As the temperature rises, so does the number of ticks outside! It’s a great time to get familiar with how to check your dog for ticks and what to do if you find one.
Where to look for ticks
Ticks like to hide in dark, warm areas of the body like the groin, armpits, and skinfolds. Look for ticks in these areas:
– In and around the ears: Look deep into the ears. If your dog is shaking their head and scratching ears it could be a sign that something is off.
– Around the eyes: Ticks are commonly mistaken for a skin tag or eye discharge.
– Under the collar: Take off your dog’s collar to check the skin underneath regularly.
– Under the front and back legs: Don’t forget to feel the armpits and between skinfolds.
– Around the tail: Check the underside and base of the tail.
– Between toes: Look in-between the toes and on the bottom of feet near foot pads. If your dog is licking or chewing their feet, it could be a sign that something is off.
How to look for ticks
When looking for ticks, comb through your pet’s fur with your fingers to expose the skin. Using gentle pressure, rub your fingers through their fur and feel for any small bumps. You should be checking for ticks everyday, especially after spending time outside. If you find a tick on your pet, remove it as soon as possible.
How to remove a tick
– Use fine-tipped tweezers to gently grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Don’t squeeze too hard!
– Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick – this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin.
– If the mouth parts break off, remove them with clean tweezers. If you can’t get them out easily, leave it alone and the skin will heal the area.
After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol. You’ll need to dispose of the tick in a special way – NEVER crush a tick with your fingers. Put it in alcohol or a sealed bag or container, stick it between two pieces of tape or flush it down the toilet. If a rash develops near the bite site or you begin experiencing symptoms (fever, chills, body aches, neck stiffness, muscle pain) contact your doctor immediately.