If you notice a tick on your dog you need to take action fast. They spread diseases and can infect a dog within just 24 hours. The faster you move, the better. The idea of removing a tick from sounds easy enough, but there’s a lot of misinformation out there on how to do it. Here’s how to properly remove a tick from your dog.

What You Need to Remove a Tick

You need to equip yourself before you can start removing the tick. You will need;

  • Tweezers
  • Latex/rubber gloves
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A jar or other container with a lid
  • Treats – to distract your furry friend

How to Get Ticks off Your Dog

Here are the steps to follow to free your dog or cat from ticks.

1) Put on the Gloves

Ticks have infectious agents that can infect you as well as your dog. It’s better to be safe than sorry and put on some gloves.

2) Steady your Pet and Keep them Calm

You need to keep your dog as calm as possible while removing the tick. Prodding and poking can make animals nervous, especially if it’s something they aren’t used to. If you have someone else around, get them to distract the dig and keep them relaxed.

Another good idea is to keep them distracted with treats. Treats also make a good reward if they cooperate during the removal process.

You should never try to force your dog to stay put in place. If they resist during the removal or get aggressive and scared, you should ask your veterinarian for assistance.

3) Ready the Tweezers

Take your tweezers and grasp onto the tick as close to the skin as possible. Grabbing them close to the skin is the best way to get rid of a tick. Just be careful that you don’t accidentally pinch your dog in the process.

4) Pull the Tick Out

Pull the tick straight out with steady, even pressure. This method is the best way to remove ticks from dogs.

Don’t try to jerk or twist the tick. You want to avoid leaving anything of the tick behind. Also be careful to avoid squeezing or crushing it, as it could have infectious material in its fluids, infecting your dog even though you’ve removed it.

While you may have heard that you could remove a tick with a lit match that is a myth, and a dangerous one at that. It can cause the tick to release diseases and toxins on to your dog.

Examine the tick after removing it to make sure that the mouthparts and head were properly removed. If not, then you should have a veterinarian look over your dog to get rid of any remnants.

5) Kill the Tick

Now you’re ready to kill the tick by putting it in the container and adding rubbing alcohol. Veterinarians recommend leaving the tick in the container in case your dog starts showing symptoms of tick-related diseases.

There are lots of different kinds of ticks. They all have their own different kinds of diseases too. Having the tick to hand helps a veterinarian make an accurate diagnosis.

6) Disinfect your Pet

Use antibiotic spray or wipes to disinfect the bite site on your pet. If you can’t find any, then a chlorhexidine solution can get the job done.

Keep a watchful eye over your pet and check for infection. Be sure to take them to the vet if their skin remains red or if it becomes inflamed.

7) Further Protect your Pet

After getting rid of the tick it’s time to keep your pet safe with an effective tick and flea prevention method. If you are already protecting your dog against fleas, check the label on the treatment to see if it works on ticks. If it isn’t working as intended, your vet can advise you on the right treatment to use.

Make sure that you keep an eye on your pet for the next few weeks after a tick problem. Check them over for strange symptoms, including fatigue, pain, swollen lymph nodes, swelling at the bite site, or a reluctance to move about caused by joint pain.  Be sure to take your pet to the vet if they display any of the above symptoms.

Featured Image Photo by Andreas Wagner on Unsplash