Nothing can give you the creepy crawlies quicker than finding a tick crawling on your body or finding one crawling on your dog. Suddenly it can feel like they are crawling all over your body. Not only is finding one crawling around bad, it is even worst finding one that is attached to yourself or your dog.
I am going to explain how to remove ticks on dogs, where to look for ticks on your dog, how to prevent ticks and where are those little buggers are coming from.
Table of Contents
Where Does My Dog Find Ticks
Anytime the temperature is above freezing, your dog can run the risk of a tick finding your dog, but ticks are most prevalent in Spring and Summer, and in most cases start slowing down towards Fall.
Their favorite places to hang out is on tall grasses, brush, woods and shrubs. They also like shady and moist areas, closer to ground level. Most ticks will be between 18″ to 24″ off the ground, waiting for their next meal to walk by. They tend to gravitate to animals trails, where their luck of finding a host is the best.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that is the only area you will find ticks. They also live in lawns and gardens, especially if they are near the edge of woods.
Ticks don’t actually fly, they will jump onto your dog as your dog passes by them.
Search Your Dog Over
When your dog comes back inside, it is always a good practice to search for ticks that might have climbed onto your dog. Run your hands through your dogs fur and if you feel any bumps, spread your dog’s fur apart to see if it is a tick. Make sure to completely check him over, especially in areas that ticks like to go. Take a look at the diagram below for reference.
Using a metal comb on your dog is also a good tool to help you find ticks on your dog. Make sure you are getting all the way down to your dog’s skin when combing them.
Where Ticks Like To Hide
How To Remove Ticks On Dogs Safely
If a tick attaches them self to your dog, it is important to get it removed as quickly as possible. Many ticks will carry bacteria or diseases that are harmful to your dog. It does take a few hours for a tick to get fully attached to your dog’s body, so the quicker you remove the tick, the better.
The most recommended method to use for removing an attached tick, is using tweezers. This might not be the type of tweezers that you generally have at home. You need a fine point tweezers to avoid tearing the tick. Tearing the tick could spread possible infections.
Tick Removal With A Tweezers
- Spread your dog’s fur, and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
- Very gently, pull straight upward in a slow steady motion.
- Dispose of the tick. If you have concerns, you can attach the tick to a postcard and cover with scotch tape to save if your dog later has any problems. That way you can give it to your veterinarian if your dog later develops problems for the tick to be tested.
- Clean the bite area on your dog with rubbing alcohol.
- Check the bite area daily to make sure it is healing.
Tick Removal With A Tick Remover
Yes, there is actually a tool developed for removing ticks.
- Press the remover against your dog’s skin near the tick.
- Slide the notch of the remover under the tick.
- Pull is free gently with a slow steady motion.
- Clean the bite area on your dog with rubbing alcohol.
- Check the bite area daily to make sure it is healing properly.
I recommend TickEase Tick Removal. It has a dual tip. One side is a fine tip tweezers for removing ticks on dogs or humans, and the other side is a slotted scoop that is designed to quickly and easily remove ticks.
Avoid squeezing the tick too tight. You don’t want to pop the tick and have it oozing out. This could cause your dog to get an infection in the bite area.
When you are removing a tick from your dog, you want to avoid not getting out the entire tick. That is why it is recommended to pull slow and steady and to grasp the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible. If you are unable to get the tick out in its entirety, do not dig out any part that is left in your dog.
This will increase the risk of skin infections. Let nature take its course. Your dog’s immune system will close off the area and start working on rejecting it from their body. Apply an antibiotic ointment to the area daily until it is healed, and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get inflamed. If it doesn’t show signs of healing within a few days, you should contact your veterinarian.
Prevention Of Ticks
It is important that you are using some type of prevention against ticks, and that means even if you live in the city, since ticks can be found in the lawn. The risks are too great that at some point a tick will attach itself to your dog and you run the risk of your dog getting Lyme Disease. Dogs that get bit also run the risk that they develop skin irritations and left untreated can work themselves into hot spots. It is best that you do whatever possible to prevent your dog from having issues with ticks.
There are several different options when it comes to tick prevention. You can use a topical application, collars, chewables and shampoos are the most common preventions used. Whichever type you choose, make sure your are consistent using the product and don’t miss when the next application is required.
I personally use a collar for tick prevention. For years, I was using Frontline to protect my dogs. A big problem that I had with Frontline, was that my dogs would each come into the house with at least 30 ticks crawling around on them, they would get all over the house and on us.
Frontline is only effective when the tick actually attempts to bite your dog. It does nothing to keep them from going on your dog.
A few years ago, I switched to using a Scalibor Collar on them, and the difference was amazing. It is very rarely that I ever find a tick crawling on my dog, nor are they in my home. This collar does the best job I have experienced of not even find ticks on my dog. You can read a complete review of the Scalibor Collar here if you would like more information.
There is also shampoo to help you with your tick protection. They will help prevent your dog from getting ticks generally for up to 2 weeks. They will kill ticks that are on your dog as well. Be prepared that if your dog has lots of ticks on his body, that you will find many dead ticks lying around your home.
I recommend Adams Flea & Tick Cleansing Shampoo. It works great for protecting your dog from ticks, killing ticks on their body and has a nice fresh scent. It comes in a 12 ounce size, but if you are going to need a lot more, you might want to take a look at purchasing the gallon size. They have a spray as well that can be sprayed directly on your dog and it even helps with mosquitoes.
Purchase here from Amazon.
Ticks To Watch Out For
American Dog Tick – These are also known as wood ticks. They are found in most of the United States, with their highest concentration being east of the Rocky Mountains.
Blacklegged Tick – Or the Deer Tick. This is the tick that causes Lyme Disease.
Brown Dog Tick – This tick can be found around the world, but most usually in warmer climates.
Lone Star Tick – Found in most of the Eastern United States and Mexico.
If you have a dog, it is important that you learn how to remove ticks on dogs safely and that you have the proper tools for removing ticks. The sooner you can get the ticks removed from your dog, the lower the risk of your dog getting an infection from the tick.
I know that removing ticks from your dog might be stressful or a bit gross, I used to freak out when I had to remove ticks. I have toughened up on that, because I don’t want my dog getting sick from a tick that is attached to him.
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