The weather is creeping into tick season, but don't freak out. Proper precaution such as monthly flea and tick medication, or tick spray before hiking, can help prevent these pesky little guys from bothering your dog. If you do find a tick on your dog with a little caution they are easily removed. Ticks live in wet, dark, brushy areas, which subsequently dogs love to run through.
We hike several times a week with our pack and we never let the threat of ticks keep us indoors, even when it’s raining. We’ve encountered and removed plenty of ticks, we just make sure to check and prevent often.
Prevention: If your dogs are on a monthly flea and tick control such as Revolution and Frontline this can help to prevent ticks. If your pet is not on a monthly preventative, there are tick sprays which you apply before hiking to help repel ticks.
Check: Be sure to do a thorough check of your dogs after hikes and outdoor playtime before getting back into the car or coming inside. Pet your dog from head to tail, paying close attention to crevices, the ears, under each leg, and between the paw pads. If you do find a tick remain calm and follow these simple steps.
How to remove a tick:
1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.
2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. You want to pull the entire tick out in one try. Don't twist or wiggle the tick; this can cause the mouthpart to break off and remain in the skin.
3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area with antiseptic and wash your hands well. We suggest killing the tick by placing it in a bowl of rubbing alcohol. Before disposing of the tick keep it for a couple days, in case your pet becomes sick you can bring the tick to your veterinarian.
Things not to try: Do not try to smother the tick with alcohol or burn it out with a lighter, you risk killing the tick, which will leave its head inside the skin. Because ticks carry lots of nasty diseases using your bare hands is not a good idea, wear latex or rubber gloves when removing the tick. Do not attempt to hold the tick at gun point, they don't tend to like that either.