TAGS: health

Ticks in 2023: What Every Dog Owner Should Know

05 May, 2023

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As Summer 2023 is quickly approaching in the northern hemisphere, many dog owners are looking for new places to explore with their pups. Whether your dog likes to run, lay around in the shade and take a nap, or go for a long swim, the Summer poses one big challenge that all dog owners fear: ticks!

Ticks are found primarily in wooded areas, tall grass, or on the skin of wildlife. If you’re planning on spending time outdoors this Summer with your dog, it is important to know the signs that a tick may have bitten you or your dog and what actions to take. It’s important to regularly check your dog and yourself for ticks after spending time outside, as these little insects can pose some serious health risks. Let’s look at some signs that your dog has been bitten, and then we will break down what actions to take.

Signs a Tick Has Bitten Your Dog

 

Tick Biting a Dog

  • If your dog has a lot of fur, spotting ticks may be more challenging because they attach themselves to a dog’s skin underneath its coat. Start by thoroughly checking your dog’s fur and skin by running your hands through your dog’s fur and looking for small, dark colored insects. If you see part of your dog’s skin that is red or irritated, that is a good sign that there may be a tick. 
  • If your dog is scratching itself much more than is typical, it may be a sign that something is irritating its skin, and this is a good sign to check your dog for ticks. Dogs do sometimes scratch excessively for other reasons, such as when they are shedding, but the possibility of a tick should not be ruled out, especially if your dog does not shed very much.                                                                           
  • Suppose you’ve spent a day outdoors and notice your dog feeling very lethargic or has a loss of appetite a couple of days later. In that case, your dog may have been bitten by a tick, and it is essential to take action right away. 

 

Dog Itching Itself

If you have done a thorough check of your dog and there are no signs of ticks, but your dog exhibits strange symptoms, it is important to call your vet immediately and get professional advice. 

How to Remove a Tick From Your Dog

 

Removing a Tick

Removing a tick from your dog’s skin is much the same as removing one from your own skin and shouldn’t take too much effort. Make sure to wear gloves, as you do not want to transfer the tick to yourself!

 

  • Take a pair of fine tweezers and grasp the tick as close as possible to the skin. Once the tick is firmly in the tweezers, pull the tick straight out of the skin without twisting or turning. This is important because it is crucial to ensure that the tick’s head is removed from the skin, and turning the tweezers can cause the head of the tick to get lodged deeper in the skin.

  • After removing the tick and disposing of it, clean the area where it was with a mixture of soap and water or rubbing alcohol. It is important to clean the area as soon as possible to prevent infections. 

  • Continue to monitor your dog for ticks for a few days. If your dog has been in an area with ticks, there is a good chance that more ticks may have been hiding in your dog’s fur and gone unnoticed.

 

And that’s it, you’ve successfully removed a tick from your doggo’s skin! The next step? Continue to enjoy the Summer alongside your pup, and stay safe!

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