The Ultimate Guide to Dogs and Ticks
If you and your dog love spending time outdoors, it’s important to make sure you do a regular tick check! Ticks love the warmer weather, so your pup is at higher risk during the Australian spring and summer.
So, what exactly are ticks? They’re small insects from the arachnid family that usually carry harmful diseases, such as Lyme disease. They’re typically found in grass and crawl onto passing pets, attaching themselves to feed on your pup’s blood.
Doesn’t sound very nice does it? That’s why we’ve compiled this handy guide so you and your dog can get on with your life tick-free!
How to recognise if your dog has a tick
- Ticks are roughly the size of a pinhead and feed by latching on to your dog’s skin and are usually dark brown or black in colour. They can typically be found near your pup’s ears, head, neck and the creases under their legs.
- Run your hands over your dog’s body to feel for any small bumps or swollen areas, checking to see if there are any ticks there.
- Check for signs of scratching, licking or chewing on a certain area. Your dog may feel a lot of irritation from the tick - such as red, inflamed skin and even scabs.
- If the tick has crawled into your dog’s ear, constant head shaking can be a sign that there may be a tick there.
- In rarer cases, your dog may experience tick paralysis where the tick has injected venom into your dog’s system while feeding. This means your pup may feel weak and experience paralysis. Don’t worry though, your dog’s body should return to normal after removing the tick!
What you can do if your dog has a tick
- You can utilise sharp-nosed tweezers to remove a tick from your dog - but be sure not to squeeze the tick’s body, the goal is to remove the tick in one piece. Remove the tick by carefully grasping its body with the tweezers, gently twisting, and plucking it away from your pup’s skin.
- Alternatively, you can also purchase tick removers from pet stores and some supermarkets. Follow the instructions on the box to remove the tick.
- Clean your pup’s wound with some antiseptic and give them lots of reassuring pats!
- Be sure to wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, trousers, and gloves to avoid the tick transmitting any diseases during the process.
- Dispose of the tick either in a small container or by taping it to a piece of paper and placing it in the bin. We suggest taking a photo of the tick so that you can show your vet if your dog starts to show any symptoms of tick diseases.
- Keep an eye on your pooch after tick removal to check for any symptoms in the following weeks and months. These can be tiredness, difficulty using their limbs, and rapid breathing. If they start to show any of these, it’s time for a visit to the vet.
To prevent future bites, make sure you establish regular tick checks and have the tools ready to treat your pup if needed! Comb your pup regularly with a flea comb, try to mow areas where your pup spends a lot of time and make sure to keep a hygienic and safe space for them to sleep!
Your Pup Deserves The Best