Ticks can be carriers of Lyme disease which can cause your dog both pain and discomfort. There are many ways to ward off or reduce your dog’s chances of getting bitten by ticks, but you should also understand the correct way to remove a tick in order to keep your pooch safe. Removing a tick incorrectly can be just as harmful as not removing it at all.
Some pet owners might assume the best method for taking a tick off of their dog is to simply grab onto it and rip it out. However, this can cause some major problems as this method doesn’t necessarily work to remove the entire tick, leaving its head intact. In some instances ticks are able to regrow their bodies if their heads are there, so it’s crucial to remove the entire insect.
Preparing for tick removal
If you notice a tick on your dog, the best thing to do first is to soak a cotton ball in mineral oil and then hold the cotton ball over the tick for up to one minute. This annoys the tick, leading it to remove its head from inside your dog’s skin. You could also try using pet products like Arctick for Pets, a non-toxic tick treatment that you spray onto your dog’s skin to instantly kill the tick. The product works by freezing the tick, making it easy to remove.
You’ll need to keep a few supplies like tweezers handy during tick removal. You may assume you can just use your fingers to pull the tick off, but this could make you susceptible to Lyme disease if the tick is a carrier. When you have the tweezers, start by grabbing the hair around the tick to make it easier to see its body. Then try to grab its head with the tweezers and firmly pull up straight in one steady motion. Never grab its body as this could cause the head to dislodge in your dog’s skin.
Although it’s a good idea to understand how to remove ticks, there are also plenty of ways to keep them off your pet in general, starting with preventive pet drugs. Products like Frontline Plus and Comfortis work to prevent ticks and fleas, while a treatment like Revolution works to ward off these pests as well as heartworm disease which is spread by infected mosquitoes.