What do you do if your dog has a tick?

dog has a tick
dog has a tick

What is that on your dog?

Oh no! Your dog has a tick! It’s every dog parent’s nightmare to find one of these yucky pests on their dog. And with the warmer weather, the chance of finding a tick is highly likely. Now what do you do?

First thing you want to do is get that thing off your dog. They can carry all kinds of diseases, like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or a whole slew of others. You don’t want your dog to get any of these, so the best thing to do is to get that tick off quickly. They say within 24-36 hours is best, but whenever you find it, get rid of it!

You want it gone, but it’s important to remove that tick the right way. If you don’t, you might not get the whole thing, or any diseases it’s carrying might be passed to your dog. Infection can also be a problem since the remaining part of the tick is recognized by the body as a foreign object.

Ways to remove a tick from your dog

There are lots of different approaches to removing one of these things from your dog.

  • There’s the mechanical approach; using tweezers and pulling slowly and carefully so you get the tick out with the mouth parts. They also have devices, tick keys for example, that slide over the tick and help you pull it out intact. If you use this method, you should wear gloves so you don’t get any diseases and you should flush the tick down the toilet or kill it. You do NOT want it to come back.
  • Smothering it with baby oil, vaseline or some other substance can get rid of the tick. Some of these work better than others, depending on things like the thickness of the product. The downside is that it might pass disease to your dog as it’s dying.
  • You can use various products to repel the tick and make it pull it’s mouth out on its own. If you have apple cider vinegar, citrus fruits or eucalyptus oil, you can use these. Home remedies like these can help, but might take a bit of patience before they work.

One thing you don’t want to do is squeeze the tick with your fingers since that can cause it to spread disease into your dog. Plus, you could get any diseases it has if you’re not wearing gloves.

After the tick is out, then what?

The risk of infection is real, so clean the area with soap and water or another antiseptic. Also apply an antibiotic ointment if you can. And wash your hands so you don’t catch anything. Finally, kill the tick so it doesn’t show up again.

To be safe, you should check your dog for any other ticks. If they have one, they could certainly have another or even several. Check places like ears, between toes, the groin, under the tail………as much surface area as possible.

Just in case, watch your dog for signs of infection at the site or development of disease. Take your dog to the vet if anything looks off.

No one wants to find that their dog has a tick

Our dogs spend a lot of time outside playing in the grass and fields, so we find ticks from time to time. This year has been worse than usual. The simple mechanical approach has worked well for us. You can check sites like the AKC site or Dogsnaturally magazine for more ideas on removing these parasites. Whatever method you use, just be diligent about checking so your dog doesn’t end up with an illness that could possibly have been prevented.

For more about essential oils and dogs, read my post Essential oils; do they really work?

Have you had to deal with ticks on your dog? What methods have you used? Tell me about it in the comments below.