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How to remove a tick from a dog – the right way

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Ticks can be difficult to remove once they’ve latched on to your dog, but they can be removed safely – if you know what you’re doing.

Discover how to remove ticks from dogs in a few easy-to-follow steps.
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Ticks are commonly found in long grass and bushy areas. They latch on as your dog is passing by.

Although a tick will drop off your dog after it’s finished feeding, this process can take days. Pet owners should tick their pets for ticks and remove then when found. During the time the tick is attached, it could pass on tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease. The longer the ticks stay attached, the greater the risk. For this reason, it’s very important to check your dog daily during tick season by running your fingers carefully through their coat. Should you discover a tick, you need to remove it immediately. Here’s how to remove a tick from a dog safely.

1. Gather your supplies

It’s important to be prepared before the tick season begins. Your checklist should include the following items:

  • Tweezers
  • Set of gloves - Always wear gloves to protect your hands when dealing with ticks. The ticks found on your dog are can carry disease, and some of these diseases, like Lyme disease, can also people.
  • Sealed container - Once you remove a tick from a dog carefully place the tick in the sealed container. Make sure the tick’s head is intact. You can then take the tick, alive or dead, to your veterinarian to have it identified and tested for diseases.

2. Keep your dog calm and relaxed

Wait until your dog is calm and still before you attempt to remove the tick. You want to make sure you get a good grasp of the tick with the tweezers. If you try to yank the tick out too quickly you can risk leaving part of the tick behind in your dog’s skin, which can lead to infection. A bone or a chewy treat may help keep your dog occupied while you work to remove the tick.

3. Expose the tick

Gently part your dog’s coat around the tick. Hold your dog’s hair down flat with one hand, leaving your other hand free to remove the tick. Take your time with this step to ensure success. The tick has already latched on to your dog, so it will stay in place and probably won’t move around once you expose it.

4. Use tweezers to remove the tick from your dog

Use tweezers to gently grasp the tick as closely to the skin surface as possible. Grasp the tick and pull directly out. Do not twist or crush the tick.

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Tick being removed with tweezers

5. Clean the tick bite

Once you successfully remove the tick, clean the area where it was attached with soap and water or wipe the affected area with an antiseptic designed for pets.

6. Dispose of the tick

Drop the tick into a lidded jar, seal it tightly and contact your veterinarian regarding identification and possible testing of the tick. Ticks can be tested for a variety of disease. Once the tick has been removed, clean the tweezers with disinfectant. Dispose of the gloves and wash your hands thoroughly.

Prevent ticks from biting your dog in the first place

To reduce the chance that you’ll have to remove ticks from your dog, use regular protection. There are a number of options, including topical and oral products. K9 Advantix®II is a topical tick treatment for dogs. Once applied to your dog, it works to kill ticks through contact, so they don’t have to bite your dog to be killed.

K9 Advantix®II is not for use in cats

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