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Now that summer is at its peak, people are looking for more opportunities to explore the outdoors.
From going camping to hiking the mountains to having local picnics at the local park, there’s a lot to do.
If you have a dog, now would be a great time to tag her along. She needs the sun, exercise, and fun. On the other hand, you need a loyal partner to hang with.
Unfortunately, warm months spell trouble for our dear pets as ticks and fleas are actively looking for hosts at this time.
After being in hibernation for so long, they come out to play when the mercury rises.
As your doggie interacts with other pets or people or rolls around on the grass, the ugly bugs find their way to her skin. After looking around for a while, they will burrow into your pet’s skin and feed on her.
As the ticks feed on your dog, they can introduce diseases and infections that affect both man and animal.
The most common is Lyme disease which causes joint inflammation and arthritis in the dog. If left untreated, Lyme infection can spread to major organs such as the heart and the brain.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is also another disease resulting from a tick infestation. RMSF causes joint, muscle, and fever pain as well as digestive problems.
There are many ways of removing ticks from dogs. These include using tweezers, Vaseline, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap.
In this guide, let’s zoom in on the last method. Here is everything you need to know about removing ticks off a dog using dish soap.
Why Dish Soap?
In a study done to find the effectiveness of using dish soap to remove ticks, it was discovered that the method is 100% effective.
The study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology tested 9 patients and came up with these awesome findings for all 9 patients.
Dish soap basically drowns the ticks and compels them to detach from the dog. This includes detaching via the mouthparts.
Well, the study was done on human beings but the principle is the same. If you follow it to the letter, you will drown the ticks and cause them to stop burrowing into your dog’s skin.
This procedure is painless for the dog unlike using tweezers which can pinch the dog by accident.
It is also quite simple to perform. You don’t have to go all the way to the clinic to have it done on your pooch. With the right tools, you can get rid of the ticks fast and effectively.
Plus, dish soap is readily available in most homes.
Using Dish Soap To Remove Ticks
When you see the flat round, black parasite burrowing your dog’s skin, the first instinct would be to reach out with your hand and pull the thing.
Never, ever attempt to do that!
What often ends up happening is that you will pull out the body leaving the head still sticking to the doggie.
By tearing the tick, you risk spilling the contents of its abdomen on your doggie. These carry diseases that will ultimately transfer to the doggie.
This method is also likely to leave other body parts of the tick in your dog’s skin.
Using dish soap helps by drowning the tick so it loses its grip on the dog. Afterward, it will be easier to pull it off.
Here is a step-by-step guide on using this method.
What You Will Need
- One tablespoon of dish soap of your choice
- Cotton ball
- A disposable bowl
- Plastic spoon
1. Locating The Tick
First things first, you need to conduct a head-to-toe search of your dog to locate ticks. Keep in mind that these ugly critters are tiny and flat.
If you have a furry animal, you have a real challenge of locating them as they will be buried deep in the fur.
According to the AKC, ticks are more prevalent in seven areas of a dog’s body including the following.
- Head and ears
- Tail toes
- Under the collar
As you look around, pay close attention to these areas.
2. Drown the tick
Begin by pouring the water into the disposable bowl and set it aside.
Now, position your dog right depending on where the tick is located.
If she is not cooperating, you might want to enlist the help of a second person to hold her still.
Next, pour the liquid soap on a cotton ball and let it soak on it.
Cover the soaked ball over the tick and the surrounding regions of the skin and hold it still for half a minute. This gives enough time for the tick to loosen.
3. Remove The Tick
Once the dish soap drowns the tick, it will open its fangs and try to survive.
Remove the cotton ball and you will find the tick stuck to it.
Grab your tweezers and remove the bug then drop it into the bowl of water you set aside earlier.
Check the area to make sure that you got rid of everything.
Let the tick drown then flush it down the toilet. You can also save the tick and have the vet examine it to see if it carries any diseases or not.
Some tick species have transferrable diseases. If the tick fits in the category, the vet may ask you to bring the dog for further testing.
4. Disinfect The Dog
After removing the tick from your dog, you want to clean the area very well.
Start with soap and water gently cleaning the surrounding area until you are satisfied that it is clean.
Rinse it and then apply an antiseptic such as rubbing alcohol to the affected area.
Now, repeat the same procedure for all the ticks in the dog’s body.
Word Of Caution
While removing a tick off your dog is an easy home remedy, it is really not the very best. The reason is that it increases the risk of having the tick’s contents spilled onto the dog.
See, when you attempt to drown the bug, it becomes distressed. As such, it can easily vomit its content on your doggie. If it is carrying diseases and infections (which is highly likely), they will get on your dog and cause problems.
As CDC would have it, the best method of removing a tick off of a dog is using tweezers. The reason is that it is rather quick and doesn’t give the arachnid enough time to vomit.
Tweezers are fine-tipped and can hold the tick without spilling anything. As long as you grab the bug gently and pull with steady pressure, you will get it off safely.
If you have to choose between using tweezers and dish soap to remove ticks off your dog, always choose the former over the latter.
Ticks are not only uncomfortable for a dog but they carry all manner of diseases.
When the temperature is high, always check your doggies for infestations.
When you come across them, grab your dish soap and eliminate the threat.
If you are up for a little light reading, we have many insightful posts that can help you get rid of ticks on your pup, including:
Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.