Having a pet dog can be a rewarding experience. While pet ownership is a privilege, it also entails full and complete responsibility to care for the pet’s well-being. It’s not all fun and games, you know! Our dogs need to be fed, groomed, taken to the vet, and protected from harm and sickness.
As their master and owner, you must see to it that your dogs are healthy and in good shape. You can start by giving your pets proper hygiene, pretty much in the same way that people take a bath and clean up after themselves. Our dogs’ ears should be cleaned, their nails clipped when they start to grow longer, and their fur combed. They also need a haircut and even a massage as well. It is also a must to bring your pet dog to the vet for its scheduled vaccinations. So yeah, maintaining your dog’s health is pretty complicated.
Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, infections and diseases may hit your pets especially if they often play outdoors. During summer and spring when the weather is warm, your dogs may become more susceptible to ticks. These tiny beasts not only look disgusting but are extremely difficult to remove.
In this article, we will try to dissect what makes ticks, well, tick. We’ll discuss how they thrive in our dog’s fur and how they can be removed completely.
But first, let us get to know the enemy. Here are some things that you may not know about these head-scratching critters:
- Ticks are not insects. They belong to the arachnid family and are more related to spiders (and yeah, spiders aren’t insects).
- These parasites are so tiny. In fact, some species can only be as big as a pinhead and almost invisible to the untrained eye.
- Ticks mainly thrive on blood, and have the ability to transfer from one host to another.
- These pests are not confined to our canine friends. They also infest birds, reptiles, frogs, mammals and even humans.
- These external parasites have a simple life cycle. They start as eggs, which hatch into larvae and wait for a host. Once it finds its host, the tick will start sucking blood. After filling up, it will do either of these things: stay on the host, fall off the ground, or move on to another host.
Ticks may look tiny and harmless at first, but they can crawl aimlessly and accidentally hitch a ride on your pet’s coat. This usually happens outside the confines of your home, when you walk your dog in the woods, park and the neighboring community. Your pet may even get it from your visit to the veterinarian’s clinic
These small creatures are stubborn clingers and are difficult to disentangle from the dog’s body. On top of this, they multiply so fast, posing bigger problems if they stay longer on your dog’s body.
If a tick found its way onto your dog, do not panic! Check out these tips on how to remove ticks from your dog.
Hold the tick and start rubbing it in a circular motion. This will help dislodge the tick from the host. Ticks generally don’t like to be disturbed, and so this movement causes them to crawl out voluntarily. This technique is quite effective if you are just counting a few ticks, but not if your dog has so many of them.
The use of tweezers is an old-fashioned way of removing ticks. This technique can be helpful but may leave traces or marks behind if not done properly. Do not try to pop a tick because it will just multiply the eggs. The best thing to do is submerge the collected ticks in a jar of alcohol. Not even flushing it in the toilet can kill the ticks!
These are usually over-the-counter substances that can be purchased anytime from your local veterinarian’s clinic, pet stores and online shops. The effectiveness of these treatments can last up to a month. Before administering any product on your pet, always read the label and ask your vet when in doubt.
Drugs Taken Orally
You may choose to have your dog take medication designed to remove ticks. These drugs are administered once a month to protect your dogs from tick and flea infestation. It is much safer to use than spot-on treatments because it goes directly in the mouth of the infested animal. There is no fear of little kids and other pets coming in contact with the medicine.
Tick killing shampoos are readily available in the market and you can buy in bulk depending on your budget. Using this shampoo when giving your dog a bath can immediately weaken or kill the ticks outright. Applying this shampoo at least every two weeks or as often as possible during the tick season will guarantee your dog’s protection.
There are different types of dips and every kind varies according to its strength and concentration. This chemical needs to be diluted with water before application. Read the label carefully before use to avoid harming your pet. You can use a clean cloth or sponge to rub the fur of the animal. Do not rinse off after medication and just leave it on the fur.This medication could not be used for dogs under four months and for nursing pets since dips are quite strongly formulated.
Extra care should be taken when using powder to eliminate ticks. One should read the label properly because a certain tick powder has specifications for a certain age and make sure the label says dog powder. This could also irritate the lungs and mouth of your dog if inhaled so make sure to apply minimally. This topical method of medication can kill and prevent ticks from your dog.
Just like medicated shampoos, this can be bought in the supermarket, pet shops, online and from your friendly veterinary. You just lather the soap on the dog’s body. Use this soap on your dog especially during tick season as often as possible.
This type of preventive medication focuses on the neck and head of the animal basically to protect it from tick and fleas. When putting it on your dog’s neck make sure the collar touches the skin of your dog to enable the transfer of medicine onto the fur and skin. Extra care should be applied. Make sure no extra length is left dangling to prevent your dog from chewing it.
This type of medication is effective to use in between shampoo and dip treatments. This is an effective chemical that kills tick instantly and when sprayed on the dog provides lasting protection.
House and Lawn Management
Having a clean home is very important to everyone’s health including your pets. You need to disinfect the affected area to stop the spread of ticks. There are readily available chemicals in the market. Choose what best suit your budget and needs.
Judging from the list of tips above, there’s really a lot of things that you can do to take away ticks from your dogs. Sure, these techniques may involve some effort, time, and money. But hey, our dogs deserve all the love and care that we can give, don’t they?