If there is one thing worse than hundreds of tick species roaming around, it is discovering that your own four-legged friend has a dog tick themselves. Dermacentor variabilis (commonly referred to as a dog tick or wood tick) is that species notorious for carrying bacteria responsible for causing several diseases in humans, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme Disease. And you guessed it, can cause tick-borne diseases in dogs as well, like the ones mentioned for humans prior along with things like Canine Anaplasmosis, tick paralysis, and canine hemorrhagic fever.
All in all, it is no secret that dogs are highly susceptible to getting a dog tick or two when out exploring on summer days, making owning a quality dog tick tweezer much more than just a luxury item. However, with dog ticks posing extensive repercussions within just 24 hours of contact, understanding how to address dog tick removal both fast and correctly is the ultimate key to keeping your pup as safe as possible.
What You Will Need Ahead Of Time
- Latex or rubber gloves
- Good lighting
- A SHOOBY dog tick tweezer (sterilized)
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Small container with a lid (to plop the tick in)
- Triple antibiotic ointment and/or pet-friendly antiseptic cream
- Lots of treats!
Dog Tick Removal The RIGHT Way – A Step-By-Step
- Gather Your Supplies: Before anything, be sure that you have all the necessary supplies next to you. Getting these all gathered in one designated spot is what is going to help make this process go much more seamlessly.
- Relax Your Dog: Whether it be treats, assuring tones to belly rubs, try to get your pup as calm and relaxed as possible. The more still they are, the easier it will be for you to proceed. In addition, a calm dog helps reduce the risk of a tick's head breaking off under your dog's skin during extraction and causing a higher chance of infection.
- Expose The Tick: Next, put on your gloves and use either rubbing alcohol or water to flatten out your dog's coat around the tick. To keep it flat, you can always use one hand to hold it down while keeping the other free to pull it out with the dog tick tweezers.
- Extract The Tick: Once you get to this point, it may be enticing to just grab the tick's body and pull. But this is not best practice because too fast or applying too much pressure can cause the head to remain intact. Instead, use your dog tick tweezers to get a gentle yet firm grasp of the tick as close to the dog's skin as possible. From here, pull in one straight motion (no twisting or jerking) gradually until the entire tick is out.
- Post-Tick Clean Up: Once the tick is out, drop them into the small, lidded container and apply isopropyl alcohol on it. You will also want to disinfect your dog’s skin on and around where the tick was found and wash your own hands as well. Keep in mind that most vets will say you do not need to come in after a tick bite. However, if the tick’s head broke off, the tick was possibly embedded for longer than 24 hours, or if your dog begins to show signs of lameness, fatigue, swollen joints, or site redness, then the vet will likely require you to come in for further valuation.
Summary – Stay Prepared and Confident With SHOOBY
Discovering a dog tick is not a pleasant experience for anyone. You might be nervous about where to go from there (especially if it has never happened before), and your dog could very well sense that something is off and feel anxious themselves. But the good news is that with the right actionable measures and the correct tools on standby, this often-scary situation can quickly turn into a much more organized/fast-remediating one for the both of you.
That said, it is never a bad time to invest in a vetted dog tick tweezer from a brand you can trust and really digest the proper measures to take in case you ever find yourself in a dog tick removal scenario with your own four-legged family member. Because in the end, the more prepared and confident you are during those dog tick facing moments, the faster your pup can get back to doing what they do best - exploring the world around them.