340781_289289854426808_100000373864613_938787_644063242_oDoing a daily tick check on you and your dog is important if you spend time outside with your dog in areas where ticks like to hang out.

If you find a tick on your dog, don’t panic! Follow these quick and easy steps to safely remove the tick.

Step 1: Get Your Gear
Have a pair of gloves, a clean pair of tweezers, some antiseptic and isopropyl alcohol on hand.

Step 2: Check For Ticks
If you feel a bump or swelled area, check to see if a tick has burrowed there. Ticks can be black, brown or tan, and they have eight legs. They can also be tiny—some are only as large as the head of a pin—so look carefully. To see images of ticks, visit dogsandticks.com.

Step 3: Remove the Tick
You will need to wear gloves while removing the tick to avoid contact (ticks can transmit disease). Grasp the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible, but be gentle! Be sure not to pinch your dog’s skin. Pull outward in a straight, steady motion, making sure that you have removed the entire tick, as anything left behind could lead to an infection.

Step 4: Flush It Away
To make sure that the tick is gone for good, flush it down the toilet. 

Step 5: Praise Your Patient
Clean your dog’s skin with antiseptic and make sure to clean your tweezers with isopropyl alcohol. Wash your hands, too! Then give your pup a treat for being a trooper in the fight against ticks.

Follow Up
Keep an eye on the area where the tick was to see if any infections surface. If the skin remains irritated or infected, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Also keep an eye on your dog to see if he has any symptoms of tick-borne diseases. Some symptoms include arthritis or lameness that lasts for three to four days, reluctance to move, swollen joints, fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite and neurological signs.

For more specific symptoms and information on diseases, visit dogsandticks.com.

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