I don’t know about you, but I do not like bugs. Typically, my fear increases exponentially if it can sting or bite me, so you can imagine how I feel about bugs that burrow in your skin and hang on like a leech… eugh. While your pup may not be afraid of them, they can still cause allergic reactions and spread multiple diseases (yuck!). This is why tick prevention is so important.
First I’m going to talk about tick prevention methods, and then I’ll explain how to get rid of ticks on your dog. Note that ticks can be anywhere on the body, commonly ticks on the dog’s ear and paws are common. Let’s get into it.
Tick Prevention Methods:
Tick and Flea Collars
A flea and tick collar contains tick-repellent chemicals (like imidacloprid) that are emitted from the collar and spread naturally over the pet through the oils in their coat, fur, and skin. They aren’t regarded as one of the top forms of protection when used alone, but they can be highly beneficial if you are using another form of prevention or if the area your dog is running around in has already been treated for ticks. Many collars last up to 7 or 8 months, such as Bayer’s Seresto Flea and Tick Control Collar ($57.98), but many aren’t waterproof, so definitely remove it before swimming or bathing.
Usually, topical treatments are applied to the area between your dog’s shoulder blades. They don’t just work on that specific region, however; the chemicals are absorbed through the skin and will circulate throughout your pup’s bloodstream to kill ticks when they bite. If your pup is unable to consume tick-prevention medication by mouth, this may prove a good option. According to a ninety-day study, topicals were found to be 88.4% effective while oral treatments were 99.9%.
Some medication will kill ticks after they take a bite out of your dog and make contact with their blood. Drugs like afoxolaner and fluralaner kill the tick before it can transmit disease, but it does not prevent them from climbing on their fur. OTC medications likeNexGard or prescription meds like Simparica are given to your pup as a treat approximately once a month (timing can vary brand-to-brand), so make sure to mark it in your phone calendar.
Tick Removal Process
Hopefully with the proper tick prevention routine you won’t ever find a big tick on your pup. If you do, don’t panic. There is really only one good way to remove a tick. First, get someone to hold your poor pup. Then, grab hold of the tick with a pair of narrow-tipped precision tweezers, and pull the tick out slowly. Do not twist the tweezers, but instead pull gently, perpendicular to the skin. Twisting can result in the mouth being left behind, which can be annoying to remove. If you find that you’re unable to take the mouth out of the skin, don’t worry; it will likely heal on its own.
Common Myths of Tick Removal
Some common myths include using excessive heat or cold to force the tick out, but this can sometimes cause the tick to burrow deeper within the skin, which can increase the risk of infection. It’s probably best to adhere to CDC guidelines in this case, and contact your vet if you have any concerns.
How do you stop ticks? Hopefully, the preventative measures listed will help you best understand ways to save your dog from any pain. Additionally, that the removal process helps you handle the situation if your dog does get ticks on them and how best to kill and treat them properly. If you have a favorite method for tick prevention or removal, share your wisdom with us in the comments!