Keeping Ticks from Pestering Your Dog

by Monica Gomez

While every dog in town is excited for spring to come and the snow to melt, the arrival of warmer weather also means the return of ticks. These eight-legged critters are responsible for the spread of a number of disease vectors that affect both humans and pets. Ticks can range over all parts of the outdoors, from the backwoods to the backyard, meaning that any trip outside for a dog requires a throughout tick check once they come back inside. Here’s what dog owners should look for when they check for ticks.

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Since ticks can be the same dark color as a dog’s fur, a visual inspection isn’t enough to make certain that a pooch is tick-free. What’s more, many ticks are quite small, the size of the head of a pin or the tip of a pencil. Carrington College advises to run your hands over your pet’s fur in order to feel any particular bumps that can indicate the presence of a tick. Check sensitive spots like between the toes, within the ears, under the armpits, and all over the face. Any bump should be investigated to make certain that a tick has not hitched a ride back.

Removing a tick is different from removing a flea. It’s necessary to use gloves, a sterilized tweezer, and rubbing alcohol in order to disinfect all the surfaces of your pet’s fur as well as your own hands. Then, take hold of the tick as close to the pet’s skin as possible. Pull upwards as straight as possible in order to remove the tick and keep the body from coming apart. However, if some parts of the tick remain stuck in your dog’s skin, let your dog’s body expel it on its own as digging around in the wound can increase the risk of skin infections.

With the tick removed, carefully monitor your pet for signs of disease. These can include breathing difficulties and neurological problems, which will require veterinary attention.