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Can Pets Get Lyme Disease?

Posted by Jennifer Smith on

Lyme Disease is one of the most recognizable tick-borne diseases that affects over 300,000 Americans each year. Lyme Disease is caused by an infected tick latching onto the skin. While we know that people can get the disease, many pet owners are surprised to learn that their pets are at risk of Lyme, too. Here is what pet owners must know:

Ticks are often dropped in the yard by wildlife - most notably white-tailed deer. Ticks will then hide underneath fire logs for shelter/insulation or within the grass where they can wander to find a host for their next food source. When dogs play outside in the fenced-in yard, they are at risk of a tick bite. Therefore, pet owners are encouraged to groom pets after they are done playing outside.

Tick hiding spots on pets

According to, ticks tend to hide in the fur of dogs along the following regions:

  • Between toes
  • In the groin area
  • Underneath dog collars/clothes
  • Elbows
  • Under the tail
  • In and around the ears

Dogs with Lyme Disease may experience symptoms such as excessive salvation; lethargy; unsteadiness; weak muscles; and difficulty swallowing. If dogs are confirmed with Lyme Disease, they may be treated with antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian. 

So far in 2020, there have been over 86,000 confirmed cases of dogs with tick-borne diseases in the United States. To prevent companion animals from tick diseases, homeowners should consider keeping deer out of yards with deer fencing that is at least 7.5 feet tall or a dog fence that is at least 6 feet tall.