Any dog owner who spends time outside with his or her pet will likely run into a tick at some point in his or her life. Ticks can easily be hidden in longer or darker fur, which can be a problem for some dogs. This is why it is so important for dog owners to not only be on the lookout for ticks but know how to remove them.
Safely removing a tick is key as it is easy to accidentally leave behind the head. Working quickly and immediately removing any ticks that you find will help to protect your dog from being infected with a dangerous disease.
Gather Your Tools
One of the best tools that you can have on hand when you are faced with removing ticks from your dog is a pair of tweezers. Unfortunately, not all pairs of tweezers will work for this task. You need to make sure that you have a pair of fine-point tweezers, not common ones with blunt tips.
An alternative to tweezers is a tick key with an opening to place over the tick, allowing you to gently slide the key along the skin until the tick is removed the head and all.
In addition to having something to remove the tick, you also need to make sure to have rubbing alcohol, soap, and water, or even iodine on hand. Washing the bite where the tick was will help to decrease the likelihood of your dog getting sick. Using gloves ensures that you won’t accidentally get bitten.
It’s key to remove ticks as quickly as possible to prevent them from making your dog sick. Using a high-quality brush every time that your dog goes outside is the best way to easily find any ticks that may be hiding in its fur.
Once you have located a tick, you will want to remove it right away. This is why brushing your dog is so important; it can help save its life.
Follow These “Do”s
Once you have located a tick on your dog, then you will want to carefully part the hair so that you can easily see the tick and will be able to grab it. Use the tweezers to carefully grip the tick, making sure to get as close as possible to the skin.
Gently pull the tick straight up and out of the dog, using enough pressure as is necessary to cause the tick to let go and allow itself to be pulled out. Once the tick is removed, you need to make sure to dispose of it so that it won’t bite another animal.
Either flush the tick down the toilet or kill it with alcohol before disposing of it. If there is any reason to suspect that your dog has contracted a disease from the tick, then you will want to save it for testing.
After removing the tick, make sure to clean the dog and thoroughly wash your hands. It’s always a good idea to look for more ticks as dogs can often pick up more than one when outside.
Avoid Doing This
When possible, avoid using your fingers to remove a tick as this can put you at risk of being bitten or getting the tick’s blood or saliva on your fingers. It’s also important that you never crush or squish the tick when it has bitten your dog as this can cause body fluids to exit the tick and enter your dog.
Never twist a tick when pulling it off of the dog as this can cause the body and head to separate. You always want to pull the tick straight up and away from the skin.
Finally, avoid trying to remove the tick with repellents, nail polish, or even a lighter as they can cause the tick to vomit. This will simply increase the possibility of your dog being infected by the tick.
Now that you know how to remove ticks from your dog, you are going to be much more prepared for any problems that your pet may run into when playing outside. While playing games outdoors is a wonderful way for your dog to get the exercise that it needs to be healthy, you must watch out for ticks.
Always thoroughly check your dog for ticks when you have been outdoors and remove them right away so that you don’t have to worry about your dog getting sick.