Health & Wellness

Tick Bite Prevention Week 2023 – Everything you need to know 

Bianca Amponsah
Main Blog Image - Cat and dog touching heads on grass

Tick Bite Prevention Week takes place in March every year to raise awareness about ticks and the diseases they can cause. 

Tick numbers in the UK have drastically risen in recent years due to climate change, land development and deer numbers. 

As well as our pets, ticks can attach themselves to us humans and spread serious diseases such as Lyme disease! 

Prevention is the best way you can protect your pet, yourself and all family members, furry or otherwise, against tick-borne diseases. 

But before you can defeat these problematic parasites, you need to know what you’re up against and where they hide. 

Watch and read on for our lead vet nurses top tips to avoid ticks and prevent tick bites this spring, summer and beyond! 

What are ticks? 


Ticks are small spider-like parasites that bite onto animals and feed on their blood. 

When they bite, they can pass on diseases and these diseases are then spread from one animal to another.   

Ticks can also bite humans and spread the same diseases. 

How do pets pick up ticks? 


Ticks are commonly found in long grass, undergrowth and woodland areas.  

But your pet can still pick them up in your back garden or even the local park! 

Dogs and cats can pick up ticks simply by walking through long grass and bushes. 

Ticks can often be found lurking on the tips of leaves where they will climb onto passing animals to feed. Sneaky! 

Are ticks dangerous? 


Ticks can be dangerous because they spread disease. The bites themselves are not usually an issue if regular preventative treatments are used. 

 However, the longer the tick is attached for the more damage to the skin can be done, and it can take weeks or months for everything to get back to normal. 

Bites can be itchy or swollen and may even become infected. 

Especially if a tick has been pulled off incorrectly and the mouth parts are still attached to the host (e.g. you or your pet!) 

Which diseases are spread by ticks? 


Lyme disease is the most common disease spread by ticks in the UK and the number of human cases is rising. 

Unfortunately, it's not as easy to diagnose dogs or cats with Lyme disease, so prevention against ticks is very important.

Many cats and dogs do not show noticeable signs, despite being infected but typically, symptoms include:

  • An initial 'bullseye' rash around the tick bite site 
  • Intermittent lameness 
  • Fever 
  • Lethargy 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Headaches (reported in humans) 


Lyme disease can also affect the joints, kidneys, nervous system, and heart. 


Ticks can spread other diseases, but these are often found in pets that have travelled outside of the UK. 

In recent years, Babesia a malaria-like parasitic disease which is more prevalent outside the country, has been found in dogs in the UK.

This was, at first from dogs that had only travelled abroad, but since 2016 there have been sporadic cases in dogs that have never travelled outside the UK.  

Tick facts


  • Ticks are active and looking for something to feed on as soon as the temperature hits 4C. 
  • Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease and many other very serious illnesses. Some deadly! 
  • Ticks can be tiny, sometimes too small to see and they can look like a skin lump on your pet’s body. 
  • Ticks live in woodland areas, tall grass, bushes, or leaves. 
  • In the UK, ticks are mostly found in southern and northern England and the Scottish Highlands. 

Symptoms of tick bites on pets


The most obvious sign that your pet has been bitten is a tick/s attached. To spot a tick bite, you must regularly check your furry buddys coat and skin.

Not only are you looking out for the ticks already attached and feeding, but also the tiny ones that have not yet attached and are in your pet's fur.  

If you use a preventative treatment regularly, the tick will often die before or as soon as they attach to attempt to feed.

And you will more than likely see these ticks or feel them in the hair when you stroke your pet. At first, they may feel like a small scab, and they may drop off in your hand! Yuk!

Watch out for any excessive licking or chewing of body parts. It can be quite obvious when your pet has irritated skin.

Anytime your buddy spends extra time focusing on a certain area there’s likely an underlying issue. Be sure to inspect the area thoroughly for any evidence of ticks.

