How to Safely Remove Ticks From Dogs

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Removing Ticks

How to Remove a Tick From a DogTicks are a year-round threat. However, many pet owners believe once the weather cools down, ticks go dormant and no longer pose a threat to their pets. Ticks can still attack in areas with mild winters. If your dog spends a good amount of time out in areas where long grass and brush are common, there is a very good chance your dog could pick up a tick or two. No need to panic though, as removing a tick is actually quite easy. With a few simple steps, you can have it out in no time.

Before You Begin

First off, do not agitate the tick by pouring alcohol on it, smothering it in petroleum jelly or putting a recently lit match on it. While these methods may cause the tick to pull its head out of the skin or even kill it, it will also regurgitate what it has already devoured, spreading bacteria into the open wound it created. The best method is to manually pull the tick out. Do this with great care as you must remove the head of the tick or it will cause the area to abscess.

Tick Removal Tools

Removal can be done in a couple of ways. There are tick-pulling products, such as a tick key or tick twister. These tick removal tools not only help you remove the head, but it prevents you from getting in contact with the tick. You could also use hemostats or gloved fingers to complete the extraction. Just be sure not to squish the tick while using these.

How to Remove Ticks From Dogs

Carefully pull the tick straight out of your dog’s skin. Avoid any twisting motion, as this can cause the tick’s head to break off. Once the tick is removed, place it in a container of rubbing alcohol. This will kill the tick in a short amount of time.

Smashing the tick will also kill it, but be warned. Some ticks have very tough bodies and can be nearly impossible to squish. Washing the tick down the sink or flushing it down a toilet is not effective, as the tick may crawl back up the drain and wander through your house.

You want to keep the dead tick in a plastic baggie for a few days in case your dog falls ill. The veterinarian can examine the tick for species identification and offer proper treatment for your dog.

Reward Your Dog

Disinfect the wound left behind from the tick’s bite with peroxide or an over-the-counter antiseptic. Then, treat Buster for being such a brave boy.

While dealing with ticks is never a pleasant experience, it is a common problem pet owners face. The more prepared you are to handle the situation when it arises, the better it will be for you and your dog—and the worse it will be for that pesky tick.

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