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How to remove a tick from a dog

If you have a pup in your family, you understand firsthand that dog owners will do anything to keep their beloved pets healthy. Dogs are family and should be treated that way! Learning how to remove a tick from your dog should be high on your priority list to keep your pup safe and to give you peace of mind.

Ticks can be found right in your backyard and chances are your pup probably spends a lot of time playing (and doing their business) out there. Knowing the signs and symptoms of tick-borne illness in a dog is crucial to keeping your furry friend healthy.

African American mom, dad, and daughter sitting on a grey couch with their cream golden retriever.

Don’t want to worry about your pets getting ticks in your backyard? 

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Signs your dog has a tick

As a pet owner, you are usually quick to notice when something is off about your furry friend. Maybe they’re scratching more, whining to go outside, drinking less water, or not begging for human food! No matter what it is, a change in your dog’s behavior should not be ignored. 

Dogs can contract tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that signs of tick-borne disease in a dog may not show up for 7-21 days. (Insert slight panic attack.) Here are the top signs that your dog may have a tick-borne disease – listed in no particular order. 

  • Reduced appetite
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Joint pain or limping
  • Swollen lymph nodes
Brown and white dog sleeping on a grey couch  on top of a plush white blanket .

These signs can be hard to detect. If you suspect your dog has been bitten by a tick, watch closely for loss of appetite and lethargy. As with any abnormal behavior in your pet, it is always important to schedule an appointment with your vet if you notice your dog exhibiting any of the above symptoms.

Where to check for ticks on your dogs

It’s essential to check your dog for ticks the moment they come in from outdoors, especially during peak tick season. Your pets spend more time outdoors, so their chance of tick exposure is higher than it is for you. 

According to the CDC, here are the top places where you should check your dog for ticks:

  1. In and around your dog’s ears
  2. Around your dog’s eyelids
  3. Underneath your dog’s collar
  4. Under your dog’s front legs
  5. Between your dog’s back legs
  6. Between your dog’s toes
  7. Around your dog’s tail
A person's hands searching through the fur of a Golden Retriever looking for a tick.

How to remove a tick from a dog

You should remove a tick from your dog the second you notice it. The quicker you remove the tick the less likely that a pathogen will be transmitted. Follow the steps below to remove a tick from your pup:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Use tweezers and grab the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible.
  3. Pull straight up and out – do not twist the tick.
  4. Once removed, place the tick in alcohol, flush it down the toilet, or wrap it in tape to get rid of it. Do not crush it.
Vet wearing white gloves using bright green tweezers to remove a tick off of a dogs neck.

Tick bites can cause severe consequences if the tick is not removed quickly! Ask your vet what preventative measures you can take to protect your pup from ticks and, in the event of a tick bite, contact your vet for the best treatment method.

Let Western get rid of ticks for you!

Aside from using tick prevention products on your pup, you can also reduce the chances of your dog getting bitten by a tick in your yard with our mosquito and tick control service. Our mosquito and tick control service reduces the population of ticks in your yard while controlling tick larvae and nymphs. This service will help lessen your pup's exposure to ticks, which will decrease their chances of getting bit and contracting any diseases. Contact us today!

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