How To Find And Remove Ticks From Your Dog

Close-up of a tick

Happy Summer Solstice – June 21, 2023

As spring turns into summer we will likely find ourselves enjoying the great outdoors. As many of us will take our pets along, knowing about ticks can keep them from biting. Ticks are a major concern because they can carry several diseases, including Lyme disease. 

Prevent Ticks From Biting

In addition to using a tick preventive, check your pet for ticks every day or as soon as they come in from a walk or exploring your property. Ticks can be sneaky and hard to find on your pet, but they tend to move toward dark, moist areas.

7 Places Ticks Hide

To check your pet for ticks, slowly run your fingers through their fur, feeling their skin for any small bumps. Pay particular attention to the following seven spots: 

  1. In and around the ears (take a peek in your pet’s ears as well as the outside—paying special attention to the little flap of skin at the base of the ear).
  2. Around the eyelids (ticks can be mistaken for a skin tag or eye discharge).
  3. Under their collar (if your pet keeps their collar on all the time, a tick may go unnoticed—remove their collar for a careful tick check).
  4. Under the front legs (armpits).
  5. Between the back legs (the groin area is a common location, as it’s dark and moist).
  6. Between the toes—both top and bottom! (Check the bottom of their feet near the foot pads too).
  7. The underside of the tail.

If you find a tick, remove it immediately using tweezers or a tick puller and with slow, steady pressure. Try not to squish the tick while you’re removing it and be sure to get the entire tick, including its head. Kill the tick in rubbing alcohol before disposing of it. 

Do NOT squish it between your fingers, as infectious diseases may enter through small cuts or breaks in your skin. Wearing disposable exam gloves while removing ticks and then washing your hands following removal can limit your exposure to diseases carried by ticks. Dispose of ticks in your household garbage after killing them with alcohol.

Enjoy the things you love to do with your pet!

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