How To Get A Tick Off Your Dog Or Cat

Who does this tick think he is?!

how to remove ticks from dogs

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Ticks are the worst — and finding one latched onto your dog's body isn’t only scary, but it feels like a total invasion.

Who does this tick think he is!?

Unlike when your cat or dog gets fleas — which are also cause for alarm and immediate treatment — ticks latch right into your pet with a death-like grip that makes them not only hard to remove, but more likely to spread disease the longer they’re on your dog.

Why ticks are a serious problem

If your dog gets a tick, it’s important to not just remove it, but it’s important to do it as quickly as possible to help prevent disease transmission.

Not only do ticks cause Lyme disease — the best-known tick-borne illness — but they can also cause health issues like ehrlichia, anaplasmosis and other fun-sounding diseases.

And every minute that tick stays on your dog or cat makes it more likely that they’ll share some nasty germs.

Remove the tick and treat your pet

“It is better to remove a tick when it is still alive, thereby reducing the likelihood of tick-borne diseases,” Dr. John Sangiorgio, a veterinarian from CompleteCare Veterinary Center in New York City, told The Dodo. “Use tweezers and get as close to the skin as possible. If you leave the head in, eventually the animal will react to it, causing a pustule and the healing process will be longer.”

While there are rumors out there of some crazy tricks to remove a tick, they don’t typically work. Just wipe down the area with rubbing alcohol before going in with the tweezers.

Once the tick has been removed, Dr. Sangiorgio suggests going to a veterinary clinic for an antibiotic shot to help prevent diseases.

But Dr. Sangiorgio also recommends trying to figure out where your dog picked up the tick from in the first place.

“Ticks are more of a problem because they have an intermediate host,” Dr. Sangiorgio said. “That means that if you have ticks around, you [probably] also have rodents around you.”

According to Dr. Sangiorgio, if you and your dog were out in the woods and brought a hitchhiker tick home, that’s sort of expected — but if your pet is limited to the house and yard, you have a rodent problem.

“At that point it is best to call an exterminator to rid your environment of rodents,” Dr. Sangiorgio said.

Preventing ticks

The best way to treat ticks, however, is to prevent them in the first place. Make sure your pet is on a consistent preventative medication to ensure you never have to worry about them.

Dr. Sangiorgio recommends Bravecto products — and personally uses them for his own dog.
 
Recommended Oral Tick Prevention for Dogs:

Bravecto Chews for Dogs on Petco for $56.99
 
If you’re looking for a chew for cats, Dr. Sangiorgio also recommends Comfortis Chewable tablets:
 
Comfortis Chewable Tablets from Petco for $96.99