It is important to regularly check your dog for ticks, as they can transmit serious diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to check your dog for ticks:
- Start by running your hands over your dog’s entire body, including their head, ears, and between their toes. Use a comb or brush to help you part their fur and get a better look at their skin.
- Pay special attention to areas where ticks are most likely to hide, such as the neck, ears, and legs. Ticks tend to crawl upwards, so they are often found in these areas.
- Look for small, dark spots on your dog’s skin. Ticks are usually about the size of a sesame seed when they are attached, but they can grow to be larger as they feed.
- If you find a tick, use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to gently grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Avoid squeezing the tick’s body, as this can cause it to release more of its infectious fluids into your dog.
- Slowly and steadily pull the tick straight out, being careful not to twist or jerk it. If the tick’s head breaks off, use the tweezers to remove it as well. If you are unable to remove the tick’s head, it may be necessary to seek veterinary care.
- Dispose of the tick by placing it in a sealed container or bag, or by flushing it down the toilet. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling the tick.
- If you are unsure whether the tick is fully removed, or if you are concerned about the possibility of infection, it is a good idea to have your dog examined by a veterinarian.
It is also a good idea to use a tick preventative product, such as a collar or spot-on treatment, to help reduce the likelihood of your dog becoming infested with ticks. By regularly checking your dog for ticks and taking preventive measures, you can help protect them from the serious diseases that these parasites can transmit.