Perform tick checks after your dog has been outside. Even if you have not been away from home, your dog is still going outside in the yard. In endemic areas, tick checks must be done daily, within a few hours after being outside. The Ixodes tick that carries Lyme disease is never larger than the size of an eraser on a No. 2 pencil, even after feeding. Ticks are very small, making them very hard to find during a tick check, which is why tick checks are seldom 100 percent effective. However, the slow transmission of the bacteria after the initial tick bite creates a window of opportunity for you to remove ticks before the disease is transmitted.