“While tick activity varies by species and life stage, spring and fall are when you generally see peaks in blacklegged tick activity and when the risk of tick bites is high for dogs and people,” says Dr. Katie Clow, DVM and post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Scott Weese’s lab at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).
Dogs are really good at picking up ticks because they frequent tick habitats, and as a result can be early markers that the tick population is changing. In 2016, Weese, a leading researcher on transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans, launched the Pet Tick Tracker. This is an online surveillance tool created to monitor changes in tick populations by encouraging the public to help track ticks found on dogs across the country.
The public could access the tick tracker through Weese’s popular Worms and Germs website. However, Weese believed it needed its own home and this led to the recently launched PetsandTicks.com website.
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