How to Treat Ticks on Dogs


Ticks, ew!

Just the mere thought of these devious diseased parasites lurking in the wooded areas of our favorite paths and trails can give us pause.

Although ticks are present year-round, they are most mixed up in spring and summer months, as a result it feels like a game of arachnid roulette anytime we brave the bushy trails to let our four-legged buddies stretch out and run free on the planet.

Over the final 1000 years, these tough little predators have adapted to each climate on every continent, so if you think your neighborhood is tick-free, think again. The resilient eight-legged bloodsuckers are built to survive in just about any environment: freezing, pouring rain, or sweltering heat. 

What is really a tick?

Ticks are part of several animals known as arthropods. They're arachnids like spiders, having two main parts of the body and eight legs, while insects have three main body parts and 6 legs. You will find over 900 types of ticks found throughout the world, of which about 90 are found within the U.S. These contain hard ticks (Ixodidae), who carry and transmit Lyme disease, and soft ticks (Argasidae), who spread Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever (TBRF), and both need blood meals to grow and are quite well-equipped at providing them with.

Note: One distinguishing factor in a tough tick versus a soft tick would be that the hard tick's mouthparts are visible, while soft ticks look almost as when they don't have a mouth. Hard ticks also have what is called a dorsal shield while soft ticks do not.

Yet with 700 kinds of types of hard ticks and 200 soft ticks, just a few of them bite and transmit disease, although like every natural predator, they are fully aware the very best places to catch a ride from the traveler; even more, their saliva acts as a numbing agent so that you won't even have the bite!

How to Remove Ticks from Dogs

When you spot a tick on your dog (or yourself), do not use your bare hands to get rid of it, because they carry lots of bacteria and viruses.

The tick removal process requires three easy steps:

  • Grab a pair of tweezers and pinch the head from the tick as close as possible to the host's skin.
  • Once you have a hold of it, pull firmly, carefully, and steadily in an upward motion preferably in a 45-degree angle. Avoid twisting or jerking the tick as it might cause the head/mouth to detach and remain embedded.
  • Once the tick is removed, use a safe disinfectant like iodine or rubbing alcohol to the wound and/or affected area to prevent infection.   

While it's as simple as that to get rid of them after they are discovered, be sure to check your dog regularly for ticks, as well as yourself, and take away them as soon as possible to prevent any secondary diseases. If you're unable to take away the entire head and the body from your dog, contact your veterinarian.

How to avoid Ticks

Like with many things, the very best defense against these relentless clingers, is a good offense.

Do regular checks in your dog, especially after walks in tall grassy areas. Ticks like to spend time in moist, or shady spots from dryness or sun. They prefer bushes and grasses, or fences and retaining walls; you might find them first during these places, but be assured, if you don't, they most definitely will find you and your dog.

Even in case your four-legged friend has already been using tick medication or a preventative collar, it's still good to check yourself and your dog after walks in the wild. And make certain to check on your pet from head to toe, especially around the paws and between your toes, then proceed to the legs, about the eyes, within the ears, on their lips, under the tail, and near their anus. Check under the collar, basically search for bumps all around and investigate any you find. As well as check yourself all around, everywhere, because sometimes you will not feel them until they are big, fat, and filled with blood; again, they like warm and moist areas, so be sure to check everywhere in your body (think groin, armpits, and scalp).

Create Your Tick-Free Zone

If your dog has a big or small backyard to experience and lounge around in, there are a few things you can do to make it safer from ticks.

Cut the grass, the small parasites love to sit and wait for a host just to walk by and rub up against the grass to enable them to unsuspectedly move ahead and bite.

Clear out any thick brush or deep vegetation that your dog might chase a ball into, or simply forage set for fun.

Don't let debris stack up, clean up those mounds of branches, sticks, or wood, even dead leaves, and other yard trash alllow for the best tick bus stops.

If there are permanent tick-prone areas in your yard or on your property like fences or compost, you can build barriers around them to keep your ticks motionless in, such as using gravel to create a complete protection radius. 

