in the woods. Though they really enjoy a moist, cool environment, they are resilient and extremely hardy parasites. They do what they need to do to find a host.
They need blood in order to live and will choose their best option, even if it’s for a quick feeding.
If you find a tick has penetrated your skin or your dog’s it’s recommended to save the tick in a tight bottle (like a pill bottle) and seek medical advice. Bring the tick with you so it can be tested for Lyme disease.
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