Maybe you’ve just returned from a walk with your dog through thick undergrowth – or maybe you live in an area known to have a lot of ticks. Either way, it’s important to keep your pup tick free.
Despite your best efforts to keep your dog healthy, pests such as ticks can sometimes cause health problems for pets. According to the Canine Health Foundation of the American Kennel Club, ticks can carry diseases such as ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease.
Vets can treat most tick-borne infections, but you can do your part by making sure no ticks live on your dog in the first place.
How do you remove a tick from a dog?
Before attempting to remove a tick, collect a few items. According to the Humane Society, you’ll need gloves, disinfectant or antiseptic cream, isopropyl alcohol, and tweezers or a tick remover.
It is important to wear gloves throughout the process so as not to expose the tick to your skin.
If you use tweezers, you can remove the tick as follows:
- Grab the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible without actually squeezing your dog.
- Pull the tick out, straight and stable. Don’t shock, anything that comes off and is left behind can cause an infection.
If you are using a tick remover, you can follow these simple steps:
- Press the remover against your dog’s skin, next to the tick.
- Slide the notch of the remover under the tick and pull it free.
After removing the tick, place it in a small container of isopropyl alcohol and note the date it was removed. According to the Humane Society, if your pet shows signs of tick-borne illness, your vet may want to examine the tick.
Be sure to clean the bite with an antiseptic or antibiotic ointment and wash your tools in alcohol.
Why do dogs lick you? Explain why your pet does it and when it might be too much.
How much food should you feed your dog?:Here’s the right amount to keep your pup healthy.
Signs of Tick-Borne Disease in Dogs
According to the Humane Society, signs of tick-borne illness include:
- Arthritis or lameness that lasts for three or four days
- Reluctance to move
- swollen joints
- A fever
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Loss of appetite
- Neurological problems
Contact your vet if your pet shows any of these symptoms.
How to check your dog for ticks
After being in a grassy or wooded area, it’s important to check your dog for ticks. According to Fetch by WebMD, you can use the following steps to monitor your pet:
- Comb through your dog’s fur with your fingers and gently feel for bumps on his skin.
- After checking their exposed fur, check between their toes, inside the ears and in the creases around the face and neck.
- If you feel a bump, part your pet’s fur to look at his skin. If you see a black, brown, or gray-brown beetle, it’s probably a tick. You may also be able to see his paws.
How to prevent tick bites?
To prevent your dog from being bitten by a tick, take these precautions, according to the Humane Society:
- Use a flea comb to comb your pet.
- Vacuum regularly and dispose of the bags immediately.
- Mow areas of your yard where your dog likes to spend time.
- Wash your pet’s bedding once a week.
- Wash your pet with a pesticide-free shampoo.
How often should my dog go to the vet?:And how do you know if your pet needs a check-up?