How to Wash a Dog with Ticks

Hard
30 - 50 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

Like most dog owners, you’re probably aware of the threat of fleas on your furry friend and do what you can to prevent them. However, there is something much more dangerous than fleas that poses a threat to your dog. Ticks often lay in wait in tall grass or thick, wooded areas and these parasites are capable of carrying any number of diseases as they burrow into your dog’s skin. Preventing illness and infection by either preventing ticks from being able to climb onto your dog or knowing how to remove them is knowledge that every owner should have.

Dog's Perspective

Ticks can be irritating and unpleasant to dogs, causing itches and scratching. If the bite area gets infected, it can also cause illness and disease. All of these can make your dog miserable, but he may not be very fond of the removal process either. Be ready to offer him some treats or something equally interesting to distract him from his bath or tick removal or prevention routine.

The Prevention Method

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Shampoo
Step
1
Avoid tick infested areas
Keep from allowing your dog to wander in areas outdoors where ticks are prominent. This includes heavily wooded areas with lots of vegetation or tall grass. This can also include areas where local wildlife may roam, such as deer, raccoons, opossums, or other wild animals. These animals can carry ticks that will jump at the chance to infect your dog next.
Step
2
Use tick shampoo
Give your dog normal, routine baths with special shampoo that is meant to kill existing ticks and prevent later ones. These shampoos should be made specifically for dogs and will generally act like any other dog shampoo.
Step
3
Use a tick collar
Tick collars emit a gas or other chemical that is harmful or deadly to ticks and prevents them from rooting into your dog’s fur. These collars are usually non-obtrusive and easy to put on, however, if your dog’s skin is sensitive, the collar may irritate the area around the neck. Do some research and determine which brand of collar works best for your dog.
Step
4
Check fur frequently
Even if you don’t live in a tick infested area, checking your dog’s fur every few days is an important step in preventing an infestation of any sort of parasite. You can do this by running fingers through the fur and doing checks around the body in the dark areas such as the groin, under the tail, on the belly, or around the ears and eyes.
Step
5
Try a prescription
Your veterinarian may prescribe some chewable medication that can help prevent ticks and fleas. These medications may, however, have side effects. It’s important to discuss the risks of each medication with your vet and choose which may be the most effective and least harmful for your dog.
Recommend grooming method?

The Removal Method

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Shampoo
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Do a spot check
Every time your dog comes in from the outdoors, check the areas in his fur where ticks are most likely to live. You can do this with your fingers, but you can also choose to use a hair dryer on its coolest and lowest setting, using the stream of air to part the fur and look closer at the skin. Make sure the check is as thorough as possible, as ticks can be easy to miss.
Step
2
Use tweezers
Instead of trying to remove a tick with your fingers, which can cause the tick to burst or burrow deeper, tweezers will provide the best grip on the parasite and make it easier to remove. Grip the tick around the midsection with the tweezers, but don’t squeeze. You want to avoid popping or bursting the tick, as they are typically filled with blood and can cause infection in your dog.
Step
3
Carefully remove
With some cautious tugging and wiggling, remove the tick from your dog’s skin. Don’t worry if the head of the tick remains, as they can be burrowed fairly deep and will eventually fall out with time.
Step
4
Bathe thoroughly
Once the tick is removed, bathe your dog as normal, using his normal shampoo or another shampoo that is especially for ticks and fleas. Make sure to wash every crevice where ticks may be hiding and consider using a small rag to lather up enough shampoo for a very thorough clean.
Step
5
Use a spot treatment
Once your dog is bathed and dried, use a spot treatment for ticks and fleas which are normally done via a small eyedropper and a few drops of the medication along the nape of your dog’s neck. This can help prevent later parasites from taking advantage of your dog.
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Caution & Considerations

  • If your dog has too many ticks to be removed all at once at home, take him to a veterinarian or professional groomer who may be able to recommend a better option.
  • There are any number of flea and tick products on the market, all of which may vary in reliability for your dog in particular. You may want to do some research and figure out which will best suit your needs.
  • Never try to pull a tick with your fingers, burn it off, try to kill it with chemical substances while it’s still on your dog, or throw the remains of a tick away in a trash can where it can get back out. Using appropriate treatment and disposal methods will help prevent further infestation or infection.
  • If you’re concerned about infection or your dog displays signs of illness, always take him immediately to the vet. Tick-borne diseases can be serious and sometimes fatal.
  • Always wash your hands after removing a tick to prevent illness in yourself. Ticks can easily transmit disease to humans, so it’s important to take precautions. 

Conclusion

Removing and preventing ticks on your dog is incredibly important to prevent him (and you!) from getting sick or infected with a disease. While prevention and removal may be a bit of a hassle, it will ensure that he lives a life that is free of parasites and illness caused by them.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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