How to Get Rid of Ticks on Dogs and Cats
22 March, 2017
Spring is here and a great time to be outside with your dog. And as you head out walking or hiking walking with your dogs, the fleas and ticks are rampant. After every outing, you should take the time to do a full body tick check to make sure none have landed on your dog. If you have an outdoor cat that likes to play in the grass or is prone to fleas, make sure to check your cat as well.
Do a tick check on your dog or cat’s body, your family and other pets
Make sure to check your dog or cat’s entire body for ticks. You can run your fingers slowly over you’re their entire body. If you feel a bump or swollen area, check to see if a tick is there. Don’t limit your search to the torso: check between the paws, inside the ears and around his face and chin.
Check yourself and family for ticks. Dogs can’t directly transmit tick-borne illnesses to people, but ticks can move from host to host. A tick may enter your home on your dog’s back and move on to another dog or cat or a tick could be on you and then move on to one of your pets.
How do you know if a tick is on your dog?
Ticks can be black, brown, or tan, and they have eight legs. They can also be tiny. Some tick are only as large as the head of a pin so look carefully (easier to identify on lighter fur).
Ticks transmit several diseases that can cause severe illness and even death in dogs or cats (and Lyme disease in humans) so keeping your pets tick-free is a top priority. Huge numbers of tick eggs hatch each spring, and the young ticks climb onto grasses and other vegetation. Their sticky shells help them to cling to passing animals, including your adventurous dog or cat.
If your dog or cat has a tick on him or her, follow the below steps to get rid of the ticks.
1. Make sure to have a pair of gloves, a clean pair of tweezers or a commercial tick remover, antiseptic, and rubbing alcohol. Wear gloves if you remove with your fingers.
2. Use a pair of tweezers to grasp the head of the tick where it attaches to the skin.
3. Pull on the tick gently and steadily. If you yank the tick away from your dog or cat too quickly, you’ll leave part of the tick’s mouth behind, which can cause an infection.
4. In about 30 seconds, the tick’s mouth will release its grasp and the tick will come away cleanly. Dab some disinfectant on your dog or cat on the bitten area and kill the tick by placing it in alcohol.
5. Next, keep a journal of when you did remove the tick. If your dog or cat does get sick, it is good to know the date when the gestation started.
Never remove a tick with your bare hands, and never crush a tick between your fingers. If you do, you put yourself at risk of contracting Lyme disease or one of the other tick-borne diseases.
If your dog or cat becomes ill and you recently found a tick on him, make sure to call your vet immediately. Most tick-borne diseases can be treated successfully if a diagnosis is made immediately and appropriate treatment initiated. With daily tick checks and/or prevention, you can avoid anything serious.
Use a tick and flea protection during the spring and summer months
For dogs and outdoor cats, using a tick preventive during the spring and summer months can be helpful. Several products (even natural ones) on the market kill both fleas and ticks. Ask your veterinarian to recommend the most effective product for your dog or cat. But, always check for ticks after an outdoor outing in addition to a flea and tick prevention product.