Even though winter brings frigid temperatures around most of the United States, your dog isn’t necessarily safe from pesky, opportunistic ticks. If you take your pooch out for a walk in the forest or a stroll through a nearby field, when the conditions are right, ticks may still be around and looking for a victim. After you take a walk, no matter what time of year, it’s important to check your canine companion for parasites.
Checking for ticks is easy. Start off by petting your pup like normal, but use your fingers to feel for any bumps, no matter how small. If you find a bump, investigate it. It could be a tick, a small scratch, or something less consequential. Pay special attention to covered areas on your dog, like their armpits, toes, groin, chin, ears, head, and even tail.
A tick will feel like a pea-sized bump but can vary in size. If you suspect you found one, take a look. Ticks will be brown, black, tan, or grayish with eight legs. They may be attached to your dog or just on the surface of your pooch’s fur depending on when you find them. Also, some can be very small, so don’t be too quick to dismiss, the Humane Society of the United States explained.
Dealing With Dog Ticks
If you do stumble across one of these pesky pests, you’ll want to take careful steps to ensure your and your dog’s safety. First, put on a pair of rubber gloves, because ticks can cause trouble for humans as well as dogs. Next, gather tweezers, antiseptic, and isopropyl alcohol.
Use the tweezers to grab the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible without pinching your pooch. Then, pull the tick out with a swift, fluid motion. Check the spot afterward to ensure that no other bits of the tick are lingering, as these can also lead to infection, the Humane Society reminded.
Place the tick into a container full of isopropyl alcohol to kill it immediately, yet still preserve it in case your dog shows symptoms of an illness and your veterinarian needs to see what type of tick it was to determine treatment. Use the antiseptic or soap and water to wash the wound and protect your dog. Also, make sure to give them plenty of love following the annoying and possibly painful experience.