There’s no two ways about it, ticks are awful. Truly, truly awful.
They can spread all kinds of nasty infections and diseases, and they’re a health threat to dogs, cats and people.
If your pet has recently picked up a tick, you’re more likely to feel it before you see it. This is because ticks start off very small, gradually increasing in size as they feed.
As soon as you see or feel a tick, you should remove it as soon as possible.
Why shouldn’t I just wait for a tick to fall off?
To help avoid the transmission of tick-borne diseases, you need to remove a tick as soon as you can.
The longer a tick is latched on to your pet, the greater the risk of them infecting your pet with some really dangerous bacteria.
There are lots of methods online about how to remove ticks, but the best and safest is to use a purpose-designed tick hook.
Why should I use a tick hook? Can’t I just pull it out?
Ticks have extremely strong mouthparts, designed to help them latch securely onto your pet.
It’s these super-strength jaws that mean the tick removal process has to be done properly.
If you just pull at a tick, you risk separating the body. This means the head is left embedded in your pet, leaving them at risk of developing an abscess around the site.
However, a tick hook is designed to remove a tick in one smooth movement.
Just slide it in from the side underneath the tick, twist and pull, and it should come out in its entirety.
Be sure to wear gloves to protect yourself, and make sure you dispose of the tick correctly.
What do I do if I don’t have a tick hook?
Although ticks are nasty little devils, don’t panic and resort to dangerous methods to try and get it out.
An internet search might tell you to try burning it off or rubbing alcohol on the tick to kill it. Tweezers are another common suggestion, too.
But – and we cannot stress this enough – don’t try any of these methods. They could potentially cause even more harm to your pet in the long-run, so it’s always better to wait until a new tick hook has been ordered and delivered to remove it safely.
Here’s resident Itch Vet, Zoe Costigan, explaining more about how NOT to remove a tick:
How can I protect my pet from ticks?
Ideally, you should use a year-round tick preventative treatment.
Peak tick season runs from March-October, but just like with fleas the reality is that ticks can be a nuisance all year round.
The good news is, if you’ve already subscribed to Itch Flea, you have tick-eliminating treatment on-board already.
The even better news is that if you’re not already subscribed to Itch, it’s really easy to do so. Hit that button below to get started, and get your first month free!