Next to fleas, ticks are probably the worst insect-enemy of your dog. These parasites attach themselves to your dog’s skin. If they go undetected, ticks can stay attached for hours at a time. They use their mouth parts to suck blood out of your pet; that’s what ticks feed on. At the same time, they spread many contagious diseases from host to host. The sooner a tick is removed from a dog, the better. That’s why you need to know how to properly remove a tick from your dog. And that’s why it’s so important to check your dog periodically. Especially if he/she travels into the woods. Ticks can especially be found in tall grasses, bushes, and in leafy trees and other thick growth.
Since ticks are blood-sucking parasites, they are always looking for a warm-blooded host to attach itself to. It uses dogs, humans, and other mammals. These insects can only crawl; they can’t jump or fly. So they also use their host as a means of transportation.
To properly remove a tick from your dog, you’ll have to identify it first. You’ll need to sit your dog down in front of you. Run your hands over his/her
ears and head. Feel through their fur for hard bumps near the skin. These hard bumps won’t move. Then, proceed down the neck, across their back, and down their hindside. Also, check their chests, tummies, legs, and feet.
If you do find a hard bump, spread your dog’s fur apart in that area and examine it. If the bump turns out to be an insect that has eight legs, it could well be a tick. And the sooner you properly remove a tick from your dog, the better. You probably won’t see its head because a tick buries it into the host its currently feeding on.
First, gather together some supplies you’ll need to remove the tick from your dog. You’ll need a pair of tweezers, rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, and maybe a glass jar with a lid. If you want to keep the tick in case your dog is infected with a contagious disease, you can place it in the jar. A little rubbing alcohol poured in the bottom of the jar will kill the tick. You may also need an assistant if your dog is fidgety and won’t hold still while you properly remove the tick.
Next, wash your hands with an antibacterial soap. Use a cotton ball to dab some rubbing alcohol around the area where the insect is located. Then, sterilize the tweezers with a new cotton ball and more rubbing alcohol. Then use the tweezers to firmly grasp near the head of the tick. Your goal, to properly remove a tick from your dog, is to remove the entire tick, head and all. Slowly pull the tweezers up and away from your dog’s skin. If the head of the blood-sucking parasite is still attached, try to pull it out with the tweezers.
Immediately place the tick into the jar with the rubbing alcohol. Seal it closed with the lid.
Once you properly remove a tick from your dog, use a clean cotton ball and more rubbing alcohol to sterilize the bite location on its skin. Then, finish up by washing your hands with an antibacterial soap.
Watch your dog and check the bite location on his or her skin for the next three to four weeks at least. Watch in case redness and swelling develops. Unfortunately, it may take several months for the symptoms of Lyme Disease, for example, to appear. If the tick did spread a contagious disease to your dog, your pet may exhibit symptoms such as fever, weakness, loss of appetite, swollen glands, et cetera. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice any change in your dog.
If you live in an area where ticks and Lyme Disease are a particular problem, ask your veterinarian about a Lyme Disease vaccination. This way, even if you do have to properly remove a tick from your dog, he or she will be vaccinated against this Disease. You can also inquire about a topical treatment for your dog that will help keep ticks away. Some flea treatments actually repel ticks too.