I Found a Tick On My Dog, What Should I Do?

Pet Grooming in Indiana

Enjoying the great outdoors with your dog is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. However, from early spring through to early fall, you need to check your pet regularly for ticks to ensure one of these sneaky creatures doesn’t bury themselves into their hair and skin. While regular dog grooming can make it easier to spot ticks, you’ll still need to make a conscious effort to check your pet, especially after any outdoor adventures that may have included tall grass or low-lying shrubs.

The easiest way to know what to look for when it comes to ticks is to learn a bit about them. Ticks actually have two body parts (their head is separate from their body) and eight legs. In Indiana, the three most common tick types are the American dog tick, the lone star tick, and the black-legged tick. The American dog tick is the most common, and prefers to feed on animals versus people, so this will likely be what you find on your pet.

How to Deal With A Tick On Your Dog

As mentioned, having nearby dog groomers that you trust to properly groom your pet is important when it comes to tick prevention. When your pet’s hair is well maintained, doesn’t have matting, and their skin is healthy, it will make it much easier for you to complete tick checks on a regular basis. Pressed for time? Try mobile dog grooming in Northwest Indiana for added convenience.

Ticks attach most frequently around a pet’s head, ears, neck, and feet, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be found anywhere else on their body. If you do find a tick, you can either contact your veterinarian to have them remove it or you can follow the steps outlined below.  A tick carrying disease must feed on your pet for more than 18-24 hours before it can transmit bacteria, so it’s important to remove it as soon as possible.

  • To check your dog for ticks, start by running your hands over their whole body. Use the dog grooming tools you may have at home, like a brush or comb, to move through their hair and get a better look at their skin.
  • If you find a tick, use blunt tweezers or gloved fingers to touch the tick.  If the tick’s saliva comes in contact with broken skin, it’s best to make an appointment with your veterinarian to have your pet assessed for bacteria transmission.
  • Dab rubbing alcohol on the tick.
  • Take hold of the tick as close to the dog’s skin as you can, in order to avoid detaching the head of the tick from its body.
  • Once you have hold of the tick, slowly pull straight back using constant pressure. It can take a few minutes before the tick lets go.
  • Once you’ve successfully removed it, disinfect the bite area, the tools you used and your hands.
  • Wrap the removed tick in a damp paper towel, place in a sealed container or plastic bag and freeze until you can bring it to your veterinarian. Be sure to tell the vet the date and location where you think your pet picked up the tick.

The next time you make an appointment for in-salon or mobile dog grooming, be sure to let them know you’ve recently found a tick on your dog so that they can watch for any sores or bite marks.

Regular Dog Grooming Can Help You Protect Your Dog from Ticks

You may be the one to find a tick on your dog but know that if you ask nearby dog groomers if they’ve ever found a tick on a customer, you’ll likely hear them say yes. At Smoochie Pooch, our professionally trained groomers are equipped to handle every situation. We’ll work with you to provide your dog with a haircut that suits their lifestyle and supports their health. When your pet’s hair and skin are properly maintained, it will make it easier for you to find ticks or other issues that need attention. To book an appointment at one of our conveniently located Northern Indiana pet salons, contact us.