You’ve probably had an experience with a tick before. Whether you’ve pulled one off your own skin, your child’s skin, or your pet’s skin, you know how bothersome these pests can be. Ticks are not uncommon, and they can cause serious health problems. It’s important that you keep your pet tick free, while knowing how to spot and rid your pet of the ticks.

Ticks can be found almost anywhere, so don’t ever think your pet is safe. They live in wooded areas, beaches, damp places, grassy and bushy areas, or anywhere a tick-infested animal has visited. These pests can also survive extremely cold temperatures; although, they are more common during the warmer months.

It can be hard to spot a tick, especially when you aren’t looking for one. That’s why it’s good practice to regularly groom your dog. Even if you take him to a professional groomer, you should still regularly comb through his coat, checking for both fleas and ticks. Ticks are small and round, normally dark brown or black in color. They latch onto the skin, getting nourishment from blood. They like to hide out in warm, damp places, so pay close attention to folds or creases of the skin.

If you spot a tick, then you need to take immediate action. Ticks not only cause pain, they can be extremely dangerous to your pet’s health. These pests can carry fatal diseases such as Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Ticks aren’t too difficult to remove if you follow these easy steps.

First, get a pair of tweezers, a cotton swab, and rubbing alcohol. You may also need a friend to family member to help keep your pooch still (don’t worry; it won’t hurt him). Dip the cotton swab in the rubbing alcohol, and apply to the skin around the tick. The alcohol can encourage the tick to loosen its grip. Take the tweezers and try to get a good hold on the tick. Pull firmly, being careful not to twist. If the tick won’t release, apply more alcohol with the cotton swab and try again. Once the tick is removed, dispose of it in a capful of alcohol (the alcohol will kill the tick), and then throw it out. Clean your pet’s skin with a disinfectant and antibiotic. Wash your hands thoroughly. In rare cases, you may have to take your pet to the veterinarian to have the tick removed.

You should talk to your veterinarian about a tick prevention program. Prevention is much easier than treatment should a disease-infested tick bother your pooch. In most cases, your current flea prevention program probably has a tick prevention component built in.

Ticks are pesky little creatures that can harm the health of your pet. Groom your dog regularly, keeping an eye out for ticks. If you find one, remove it immediately. Ticks can live and breed anywhere, so make sure you talk about tick prevention at your next veterinary visit.

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