Ticks are the bane of every dog lover’s existence. Worse than fleas, these blood-sucking arachnids often carry some very serious diseases. As most veterinarians will tell you, proper flea and tick prevention is a must if you live in an area where ticks are abundant – which is pretty much anywhere. Tick-borne diseases can be life changing and ticks can be very difficult to find on our dogs, so knowing where and how to check thoroughly is important. Using a flea and tick comb to brush through your dog is essential, but there are some places you might forget to look. These are some spots ticks are commonly found in that you might not consider checking.
#1 – In The Ears
Ticks usually lie waiting in tall grass and bushes to attach to a dog walking by and since our pups are inquisitive and love sticking their noses and faces into everything, it shouldn’t be a surprise that ticks find their way into their ears. There are lots of folds and crevices that ticks can crawl into and attach, so you might not find it until it’s fully engorged. Large, floppy eared dogs are often victim to tick bites in the ears because it’s so difficult to notice the pests unless you’re actively looking.
#2 – Under The Collar
Many owners rarely remove their dog’s collar, except maybe during bath time. However, ticks can easily hide underneath a collar or any other clothing your dog might have on. When you check for ticks, remove the collar completely so you can comb through the coat without anything in your way. Remember that ticks can be very tiny, so you need all the help you can get to see them. Check your dog’s collar itself to make sure there aren’t any ticks crawling around on it before you put it back on.
#3 – Between The Toes
It doesn’t happen often, but it’s not unheard of. Ticks will crawl and attach in between your dog’s toes. Checking your dog’s feet can be difficult, so make sure to enlist some help if you need it. Check around each of the pads and in between each toe and use a comb if you can. If you notice your dog licking or chewing at their feet when they normally don’t, you might want to check to see if a tick is the cause.
#4 – In The Groin Area
We’re usually not checking our dogs’ groin area often, but ticks like the dark, moist perianal area on our dogs. Checking around your dog’s genitals is important when looking for ticks, even if it means getting a little more personal than you wanted to with your canine companion. Be sure to check the underside of the tail, too, as ticks can latch on there and go unnoticed for a long time.
#5 – On The Eyelids
Sometimes we might notice what looks like a small skin tag on our dog’s eyelid that turns out to be a tick. Skin tags commonly form around dogs’ eyes and on their eyelids, but ticks also enjoy latching onto that area as well. Be careful not to injure your dog’s eye when searching for ticks, but do check the eyelid areas thoroughly to make sure no pests are hitching a ride unnoticed.
#6 – Inside The Mouth
Although not common, dogs can get ticks inside their mouths. This happens to dogs that eat grass and other shrubs, but it’s not impossible for ticks on the face to travel inside the mouth either. It’s probably not a place you need to search regularly, but if you have found other ticks on your dog, you may also want to check the mouth thoroughly.
Cover photo: Anthony C via Flickr