Ticks: How To Check Your Pets

Summer is synonymous with sunny weather and cookouts, but it’s also the season of ticks! This year, due to extra-wet weather,  tick populations are on the rise. To ensure your furry friend’s safety, it’s crucial to take preventive measures and thoroughly check for these critters after every outdoor excursion.

Post-Outing Check Routine

  1. Brush Your Dog: Start by brushing your dog when you return indoors. Not only does this help maintain a clean coat, but it also allows you to spot ticks in obvious areas.
  2. Inspect Less Obvious Hiding Spots for Ticks:
    • Inside of the Ears: Examine the flaps, crevices, and deep inside each ear carefully, as ticks can be quite small and easily missed here.
    • Between the Toes: Don’t forget to check your dog’s feet, as ticks find the spaces between the toes appealing for hiding.
    • Under the Tail and Genital Region: Though initially awkward, these areas are tick favorites. Use a fine comb to comb the hair around these areas meticulously.
    • Around the Eyelids: Ticks in this area can be mistaken for skin tags or eye discharge, so make sure to inspect and clean this delicate area thoroughly.
    • Under the Collar: Since dogs rarely have their collars removed, this dark space is ideal for ticks to settle. Periodically remove the collar to check for ticks.

Proper Removal and Disposal

With any luck, your thorough inspection won’t reveal any ticks. However, if you do find any, it’s essential to remove and dispose of them correctly:

  • Crawling Ticks: A brush may be enough to dislodge ticks that are still crawling on your dog.
  • Embedded Ticks: For embedded ticks, carefully use tweezers to pull the tick straight out, slowly and firmly. Avoid twisting or squeezing the body, as this can leave parts behind.
  • Disposal: After removal, place the entire tick in a small amount of rubbing alcohol to kill it. Clean your dog’s skin with a disinfectant.

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