If you have a dog, chances are you’ll encounter a tick at some point in their lives. Find out how to remove a tick from your dog with this handy guide.
If you’re a dog owner, chances are you’ll encounter ticks at some point. These creepy crawlies look like small spiders and are commonly around 1mm to 1cm long. They’re usually found in woodlands, grasslands, heath areas and in the countryside where there are lots of deer and sheep.
If you find one of these nasty pests, you’ll probably be wondering the best way to remove a tick from your dog, which is why we’ve created this handy guide to tell you everything you need to know.
Spotting ticks on dogs
Contrary to popular belief, ticks can’t actually fly or jump and instead, just tend to drop on to your dog’s body as they walk past, hence why they’re most common in areas of dense foliage.
The best time to check your dog for ticks is as soon as you get back from your daily walks. Be sure to check for any lumps and bumps as ticks will usually feel similar to a small bump (which can sometimes be mistaken for a little skin swelling or mass). The key areas to inspect are the head, neck, ears and feet as these are where they’re most commonly found.
Ticks can start to pass on diseases in as little as 24 hours, so it is important that they’re found and removed as soon as possible in order to reduce the risk of transmission of potentially harmful organisms.
Removing a tick from a dog can be difficult because it’s important that you get the whole tick out without leaving its mouthparts buried in your dog’s skin, as this could lead to an infection. If you’re not sure how to remove the tick or you have difficulty trying to get it all out, take your dog to a vet.
For more tips and information on spotting and treating ticks on dogs, read our guide.
What you’ll need to remove ticks from a dog
Before you start removing the tick from the dog, there’s a few things you’ll need to make the process easier and to prevent possible infection.
- A tick removing tool – these tools can be purchased from pet shops or your vet
- Disposable gloves
- Dog friendly disinfectant
- An extra pair of hands to keep your dog still
- A jar with a lid
How to remove a tick from a dog – step by step
Preventing future tick bites
Now you know the best way to remove a tick, you’ll need to know how to prevent tick bites in the future. A lot of flea treatments available on the current market actually work against ticks too, and these can be purchased from your vet practice.
Some spot-ons or tablets are tick repellents (preventing ticks attaching in the first place), whilst others will kill the tick once it has attached and fed but do not prevent its initial attachment. Speak to your vet for further advice on the most appropriate product to use on your dog. By ensuring that their flea and tick treatments are kept up to date, you can help to ensure your dog doesn’t get bitten in the future, thus removing the chance of disease or infection.
Additionally, brushing your dog regularly can also help with tick management as not only will it enable you to keep a close eye out for any potential ticks, but you can also prevent them from attaching to your dog in the first place.