What to do if you find ticks on your dog?
As a dog owner, you probably already know a little about parasites. Fleas are the best-known type, but there is also another parasite that a responsible doggy owner should know about – ticks.
What are ticks?
Ticks are tiny little creatures that are part of the arachnid family, which also includes mites, spiders and even scorpions! There are many different types of ticks, and although they can live all year round, they are especially common in the late summer and autumn months. They live in woodland and get onto passing animals, including your dog, by climbing onto them when they brush past. Once they’ve hitched a ride, they scuttle to bury themselves deep in your dog’s coat, using their mouthparts to attach securely to their skin. Then they start feeding, drinking your dog’s blood to get the nutrition that they need to survive. Once their tummies are full, they will drop off.
What do ticks look like?
Ticks are usually very small – at least before they start feeding. As they fill with blood, they can grow from the size of a pinhead to about the size of a coffee bean. They are usually black, dark brown or sometimes grey, and oval in shape. When you groom your dog, you might think they are a wart at first, but if you look closely, you may be able to spot their legs! Experts recommend that you check your dog for ticks every time they come in from outdoors, especially during the summer and autumn. You can do this by giving them a good brush and checking their skin while you do.
Will a tick bite hurt my dog?
Tick’s mouths are so small that a bite shouldn’t hurt your dog, although the area around it may get a little red. However, like other parasites ticks can carry other harmful diseases from dog to dog. Some of the diseases that they carry can make dogs and humans sick. For this reason, it’s best to try and avoid ticks altogether by using preventative medicines. But if your dog does get a tick, it should be removed right away.
What should I do if find a tick on my dog?
If you spot a tick on your dog, it would be best if you let your grown-up deal with it. This is because removing a tick needs to be done very carefully to avoid hurting your dog or getting any potentially infected blood onto your skin or your pet’s. Your grown-up will use either tweezers or a special tick-removing tool to try and remove the tick whole. Make sure you tell an adult as soon as you spot the tick as the sooner it is removed, the less chance it has to pass any diseases on to your pet.
Want to learn more about ticks? Check out this interesting video which talks about dogs and humans can avoid ticks!
Find out more important information about how to keep your dog healthy and happy by signing up to the Zara Dog Dog Club today!