Other Preventative Measures


Do you would like tick payback? These microscopic roundworm soldiers are a parasite's worst nightmare. Nematodes can serve all sorts of purposes when combating pests, and ticks take presctiption their hit list. You can spray them about your yard, and while they're parasites themselves, they merely hurt those little insects or arachnids they choose his or her host. Once they've latched onto said tick, they inject their deadly bacteria or just go into the host, and then begin feeding onto it. Moreover, they will reside in the soil for approximately 6 months, so treatment methods are infrequent.

Please note: Be sure to purchase the correct Nematodes that are intended for ticks, since there are a number of the small parasitic fighters.  

Diatomaceous Earth

Made from the fossilized remains of microscopic aquatic organisms known as diatoms. The skeletons of those tiny ones are made up of silica that has accumulated over the years in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans. Thus, it's natural and organic for pets and kids and can be used throughout your yard. The powder works like billions of bits of small glass shards that are harder than the tick's exoskeleton. It'll make incisions in them and finally dry them up, knocking them out dead fast. 

Chemical Sprays

Of course, there are many pesticides out there, but unlike the natural methods mentioned previously, you have to exercise caution when utilizing these sprays to prevent your pet or children from being exposed. Therefore, it is a wise decision to always consult a professional before purchasing, which is recommended that you use a professional pest management service if you go the path of chemical treatment.

Tick Collars

Simple and efficient, they're worn just like a traditional collar round the dog's neck and employ medication to kill any ticks that encounter the head or neck. Also, a few of the medicine enters the dog's bloodstream preventing future infestations. How long the collars last vary, however, Seresto Flea and Tick Collars are a top brand, last up to eight months, and it is the only one recognized by the Central California Society to prevent Cruelty to Animals (CCSPCA). Avoid touching the collar if you're able to, and when you need to do, be sure to wash your hands.

Tick Sprays

Sprays are available in most pet stores, and many products can not simply be sprayed on your dog but additionally throughout the house to keep other pests such as fleas, at bay.

Be sure to always browse the directions thoroughly before using, avoiding connection with the skin if possible, as well as ensuring your dog doesn't inhale wartrol. Also determine that utilizing a spray may be the right move for your household, certainly for those who have young kids around.

Please note that tick powders and dip remedies are no more recommended.

Spot-On Treatments

These treatments are very popular with pet owners as a fantastic way to rid your pet of cumbersome ticks. The liquid and/or gel is frequently applied on your canine's back between your shoulder blades where they are unable to touch it. Then your medication enters the bloodstream and begins killing ticks fast and helps to prevent future parasite attacks, like oral medications.

Be certain to watch out for any skin reaction to the medication that your dog may have, as it can cause irritation and inflammation in some dogs. As well as try to not pet your dog in the applied areas for a few days until the medication is absorbed to prevent any toxic skin contact with yourself. Make sure that you also talk to your vet to learn the safest and finest products available for your dog.

Tick Illnesses, Warning Signs, and Next Steps

The great news is when you follow recommended prevention and early treatment guidelines, you can avoid any further complications from a bite, as a hard tick must be attached not less than 36 to Two days prior to the Lyme disease bacterium could be spread towards the host. Soft ticks, however, can transmit Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever (TBRF) much faster.

Remember it just takes one tick, one bite to transmit one of many diseases that ticks carry, including, Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and many more. So, you should locate and remove all of them as quickly as possible.

Signs, signs, everywhere signs; symptoms of the above diseases can differ but when you catch a blood bloated tick or suspect something is amiss with your dog, you are able to search for these signs: Inflammation and redness around the bite zone, stiffness, pain, lethargy, a general lameness, appetite loss, vomiting, or weakness.

Seeking Treatment if Symptoms Show

The diseases ticks carry could be profoundly serious and should be treated as early as detected. In case your dog is expressing the symptoms listed above, go to your vet immediately. Speak with them about the the risk of infection whether you've seen ticks on your dog or otherwise.

Whether you live in a wooded area or just an urban dwelling, make sure to always watch out for the twelve signs above. Keep an eye on your pet and check them regularly, particularly if you've visited a place where ticks are known to be heavily active.Also, continue to manage your tick-free zone in your own home, cutting that summer grass, and moving those debris piles, or building tick-blocking barriers around fences and compost. Regular checks and precautions will help to keep your happy canine friend safe and healthy all year round.