For ticks, puppies -- whose short bodies sit close to the ground and who aren't old enough yet for flea and tick preventatives -- are like furry buffets. Promptly removing the tick from your puppy is important. Even more important is removing the tick from your pooch correctly and safely.
Fill a glass jar with a few inches of rubbing alcohol. The jar provides a safe, protected place that kills the tick and stores its body. If your pet becomes sick a few weeks later, you'll need to take the tick, and your pup, to the vet for disease testing.
Put on rubber gloves to protect yourself from any diseases the tick could be carrying in its blood or saliva. Gently arrange your puppy so he's resting on his side. If necessary, have someone assist you in holding your puppy still.
Grab the tick as close to the puppy's skin as possible, using your tweezers. Pull the tick from the skin away using a firm, steady pressure. Jerking or twisting the tick will break the body in two, which means you'll only remove the tick's lower half. Unless the entire tick is removed, its mouth and potentially disease-causing fluids will remain embedded in your puppy's skin.
Place the tick inside the jar of alcohol and tightly screw the lid. Ticks are hardy insects who can easily climb out of trash cans, toilet bowls and sink drains. The only way to ensure complete removal is by depositing the tick in a jar and securing the lid.
Wipe your puppy's skin around the tick bite with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Disinfecting the surrounding area reduces the chance of future infection. Dip the tweezers in clean alcohol to remove any traces of tick saliva or bodily fluids.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Give your puppy lots of praise and treats during and after the tick removal.
- Do a quick check for ticks every time you take your puppy outside. Ticks are easier to remove before they burrow into your puppy's skin. Waiting a few days, or even several hours, allows the tick to embed itself.
- Do not use a glowing match, petroleum jelly, nail polish or anything else to remove a tick. These wives-tale remedies are ineffective at best and dangerous at worst.
- Take your puppy to the vet if the tick appears too deep or you don't feel confident removing it by yourself.
- Even after you remove the tick, your puppy could still contract a disease. Monitor his behavior closely over the next few weeks, and take him to the vet if he appears lethargic or develops a rash where the tick bit his skin.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.