Lyme disease rates across Canada are on the rise, according to the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation. Ticks that carry Lyme and other diseases are also becoming more prevalent in Canada. Since current diagnostics and treatment can be a challenge, advocates are advising the public on one easy way to stop the disease from spreading — preventing pets from getting bitten by ticks. Ticks transfer diseases like Lyme disease by attaching onto a dog’s skin, embedding their mouthparts and feeding on the dog’s blood. While a tick must feed for 24 hours to transmit Lyme disease, other bacteria, such as ehrlichia, can be transmitted in as little as three hours. Ticks can also transmit diseases to humans. Reducing tick attachment is key to disease prevention. “There are still a lot of misconceptions about flea and tick treatments on the market,” says Ryan Beauchesne, owner of Crusoe the celebrity dachshund, official spokesdog for the No Bite is Right campaign. “I prefer non-systemic products, which are applied to the skin and do not require a bite in order to work. By killing the tick through contact, ticks have less chance to bite or attach to your pet.”
Beauchesne is working with the No Bite is Right campaign to educate pet owners about ticks and risks to dogs. “This isn’t just a problem for people in rural areas anymore,” he says. “Tick populations have grown 10 times over the past two decades, with hotbeds popping up in cities like Toronto and Vancouver. Every dog owner should be protecting their pets, no matter where they live.” Beauchesne and Crusoe are active with the No Bite is Right campaign throughout tick season, which begins when temperatures rise above four degrees Celsius. The campaign aims to educate pet owners about fleas and ticks and the risks associated with parasite bites.