Tick season is about to get into full swing now that summer is coming to an end and fall is starting. This means you should check your dog for ticks whenever they come in from the outdoors. Many people think that deer ticks are only a problem for dogs that live in or near wooded areas where deer live, but deer ticks can find your dog even in the middle of the busiest cities. All it takes is for your next door neighbor to take his dog out for a romp in the woods. Deer ticks can jump on the dog for the ride back to your neighborhood and end up in your backyard. If you aren't used to dealing with ticks, here are the signs your dog might have deer ticks, how to check for them, and what you should do if you do find them on your dog.

Signs of Ticks

The clearest sign that your dog has ticks is that you can see them climbing all over your dog. Ticks especially like to climb around the head, ears, and neck of your pet. They also like to hang around the feet of your dog as well. You can also check by spreading the hair open on your dog and closely inspecting the areas for ticks eating and moving.

Deer ticks have flat oval bodies with eight legs and a hard shell. Adults are roughly the same size as a sesame seed, but they can grow to the size of a pencil eraser when engorged with blood. Male ticks are dark brown. Females have a black shield on their back and a reddish brown body.

How To Remove Ticks

You want to make sure you get the entire tick off of your dog. The body will usually break away from the head if you use your fingers, and the head will keep eating into the flesh of your dog. You should use a pair of tweezers to grab the tick's head so you can pull its head and body from your dog in one motion.

After you have removed the tick, treat the bitten area with rubbing alcohol to kill any bacteria on and in the bite. You should also apply an antibiotic cream to the bitten areas to help prevent the bite from becoming infected.

Take Dog to Veterinarian

A tick can infect your dog with Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis within minutes of feeding on your dog's blood. You should take your dog to your veterinarian right away so they can do a blood test to check if your dog has been infected with a disease and to start treatments right away if necessary.