Dog Health Care 101: “Tick” – Tock

No one wants to pet their dog and find a tick hiding somewhere around their ears. These ticks are a pet-owners worst nightmare. Once you find one, who knows how many of these icky parasites are feeding on the blood of your beloved dog at this very moment. The clock is ticking. So you better have the proper skills and knowledge to take care of this terrible infestation. This is dog health care 101, how to remove a tick from a dog.

What are ticks?

Before learning how to remove a tick from a dog, you should know what kind of enemies youre dealing with. These ticks are parasitic arthropods that feed on the blood of their host. They often jump out of tall grasses, trees, weeds and other natural environments onto warm-blooded animals such as dogs. Ticks on dogs often attach themselves in crevices or areas with little to no hair. These areas usually include areas in and around the ears, areas where the insides of the legs meet the body, between the toes, and within skin folds.

How and When to Look for Ticks

Ticks can only be found by checking. Once in a while, especially before giving your dog a bath, look for small bugs that may be beige, brown or copper in color. These ticks are very difficult to find. Some of them may even be as small as the head of a sewing pin, so check thoroughly.

The Dos and Donts

Before we show you the steps on how to remove a tick from a dog,you should keep a few pointers in mind. First, do not use methods such as applying petroleum jelly, a hot match, or alcohol. These approaches will not remove the tick. They may even cause the tick to dig deeper into the dogs skin and add more infected saliva into the wound. Second, do not directly pull out the parasite with your bare hands. This practice may transfer bacteria from the tick to your nails. Third, do not use chemicals such as alcohol, fingernail polish, nail polish remover, oil, petroleum jelly or even table salt to remove a tick. These methods may actually prove dangerous and harmful to your dog. Finally, when removing the tick, hold the ticks head, not the body.

How to Remove a Tick from a Dog Safely

Tick removal is a simple process, but can be very dangerous if this is not done right. The following steps below illustrate how to remove a tick head from a dog.

  1. Spray alcohol or pour one to two drops of mineral oil directly to it. It will immobilize the parasite.
  2. Grip the head of the tick using tweezers, grip as close to its mouth as possible. Gently apply pressure, then slowly pull the tick away from the skin.
  3. As soon as you removed the tick, drop it in a mineral oil or alcohol until it is dead, and then dispose it in a trash bin.
  4. Clean your dogs skin at the bite area with mild soap and water. Watch this spot for several days in case of further irritation or infection.
  5. Reduce the number of ticks in your dogs environment by keeping the grass mowed and plants neatly trimmed. Also, apply pesticides to outdoor areas, but be sure that the substances you use are environmentally-friendly.

These are a few lessons on how to remove a tick from a dog. If you find any irregularities in your pets health, consult a veterinarian immediately. The best way to protect your dog from parasites is to prevent these parasites from reaching your dog.

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