Prevention is key to protecting your pet against fleas and ticks. While flea and tick repellants will prevent many pests from finding home on your pet, even the best are not 100% effective in protecting your dog. Checking for ticks should become routine.

After outdoor adventures, thoroughly check your dog’s entire body for bumps or swollen areas. Be sure to pay special attention to the inside of his ears, under the armpits, the area around his toes, face and chin. Ticks vary in size, and can be as small as the head of a pen, so inspect carefully. They are able to jump from host to host, so it’s a good idea to check the entire family for ticks after outdoor activities in wooded or grassy areas.

If you do find a tick, stay calm and grab your gear! Here are some tips from the Humane Society to quickly and safely remove them:

Step 1: Gather Your Essentials
plastic gloves
isopropyl alcohol

Step 2: The Removal
While wearing your gloves, use the tweezers to gently grasp the tick. Be careful not to twist or squeeze the tick. Once you have secured it, steadily remove the entire tick, making sure not to leave anything behind.

Step 3: Securing the Evidence
Place the tick in a small container that contains isopropyl alcohol, which will immediately kill it.

Step 4: Tending to Your Patient
Clean the affected area and your tweezers with an antiseptic. After the hard work is finished be sure to thoroughly wash your hands. Don’t forget to reward your dog after being such a good patient.

Keep an eye on the affected area to see if it remains irritated or infected. If your pet shows any change in behavior, be sure to consult your veterinarian. During your pet’s yearly exam we will run a heartworm and lyme test to monitor exposure. This blood test detects the tick-borne diseases: lyme, ehrlichiosis and anapalasmosis. If your pet tests positive, your veterinarian will discuss any additional diagnostics or treatments necessary.