What To Do When You Find A Tick on Your Puppy

blog cute puppies pet care pet care tips petland Petland Florida puppies puppy ticks

As a puppy parent, keeping your puppy safe and happy is your number one priority. Unfortunately, no matter how nutritious your pup’s food is or how many times you take them on vet visits, there’s always a chance they can get sick.

As a puppy parent, keeping your puppy safe and happy is your number one priority. Unfortunately, no matter how nutritious your pup’s food is or how many times you take them on vet visits, there’s always a chance they can get sick. Some of these illnesses are caused by one common pest: ticks. 

These little critters are arachnids like spiders, but they’re a bit different. Ticks are parasites, living off the blood of warm-blooded hosts like dogs and humans. They typically live in wooded areas and love to feed during warmer months. Your puppy may catch a few ticks on their feet and ears without realizing it—this can lead to serious illnesses like Lyme disease.

If you are wondering whether your puppy is the victim of a tick bite, read on to find out what the signs are and what you can do to protect your furry friend!

Signs of a tick bite

Your puppy can suffer from varying symptoms through a tick bite, including blood loss, itching, and anemia. Most symptoms depend on the type of tick that bites your pup. Your furry friend may also suffer from some serious complications such as: 

  • Tick paralysis. Although less common than other symptoms, tick paralysis is a serious condition caused by a neurotoxin that enters your pup’s bloodstream when a tick is feeding. Once this toxin is inside, your furry companion will experience paralysis in their lower body, eventually spreading to their upper body parts. It can also cause vomiting, high blood pressure, and weakness (though these symptoms are gradual). Tick paralysis is fatal if it reaches your puppy’s lungs, causing them to stop breathing. This illness can be caused by a number of tick species, including the Rocky Mountain wood tick, an American dog tick, and deer tick. 
  • Lyme disease: A condition caused by deer ticks, Lyme disease is a serious illness that affects dogs, humans, cats, and various other animals. Some major signs of Lyme disease in a puppy include depression, lack of appetite, lethargy, fever, and renal failure. If you notice your puppy isn’t eating and has a fever, be sure to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet will be able to determine what’s wrong with your puppy and will prescribe the right medications to treat the disease.

Check your puppy for a tick

Ticks come in all shapes and sizes. While some are particularly small, you can easily spot a tick if you look through your puppy’s fur. The best way to check for ticks in your pup is to feel their fur and skin—if you feel a bump, make sure to carefully inspect it. Usually, it’s easy to tell when there’s a tick on your pup after you closely look at it.

How to remove the tick from your puppy

Many puppy parents make the mistake of removing ticks from their puppies by pulling them with their fingers. Word of advice: avoid doing this at all costs. Pulling a tick can cause you and your fur-baby to come into contact with tick blood, which carries various diseases (Lyme disease and tick-borne illness, for example). Instead, follow the next steps to properly remove a tick from your puppy and prevent infection to the bite area. 

  1. Spread your puppy’s fur and treat the bite area with rubbing alcohol.
  2. Using a pair of fine-point tweezers, grasp at the tick as close to the skin as possible.
  3. Pull the tweezers upwards slowly, making sure that the tick’s “head” doesn’t come off. 
  4. Treat the affected area with rubbing alcohol. 

Make sure to take your puppy to the vet, even after you’ve removed the tick. You should also wash your hands and clean the tweezers with a disinfectant. 

Prevent future tick bites

From collars to topical creams, there are many ways you can prevent ticks from latching onto your cuddly friend. Some of these products also kill fleas and other pests. If you live in a wooded area or have a backyard, we highly recommend using a flea and tick prevention products to help keep your puppy safe and healthy. You can also stop by Petland to check out what products are the best for your furry cutie!

We hope these tips help you keep your puppy healthy and clean. Remember to avoid squeezing or pulling at a tick; be gentle with every motion. If you have trouble removing the tick or aren’t comfortable with it, visit your vet for their help. We at Petland care deeply about the wellbeing of your adorable pup. Our Pet Counselors are adept at answering any questions or concerns you may have about your puppy’s health, including tick prevention and other healthy measures.

You can also check out our blog, 6 Signs Your Puppy is Healthy to learn whether your puppy is healthy!