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How to remove a tick from a dog and how to prevent ticks

Ticks can be tiny, and it can be very difficult to find them. Fortunately we have blond dogs, so with close observation, you can knock many of them off before they bite. Unfortunately, with the growth in the tick population, we now have ticks in the UK not only in the country, but also in suburban areas. So, please take care anywhere when ticks are a possibility. Again, looking at the 3 areas of consideration for ticks :
  1. Tick Removal
  2. Tick Prevention
  3. Tick Protection
How to remove a Dog Tick - Before the tick bites
ticks on a dog

When you are out on a walk, stop every now and then to have a good look over your dog. It's far easier and safer to get the ticks off your dog before they bite. Look at the eyes and ears, up the legs and so on. Teaching your dog to shake, might seem like a neat trick, but it's a great way to to reduce the number of ticks on your dog after they've had a romp in some long grass.

When you've finished your walk and put the dogs in the back of the car, then continue to be vigilant. Stop every so often and look over their faces,and up their legs, and lift the ticks off.

Don't touch the ticks with your bare hands - use rubber gloves. Or, one great tip I came across was to pick off the ticks with a post-it pad. They'll stick to the sticky bit - but then fold it over so they are stick on both sides of their bodies, otherwise they'll crawl off. Selotape bits would probably work well too.

How to remove a tick from a dog

The best tool to use to remove a tick from a dog is the O'Tom Tick Twister. The tick card is also very handy to ensure that you're always able to cleanly remove your dogs ticks. Remove the tick as soon as you can, and definitely within 24 hours.

Do not be tempted to use the old-wives solutions of burning them off with a cigarette or match, or putting vaseline or alcohol over them. And don't try to pick them off with your hands. Even if you have tweezers, it is very difficult to get hold of the mouth parts without squeezing the body. Squeezing the body means that the tick is basically pushing the poisons from their body back into your dogs blood stream - very bad!

Click here to buy your tick removal tool.

Tick Prevention for Dogs
removing a tick from a dog
When tick season starts, with the slightest warming of the sun in the spring (ticks can survive at 3 degrees), you may want to consider where you take your dogs for walks etc. Ticks "hide" in damp overgrowth - heather beds and ferns are the worst. It is most likely that beaches, and the local park are probably much safer than the Scottish Highlands or other glorious country hill walks around the UK.

If you are on a forrest walk, or hillside walk, keep your dog on the path, away from overgrowth. Difficult, I know, but do try. Perhaps, although not the best for your dog, you might like to consider an extending lead, to keep better control - especially in the height of summer, or areas known to be bad. DO NOT let your dog roll in the heather like this... (click for youtube video)

Another thought you might like to consider - take care where you stop for a rest or for lunch. You may sit on a mat, but your dog will most likely sniff about the surrounding area, and have a roll or lie down in the grass. Training them to lie on a mat when you stop may help, although no doubt some tick will have a wee crawl on the mat too.....

Ticks survive in water, so don't think that sending them in for a swim after will clear them all off.....

Tick Protection for Dogs
tick twister removing tick

There are many products available which help to protect your dog from ticks. The best products are available from your vet. Or, at least, you can ask your vet's advice when you're in for your dog's annual check up.

Many of the DOG spot-on and other tick and flea products are EXTREMELY POISONOUS TO CATS. So, please take extra care if you have cats around. And, also, most of the products recommend that your dog doesn't go swimming for 24 hours afterwards.

Does Lyme disease happen in dogs? Yes. There has been much investigation too regarding tick diseases in dogs. What are the symptoms of lyme disease in dogs etc? This article by doginfo.net on canine lyme disease helps to answer many of the questions.

Preparing your dog for tick removal
Think early. When you get your puppy, teach them to like being handled, by gently examining them all over. Start with a light touch, and give them several treats. Gradually build up the number of touches and the intensity of the examination for fewer treats. You really want your dog to be ok with your holding its head and looking around its ears and eyes. And, they need to be still.

This is one of the most crucial things to teach your puppy. Ask your local behaviourist or trainer for help. Never be forceful. Teach your dog or puppy to love being handled.

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