Dog Ticks: How to Check, Remove, and Prevent Them
Ticks are often found on dogs. But what are dog ticks? How do you check if your dog has ticks? How can you prevent ticks from biting your dog? Keep reading to learn more about the answer to these questions and more about dog ticks!
No matter how well you clean and maintain your dog, there will be instances wherein they would eventually get ticks. Simply going out for a walk will already expose them to the possibility of getting ticks. Once they get these eggs, it will quickly turn uncomfortable for your dogs. As their fur parent, you must know when your dog suffers from ticks. More importantly, you should know how to handle it for them. Let’s take a look at what to know about dog ticks.
What are Dog Ticks?
Dog ticks are small parasites that feed on a dog’s blood. Also known as harvest mites or deer ticks, these tiny insects attach themselves to your pet’s skin by inserting their mouth parts into the skin. When you see an engorged tick on your dog, check for an attached piece of dried body fluid that looks like a light brown string.
Most dog tick species have two life cycles. In the first life cycle, they spend all their time on a host, while in another, they leave their host for at least part of the life cycle. A dog tick that spends most of its life on its host (or hosts) is called an initial or primary tick.
How to Know If Your Dog Has Ticks
Knowing the signs that your dog has ticks will help you deal with them correctly. The best way would be to check your dog’s fur yourself. Here is how you would know that they have them:
Step 1: Rub your hands throughout your dog’s body. Look for any bumps that could be the ticks themselves.
Step 2: Try to separate the fur and look for tiny bugs hiding. Know that they are as small as a pin’s head, so make sure to inspect well.
Make sure to check the tick’s favorite hiding spots, such as behind their ears, face, neck, legs, toes, and torso. Consider adding the checking of ticks and fleas as part of your daily routine. Doing so will help you address the problems faster.
What If Your Dog Has Ticks?
When you discover that your dog has ticks, you can help them by getting rid of them yourself. Your dog might not be used to the experience at first, but eventually, they will. Here is how you can make them tick-free:
Step 1: Find a tweezer to use for grasping the tick. Make sure not to use your fingers. Also, prepare a jar or baggie with rubbing alcohol inside. The liquid will kill the tick right away. It would be best to keep some of them to show your vet should your dog show some signs of sickness later.
Step 2: Once your materials are ready, look for someone to help you keep your dog in place as you hunt for the ticks.
Step 3: Start looking for the ticks. Once you see them, pull them straight away in a straight motion.
Tip: If you wait until the tick is close to your dog’s skin, that will ensure you catch the tick in one piece.
Step 4: Collect them in the container you first prepared.
Step 5: Once done, make sure to clean your tweezers using rubbing alcohol. Do not forget to wash your hands thoroughly as well.
Step 6: Lastly, do not forget to reward your puppy for being cooperative and patient.
How to Prevent Dogs From Acquiring Tick
Prevention is always better than cure. While no assurance doing these steps will guarantee them tick-free, it still helps to know how to lower the risks. Here are the things you can do:
- Trim the grass on your lawn and clear them of any debris.
- When walking outdoors, stay on paths as much as possible.
- Ask your vet for tick treatments and make sure to use them on your dogs, especially during tick season.
- When a tick is present on a family member, check your dog as well for any transfer.
Dogs can typically get ticks and fleas, but that does not mean you should not protect them from it. It is possible to keep them tick and flea-free, but that requires attention and care from you. Should your dog suffer from these pests, make sure to address them right away. That would give them immediate stress relief. Seeking the help of your vet could help them further. If not addressed right away, they could lead to allergic reactions and skin infections.
Ticks and fleas are just some of the causes of stress for pets. If you want to learn more tips or stress relief for your dogs and other small pets, subscribe to your weekly newsletter. Sign up now!
Discover how to create a joyful, healthy home for your pet.
Subscribe to your weekly rundown of practice, real life ideas and training tips straight to your inbox.