Remove Dog Ticks Correctly

If you have to remove ticks from your pet, take a little care and patience and do it the right way.

Don’t use your fingers to remove the tick; you don’t want to be in contact with a potentially disease-carrying tick that can transmit disease.

Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers or a fine-tipped hemostat. Do not apply the removal tool to the body of the tick. By squeezing the body of the tick, you will crush the tick and force harmful bacteria to leave the tick and enter your dog’s bloodstream.

You want to grab with the removal tool as close as possible to the tick’s head at the point of entry on your pet’s body. Once you have contact between the tick and the removal tool, apply a slow and steady outward pressure without jerking or twisting.

DO NOT use petroleum jelly to suffocate the tick.
DO NOT use alcohol to irritate the tick into removal.
DO NOT use a hot match or heated instrument.

These practices will result in the tick depositing more disease-carrying saliva in the wound.

Place removed ticks in a jar with alcohol or in a paper towel then fold over a few times and liberally wet with alcohol.

Dab the bite location with alcohol or skin-suitable disinfectant, and you may wish to apply a small amount of a triple antibiotic ointment.

If a skin welt occurs, due to a reaction to tick saliva, hydrocortisone spray or first aid ointment can be applied to alleviate any irritation.

Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and do not touch any other parts of your body until you do.

We are not fans of the mass market flea and tick remedy solutions because, in our view, they are applied poisons, or in the case of flea and tick collars, necklaces of poison. If you would not put these products on yourself or your children you should not be putting them on your beloved canine and feline companions.

Many popularly used products contain ingredients such as carbaryl (Sevin), a nerve-paralyzing chemical that can cause a host of side effects, DDVP (dimethyl dichlorovinyl phosphate), methylcarbamate, rotenone, pyrethrins, and piperonyl butoxide. Piperonyl butoxide is used as a booster in most of the new pyrethrum products. It is associated with liver disorders and an increased risk of cancer.

DDVP is the chemical found in the majority of plastic flea collars.

DDVP numbs an insect’s nervous system and, although your dog cannot speak, the chemical can have the same effect on your pet. Flea products containing d-Limonene or citrus oils are considerably safer than those listed above, but still have significant toxicity potential.

We can recommend with good conscience a more natural and homeopathic approach that will give positive results at the links below.

TF-Defense: homeopathic remedy for tick-borne ailments

Sentry Natural Defense Flea & Tick Squeeze-On and Spray

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2 Responses to “Remove Dog Ticks Correctly”

  1. 1 onlinedesign July 16, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Fabulous advice! Funny that you mentioned the problem with putting poison on your Dogs to remove ticks. Years ago when I was growing up we had a big white German Shepherd and a Black Lab.

    With acreage behind our house for them to roam free on, they used to get ticks galore! My Dad, used to fill this giant plastic barrel with the equivalent of liquid Sevin-Dust, and “Dip” the Dogs. I haven’t thought about this in years until I read your Blog.

    Pretty much every weekend was Dog Dippin’ Day. The outcome was the our white Shepherd died at the age of 8 from something unexplained, and our Black Lab suffered horribly as she died of what the Vet thinks was a Colon Cancer.

    Back then, we didn’t know there was a cancer link to pesticides for Dogs. It was just “the thing you do” to keep ticks off your dogs. We had no information or links to resources, like yours, to tell us that “hey…this is NOT good practice”.

    Your PET is NOT just “some” Dog. We don’t put poisons all over our toddlers, and we shouldn’t do that to our Pets, either. In a sense, our animals are just like toddlers for the entire duration of their lives and they depend on us for everything.

    Seriously something to think about.

    Thank you for the interesting information and tips! Great Blog.

  2. 2 callofthedog July 16, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    We want to thank you for sharing that story. On one hand, we’re sorry that it brought back memories that by any measure would feel unpleasant. However, your sharing of a very poignant story drives home, better than we could have said, the message we want to relay.

    We are very grateful that you took the time. Everything that you said regarding our responsibility to our fur children is 100% correct.

    We would look forward to hearing from you again.

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