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How to Check Your Dog for Ticks

Reviewed by Dr. Alexis Seguin, DVM, MS, DACVIM on Thursday, September 17, 2015
Posted September 17, 2015 in Dog Checkups & Preventive Care

Ticks are terrible little parasites that carry multiple, nasty diseases that can affect both animals and people. Ticks are almost so common, people sometimes dismiss them as a concern, but it’s so important for pet parents to take ticks seriously. To protect your dog from tick-borne disease, it’s important you know where to be checking for ticks, and how often. I decided to reach out to Dr. Mike Paul, who gave me some excellent tips that I share in the video below. 


Ticks are still here
While the weather is changing and our summer activities are winding down, that doesn’t mean ticks are going into hibernation. According to a study from the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2010, some disease-carrying ticks have actually become immune to the cold because they’ve developed a type of anti-freeze glycoprotein to survive in harsh conditions. How scary is that? Read more about ticks and cold weather here >>

Where should you be checking for ticks, and how often?
When my dog Harley was diagnosed with Lyme disease 2 years ago, I knew I had to step my game up when it came to checking her for ticks. As demonstrated in the video above, Dr. Paul says that important  places to check your dog include:

  • Between the toes
  • Inside the ears and  around the ear folds
  • Under the chin and neck area
  • Groin and armpits

Really any places that look like good hiding spots probably are! Remember to always part the hair as much as you can to get the deepest and closest look. You should be checking your pup any time she could have come into contact with parasites, especially after outdoor activities such as hiking or swimming.

When should you be using tick preventives?
The simple answer to this is always. Ticks are prevalent year-round. If you’re unsure about disease in your environment, check this map to see which canine vector-borne diseases are in your area >>

Want more information on ticks? Here are some great resources:

Ticks 101 >>

Dogs, Ticks and Tick-Borne Parasites >>

Protecting Your Dog from Fleas and Ticks >>

6 Tick-Borne Diseases You Should Know About >>

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

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