Ticks can transmit deadly diseases to a pet within 24 hours of a bite, so swift removal is key.
Here’s the best way to remove a tick from your dog or cat so you’re prepared to get rid of these dangerous parasites.
Before you start the actual removal process, gather everything that you need to remove the offending tick from your pet first. It's harder to try and manage a squirming animal while looking for your tweezers or rubbing alcohol than it is having everything you need within arm's reach.
What You’ll Need
- Tweezers (pointy ones work best)
- Latex or rubber gloves
- Rubbing alcohol
- Antiseptic wipes (optional)
- Jar or container with lid
Steps for Removing a Tick
Step 1: Put on your gloves.
Ticks carry infectious agents that can seep into a human’s bloodstream through breaks in the skin. It’s better to play it safe and wear protective gear.
Step 2: Steady your pet and keep him calm.
When you’re getting ready to remove the tick you’ve got to keep your pet calm. Any unusual poking or prodding tends to make dogs and cats nervous. If there is another person available, have that person hold your pet and keep him relaxed
Step 3: Position your tweezers.
Take a pair of tweezers—pointy ones work best—and grab hold of the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible. Be careful not to pinch your dog’s skin.
Step 4: Pull out the tick.
Using steady pressure, pull the tick out using a straight motion. Do not twist or jerk the tick because you want to avoid leaving the tick’s mouthparts behind. Also, make sure not to squeeze or crush the tick, since its fluids may contain infectious material. After removing the tick, examine it to make sure the head and mouth parts were removed. If not, take your pet to veterinarian to remove what's left in the pet's skin.
Step 5: Kill the tick.
Kill the tick by placing it in a container with rubbing alcohol. Once the tick is dead, most veterinarians recommend keeping it in the container with a lid incase your pet begins displaying symptoms of disease.
Step 6: Disinfect the bite site.
Use antiseptic spray or wipes to disinfect the bite site and keep an eye on it for signs of infection. If the bite site remains red or becomes inflamed, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Step 7: Reward your pet.
After you’ve removed the tick from your dog or cat, praise your pet for being good. Give him or her a treat and add in some extra playtime as a special reward.
Keep an Eye on Your Pet
Make sure to keep a close eye on your dog or cat over the next few weeks and be on the lookout for any strange symptoms including a reluctance to move, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and swollen lymph nodes. If your dog displays any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your vet immediately.