Summer is officially here. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the bugs are out in full force! It’s extremely important to check for ticks after spending time outdoors. They carry Lyme disease, the POW virus and other deadly diseases that can leave you seriously ill. If you have pets, remember, you’re not the only one susceptible to ticks after being outside. Make sure you check your dogs thoroughly for ticks on a regular basis. That includes checking their mouth!

Dog-Tick Safety

When people check their four-legged friends for ticks, they often do a thorough body sweep but forget to check one important place: their pup’s mouth! Homestead & Survival shared the photo below on their Facebook page. The photo has been shared over 2,700 times!

The post read, “Most people never even look inside their dog or cat’s mouth to see if there are any problems. With tick season in full force all over the country and many parts of the world, many of us have become accustomed to checking our pets for ticks thoroughly from head to toe when we’re done playing outside. One of the last places we would ever think to check (aside from under their tails) is inside their mouths.”

Ticks are able to find their way into small spaces. In dogs, that includes tiny gaps between the teeth and gums. When you check your dog’s mouth, keep an eye out for spots that look like food stuck in your pet’s teeth. A small dark spot might actually be a tick!

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, make sure to check them for ticks on a regular basis. If you find a tick hiding in your dog’s mouth, use fine-point tweezers to remove it.

The American Kennel Club explains, “Spread your dog’s fur, then grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Very gently, pull straight upward, in a slow, steady motion. This will prevent the tick’s mouth from breaking off and remaining embedded in the skin.”

They added, “Never remove a tick with your fingers—it’s not only ineffective, the squeezing may further inject infectious material. After you’ve removed the tick, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly, clean the bite site with rubbing alcohol, and rinse the tweezers or tool with disinfectant.”

Watch the video below to learn how to recognize Lyme disease symptoms in your pet:

Sources:
Homestead & Survival
American Kennel Club
American Kennel Club

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