How to Recognize and Remove a Tick

You’ll notice a tick on your dog because it’s a tiny black, brown, reddish or tan insect about the size of the head of a pin. Once it’s on your dog, it may swell up to the size of a grape.

It’s nice if two people can do this. One to hold the dog steady and one to remove the tick.

Studies show that using petroleum jelly, mineral oil, soap water, alcohol and hot match heads do not work to loosen ticks from skin. A hot match can even harm your dog.

Here’s a short video on the right way to do it (and how to recognize a tick).

Watch your dog for a couple days to ensure he didn’t get an infection from the tick. If he suffers swollen joints that make him lame, has a fever or isn’t eating, see a vet right away.

If you never want to go through this again, use a monthly preventive that also protects your dog from fleas. I use Nexgard. 

WARNING: Any one medication can cause an allergic reaction in any one dog. The first time you use any tick preventive be certain a responsible person is home with the dog for the next few hours.

Contact your vet if the dog shows any type of allergic reaction such as over excitement, scratching wildly or develops hives or swelling especially on his face or neck.

How to Take a Small Dog’s Temperature

If your dog seems to be off his game but there’s no apparent cause, it’s a good idea (and a reassuring one) to take his temperature and see if there is a physical problem.

Normal range for small dogs is 100 to 102 F or 38 to 39 C. Anything outside that range requires veterinary care and a temperature of 103 or higher is a medical emergency.

It’s a good idea to take your dog’s temperature when you know he’s well or at a routine vet visit so you see what’s typical for your dog.

If you use a non-rectal thermometer, always take his temperature in the same area of his body. For example, always use his ear, his gums or his groin rather than using a different body area each time.

Make sure your dog is in a comfortable position away from any cold or heat source that might distort his body temperature.

Nothing, however, beats a rectal thermometer for accuracy. Use a little Vaseline to help with the insertion.

Here’s a short clear video on how to use a digital rectal thermometer to take your dog’s temperature.