How To Remove Ticks From Dogs
If your dog plays outdoors often, you’ll need to know how to remove ticks from dogs. Ticks can spread Lyme disease and can cause infections for both you and your canine, so it’s imperative you follow these steps to successfully remove the entire tick without harming your dog.
To remove a tick from your dog, you will need:
- Pair of tweezers
- Tissue paper or gloves
- Rubbing alcohol
- Recognize the tick. Usually, you’ll discover a tick when you are petting your dog and feel a round protrusion on the skin. Ticks can be black, red or brown and they burrow their heads in their host, leaving only their circular bodies sticking out.
- Get your dog comfortable. Grab some tweezers, along with gloves or tissue, and place your dog in a comfortable position where he can’t run away from you or hurt himself. Enlist the help of a friend or family member if you have difficulty keeping your dog still. Disinfect the area before removing a tick from your dog; to do this, you can just swab your dog's skin with some rubbing alcohol.
- Latch onto the tick properly. With your tweezers, clamp down lightly on the tick as close to its head as possible. Ticks burrow their heads into the skin to feed on a pet’s blood and can be quite tricky to pull out. Sometimes, only the tick's body will come out, but you want to remove the entire creature; pressing down nearer to the head will help you achieve this.
- Use a back and forth motion. Twisting the tweezers may only lodge the tick’s head further into your poor dog, so only apply a back and forth motion with your tweezers when removing ticks from a dog. When the tick starts to come out, grab it with a piece of tissue or use your gloves since the animals can spread disease.
- Disinfect. Clean your dog’s wound again with disinfectant to ensure that it doesn’t become infected after you remove the tick from your dog. You can kill the tick by dropping it in alcohol or squashing it (but never with your bare fingers). Wash your hands when you’re done just to be safe. Catching a disease from a tick is rare, but it’s better to be safe and take the added precaution.
- If all else fails. If you can only remove the tick’s body and can’t get its head out, don’t risk further irritation to your dog. Give your animal a rest and keep a close eye on the area. Usually the dog’s system can expel the tick’s head on its own. Watch, however, for swelling or rash around the area. If you spot these symptoms worsening, take your dog to the vet. Your pet might be suffering from an infection or a tick-related disease.