Your furriend may also shake his head and ears a lot. Ticks like to find warm, safe spots to feed, which makes cats and dogs long ear canals an ideal hiding place.

If you notice your pet is shaking their head and ears more than usual, you should inspect them.

But, even when you have a pet with an entire party of ticks attached in various places, sometimes you may not see any symptoms at all!

Naturally, this can be very painful, but dogs and cats are experts at hiding their discomfort. It’s in their nature.  

So in many cases you won’t see any warning signs until it is too late and the damage is done. This may be either an infection from a tick bite, or they have contracted a tick-borne disease.  

Tick treatment and prevention 


To prevent ticks keep the grass short in the garden and avoid walking in tall grass areas and woodland in the spring and summer months. 

Keep your pets coat trimmed and tidy, especially long-haired pets. 

Remember to check your pets coat and skin thoroughly after days out. 

Ticks like warm areas, so the groin, armpits and toes are where you’re most likely to find them on your pets. 

If you do spot a tick on you or your pet, remove it immediately. 

You can use a tick removal tool to remove the whole tick. If you don’t have this tool, we recommend seeking veterinary/medical attention asap. 

If the wrong tool is used it’s easy to leave bits of the tick stuck inside the skin. This can lead to swelling, soreness or even infection. 

Ticks need time to pass on disease after biting you or your buddy so the sooner they’re spotted and dealt with the better. 

If they’re removed within 24 hours there’s very little chance of them passing on any disease.

There are many products that can reducing the risk of tick bites in dogs, including spot-on treatments, tablets and even collars.  

You can protect your cat or dog against ticks, fleas, flea eggs and biting lice from as little £5.69 with Flea Screen spot on combo.  

Flea Screen is suitable for dogs and cats from 8 weeks old and is easily applied to the skin at the back of the neck.  

What’s more, it is a UK licensed veterinary product hand-picked by our in-house veterinary professionals because it’s a safe reliable treatment. 

Shop Cat and Dog Tick Treatments Now 

Every pet is an individual so it’s best to speak with your vet or consult with a vet nurse for help choosing the right treatment. 

You can chat instantly with our lead veterinary nurse for free here for product advice or if you have any pet-health related questions. 

If now isn’t a good time, you can always book a free online consultation with a Buddycare vet nurse whenever suits you! 

Book a Free Vet Nurse Consultation Here 

Don’t let parasites ruin the pawty this year. Keep cats and dogs happy, healthy and protected from parasites with Buddycare!  


Give us a follow on social media and share this blog below so your furriends and pet parent pals can stay safe from ticks too! 


How much is treatment after a tick bite?




As covered above, tick bites alone usually don’t pose any problems if your pet is treated with a medication as the tick will die before/after biting.  

However, even if a tick has only attached and fed for a short amount of time, a lump may develop in the skin. 

This can take months to settle, even if there's no infection or the mouth parts are removed. 


But if ticks go unnoticed on you or your pet for some time and disease or infection spreads, this will require medical assistance. 

You will have to schedule a vet visit for a consultation which requires blood tests to check for tick disease.

Depending on the severity of any infection in the skin, this may result in hospitalisation, including iv fluids and iv medications alongside treatment for the skin itself, such as cleaning and flushing by the vet team. 

That is why prevention is always better than cure! Not only is it better for your pets wellbeing and health, but you can also avoid a big vet bill. 

Don’t let parasites ruin the pawty this year. Keep cats and dogs happy, healthy and protected from parasites with Buddycare!  

Follow us on social media and share this blog so your furriends and pet parent pals can stay safe from ticks too! 

Ask a Registered Vet Nurse

Got a concern about your pet, need help picking the right product or just looking for expert advice to be the best pet parent ever? Our qualified vet nurses are here to use their decades of experience to support you for free!

Fiona Eldridge
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Fiona Eldridge
Hi! I'm Fiona, Buddycare's lead Veterinary Nurse and I'm here to answer all of your pet related questions dog and cat emoji
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