Best Ways to Remove a Tick from a Dog Without Hurting Him
Ticks are terrible. That’s why we pet owners try the best we can to prevent them from latching on to our beloved dogs. Sometimes, it can’t be helped. There will be seasons when they are everywhere, so you have the know the best way to remove a tick from a dog safely. On top of that, you also have to learn how to tick-proof your house or apartment.
What Are Ticks and Where Do They Come From?
If you’ve been taking care of dogs all your life, then you definitely already know what a tick looks like. It’s a parasite with a one-piece body, harpoon-like barbs on its mouth, and crab-like legs. They come in different sizes, from ones that are almost impossible to spot with the naked eye to ones that are as big as a fingertip.
Ticks are typically found outdoors, in areas that are wooded and grassy. But, they can adapt to different conditions in their environment and prefer to live near their host (as in the nooks and crannies in your house or apartment). They don’t just feed on dogs too, they can attach themselves to other mammals, birds, and even other insects.
What Diseases Can My Dog Get From Ticks?
Some of the common diseases that ticks could give your dog are Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, and Hepatozoonosis.
The bad news is that each disease is caused by different species of ticks. The symptoms can range from weakness, lameness, fever, joint-swelling, nose bleeding, wobbliness, pale gums, and muscle wasting, to name a few. Yes, some of the diseases are quite serious so, as a rule of thumb, prevention is better than a cure when it comes to ticks.
The Best Ways to Remove a Tick from a Dog
You might think that yanking them out by hand works, but actually, the tick’s mouth might break and remain on the skin. You don’t want that to happen because you’d want the entire tick off of your pet.
There are two most common ways to remove these pests safely. The first one is to use a tweezer. You can’t just use an ordinary, household tweezer, however. You have to use one that has a fine point. First, spread your dog’s fur and then grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Gently pull straight upwards.
Another tool that you can try is a tick remover hook. This can easily be found in any pet store and is even easier to use than a pair of tweezers. You simply insert the hook so the tick is in between the two prongs, then you twist upward. This works well when there are more ticks than you can count on your pet.
Always remember never to squeeze the tick with your fingertips because that’s just going to inject its stomach contents to your dog’s wound, making the likelihood of infection higher.
Don’t forget to wash your hands after your remove the ticks from your pet.
Can Ticks Live In Your Bed?
As mentioned, ticks like to live near their host so if you are sharing your bed with your pooch, it’s possible. You have to wash your sheets in the hottest water possible (as high a temperature as the fabric type can take).
As for your home, it’s best to do some spring cleaning as ticks can hide almost anywhere. Of course, you have to clean your home by vacuuming your carpets and rugs, wiping the dust off of forgotten surfaces, and so on. When you’re done, don’t forget to dispose of your vacuum bag properly.