Tick season is upon us and rumor has it that it is going to be a bad one. Here’s our game plan for efficiently and effectively checking dogs for ticks.
Just a disclaimer, I am not an expert on this matter. I do however have quite a bit of experience checking dogs for ticks. However, it is best to talk to your vet about the best methods for tick prevention.
Although there are a number of different ways to approach tick prevention for dogs, none of them are 100% effective. It’s important to also check your dogs over. Typically, tick-borne illnesses are transmitted if the tick has been latched for over 24 hours. If you remove a tick as soon as possible, the odds of your dog falling ill due to a tick bite significantly decrease. Even if you didn’t know your dog had been bitten and/or your dog has been treated for tick prevention, it is still important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of tick-borne illnesses in your dog so that you can get them the proper treatment to recover. Use these tips and tricks to catch ticks early on.
Tick Prevention for Dogs
Where to search
Ticks like dark places where they can easily stay hidden. Some key places to check your dogs include:
- The groin area
- Head and ears
- Neck – particularly under the collar
Check your dog for ticks in the following order:
- Start by dragging your hands along your dog’s entire body, almost like you are wiping off all of their loose hair.
- Next, brush the areas that you can and check the brush for ticks after each stroke. I use the Ferminator for my labs.
- After you’ve brushed your dogs, start at the dog’s nose and gently palpate the head almost like you are giving your dog a head massage. Look for any spots where the fur appears to be raised.
- Check both sides of the ears and make sure to check around the base of the ears. It is also worth taking a look into your dog’s ear to ensure no ticks are hanging out in there either.
- After checking the head and ears, check around the neck. Remove your dog’s collar and move your fingers down and around the dog’s neck almost like you are combing through their hair with your fingers.
- Continue this combing technique around the dog’s torso and pay particular attention to the sides. Again, look for any raised spots of fur.
- Feel under your dog’s armpits and check your dog’s groin area. This step is often accompanied by some solid belly rubs.
- Check the tail, especially at the base. I typically do a visual check and try my best to feel around the tail before my dog escapes from me.
- The last place I recommend to check for ticks is in between your dog’s toes. Although I have never found a tick in between my dog’s toes, it is apparently quite common so don’t discount that area.
Keep your pups tick-free this summer!
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