Friday, February 10, 2012
dogsandticks.com Launches New Educational Tools for Pet Owners
The online authority on ticks and tick-borne illnesses, dogsandticks.com, is now an even greater resource for pet owners. The redesigned website includes new educational tools for pet owners, such as maps showing the incidence of tick diseases across the country, a risk assessment for dogs and information on a wide range of ticks and the diseases they carry. The refreshed site also incorporates several interactive features to engage and inform visitors about tick-borne illness.
Pet owners who visit dogsandticks.com can now monitor how common tick-borne diseases are by referencing interactive maps, which are updated weekly with data from across the United States and Canada. State-by-state and county-by-county statistics are also available.
"Ticks in every U.S. state carry disease," says Michael Dryden, DVM, PhD, a veterinary parasitologist at Kansas State University. "The maps at dogsandticks.com help us to track disease transmission and identify areas of the country where populations may be at a higher-than-expected risk."
The website provides a wealth of user-friendly information about ticks and tick-borne disease, including important prevention tips. It also clears up some related myths, such as the proper way to remove a tick.
"The revamped dogsandticks.com is a fun, interactive way for pet owners to stay informed about how best to protect their dogs from the dangers of ticks," says Melissa Beall, DVM, PhD, IDEXX Medical Affairs Manager. "We're pleased that our new site educates people about ticks and helps to raise awareness of the diseases they carry. Understanding the risks is key to preventing tick-borne illnesses."
The site also features a risk assessment for dogs based on the parasite prevention guidelines developed by the nonprofit Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC). Pet owners can fill out a simple form to determine their pets' risk of contracting multiple tick-borne illnesses. The risk assessment results generate health tips that help raise pet owners' vigilance in protecting their dogs from parasites and start related conversations with their veterinarians.
"We are proud supporters of the CAPC, because we share the common goal of partnering with veterinarians to educate pet owners about diagnostic screening and disease prevention," says Beall.
In addition to the educational elements, the new dogsandticks.com encourages visitors to interact with the site. They can play a video game, where the objective is to stay alive by avoiding attacking ticks. Pet owners may also upload photos of people or pets to be morphed onto the illustrated body of a dog for a fun experience to share with friends and coworkers.
IDEXX Laboratories created dogsandticks.com as a resource for pet owners. The veterinarians and veterinary parasitologists who support and develop content for dogsandticks.com are committed to educating pet owners about the prevalence and risks of tick-borne diseases. The website does not endorse any individual product but serves as an informational source with tools that include interactive prevalence maps for tick-borne diseases based on nationwide diagnostic screenings.