Hiking is an exhilarating and exciting way to stay fit while bringing your furry family members to tag along. As dogs age, they are more at risk for becoming overweight and developing joint problems. Therefore, many hikers like to hike with their dogs to keep them healthy. However, hiking significantly increases your chances of running into ticks, which can cause Lyme Disease and Alpha-Gal Syndrome.
Wearing Proper Clothing
One of the greatest ways to prevent ticks from biting is to confuse them. Ticks will latch onto clothing, then seek out thinner skin in sensitive areas to bite and feed. Wear tall tube socks with thin pants, such as leggings, and extend the socks up the legs over the pants. This will create a barrier that ticks usually can’t cross. Tuck a fitted shirt into the pants to extend the barrier up to the torso. Keep any hair tied back into a bun, as well. If it is too hot to wear long sleeves, try pairing this method with repellent.
Staying On the Beaten Path
Well-beaten paths tend to have far less brush and grass for ticks to hide in, making them the best option during the height of tick season. Save your favorite wild trails for the time between the first frost of the year and the last frost of the following year. During this cooler period, ticks are dormant. As the weather warms, preferred hidden trails will likely be teeming with ticks.
Repellents & Pesticides
As an added measure, it is always recommended to use some form of repellent or pesticide for tick protection. Organic tick control will keep both the hiker and the dog from being bitten by ticks, especially when other precautions are taken simultaneously. This is especially important in areas with heavy infestations, as the other methods might not be enough to prevent them.
Ticks are one of the many things nature enthusiasts must be careful to avoid, due to the risks of tick-borne illness. With the proper dressing procedure, site selection, and repellent, both hikers and their dogs can remain healthy and largely tick free.