Checking Your Dog For Ticks
Ticks are a very common parasite that can cause serious problems. It’s important to know what they are and how to check your dog for ticks. Dog’s often pick up ticks on walks, the ticks are waiting in shrubbery and woodland to latch on to your dog’s fur as they brush past.
Ticks can carry very harmful diseases such as Lyme disease and and pass them onto your dog. Humans can also get Lyme disease from tick bites, so it’s crucial that you take precautions. In order to detect ticks as early as possible you need to regularly check your dog. This will highlight any ticks which you can remove (only in the correct manner) or get your vet to remove. If you don’t check a tick could go unnoticed for days or even weeks.
Here are some tips for checking your dog for ticks.
As we take our dog’s out for walks every day it is necessary to check your dogs on a daily basis, especially during tick season. Ticks are more common in the summer and autumn. Check your dog when you get back from a walk to make sure they haven’t picked up any ticks.
How to check for ticks
It’s much easier to look out for ticks on some dogs. You can often easily see them on dogs with short hair, however that doesn’t mean you don’t need to check. They could have a tick in a hidden area. Dogs with very long or thick fur can be more difficult to check, you just have to be more thorough and it will take a bit more time.
Run your hands over every area of your dog’s body to feel for lumps and bumps. Apply enough pressure so that you can feel anything unusual. Don’t forget to check places such as in between their paws, their ears and armpits as these are areas where a tick can easily be missed. If you find a tick pull their hair apart so that you can see it. Do not touch the tick without gloves on or you could put yourself at risk.
What do they look like?
Ticks can vary in size depending on how long they have been on your dog’s body. The longer they stay on the bigger they are because they have taken more blood. Some ticks can be as big as the size of a grape if they are left for long enough. Ticks will start off being a brown colour but as they drink more blood they turn grey. Many people mistake ticks for moles and skin tags as it is difficult to see the actual insect.
If possible keep your dog’s coat short during tick season
If you have a dog that has their hair cut or trimmed regularly you might want to consider having their hair cut shorter when ticks are about. This makes it easier for you to spot and check them for ticks.