How To Remove A Tick From A Dog?

How To Remove A Tick From A Dog?

Ticks in dogs are not unusual, but you can remove them using tweezers. You have to grasp the tick to the dog’s skin closely and remove the tick in a straight and steady motion. Learn more about removing ticks from a dog effectively.

What Are The Types Of Ticks In The United States?

Ticks thrive throughout the United States. While some sources say ticks may be present in the Rocky Mountain areas in excess, the truth is that it is found all over the US. There are about 90 species of tick thriving in the United States. But only some species may cause dangerous diseases in dogs. You can put ticks into two major categories. They are the Hard Ticks and the Soft Ticks. Hard ticks have a scutum, while soft ticks have a wrinkled appearance. Ticks can spread various deadly diseases to dogs. As a result, it is critical to check for, identify, and remove ticks as soon as possible. 

What Are The Hazardous Ticks Found On Dogs?

Not all ticks prefer dogs as their preferred hosts. Some might only go for small animals such as rodents, squirrels, rabbits, possums, etc. Some ticks, such as mouse ticks, only go after mice. Some ticks that may use dogs as their host are as follows.

Brown Dog Tick: 

Brown dog ticks are abundant in the areas where there are warmer climates. Their preferred hosts are dogs. So this makes humans with pet dogs vulnerable to brown dog tick bites. Brown dog ticks are dark brown. They have eight legs, like any other arachnid. They are 0.015 inches in length and 0.021 inches in width. 

These ticks can survive in the kennels of your dog. They can also have a hexagonal-shaped basis captuli. They can transmit diseases such as canine ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis) and canine babesiosis (Babesia canis).

Deer tick:

The deer tick, or Ixodes scapularis, or black-legged tick, is abundant in the eastern and northern Mideast. Some of the diseases that Deer Ticks causes are canine babesiosis, Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus disease. 

The deer ticks are soft ticks that may consume blood for 4–5 days. The unfed females are orangish brown-fed females that have a reddish-brown color. Males, whether fed or unfed, are reddish-brown. Males are 0.062 inches while females are 0.12 inches. They are significant vectors of Lyme disease in the United States. 

Asian Longhorned Tick: 

The females measure 0.07 to 0.012 inches. Males are about 0.05 inches. While feeding, they are 9.8 inches long and can host in dogs. They are abundant in Jersey, North Carolina, New York, and Connecticut. Virginia, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Maryland. They can spread diseases such as babesiosis, rocky mountain spotted fever, and, in some cases, Lyme diseases.

Wood Tick 

The wood tick is also known as the American dog tick. This tick carries Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and Lyme disease. It takes three meals in its life cycle. Each stage requires nutrition to progress to the next phase or reproduce. They are present in the eastern parts of the United States. From larvae to adults, these ticks prefer dogs as hosts.

They have patterned markings on their backs and are abundant in the coastal Atlantic states, the southern ranges, and the northern regions from Washington to Oregon. 

How To Spot a Tick on Dogs?

You may use a comb to run it over the fur. If you identify a bump, do not apply pressure. Instead, take a close look at it using your fingers. Part the hair in the region. Using a magnifying glass, try to get a closer look at the tick. So, by regularly combing or bathing the pup daily, you will be able to tell if there are any abnormal bumps. 

It is crucial not to break the tick with the comb as it could be dangerous for the dog. The fragments may also contain disease-causing pathogens that may spread to the dog. As we already know, ticks tend to find dark and moist regions conducive. They may select the same kinds of areas that are comfortable for them. The various regions of the dog’s body where the tick may thrive are as follows:

  • Inside the ears or around them
  •  around the eyelids
  • In the collar region
  • In between the toes or 
  • on the front or back limbs.
  • In the groin region
  • Under and around the tail 
  • In the neck region

Ticks may be very tiny at the beginning. After feeding, they may be engorged to the size of a pinhead or pea. Dogs with long or dark-colored hair may pose a challenge to finding ticks. So being slow and careful could help one detect ticks on the dog.

How To Dispose of A Tick?

Initially, you need to have a basic understanding of eradicating ticks. A tick may contain enzymes and blood. So, coming into contact with them could be harmful. Apart from that, ticks may escape if disposed of like other bugs.

The following are the ways to dispose of ticks correctly:

  • Flush it down the toilet
  • Place the tick in a ziplock bag.
  • Put the tick in rubbing alcohol.

What to do after the removal and disposal of ticks?

  • Make sure to apply to rub alcohol to the tick bite region and your hand’s alcohol.
  • If alcohol is not available, rub with soap.
  • Wash your dog with an anti-tick shampoo.
  • Check the bite region for the next few days. If there is excess reddening or itchiness, consult your veterinarian immediately.
  • If rashes such as the bull’s eye occur, consult your doctor. This rash may not appear in the same region as the bite.

While checking for ticks on your dogs, you may find dead ticks too. Even if the tick is dead, the tick may be attached to the dog.

How Are Dead Ticks Stuck To My Dog?

Dead ticks may be on your dog. After a meal, a tick would detach from the host. But if the tick has not completed their feeding, they might not be engorged with blood. They may be dried and stuck to the body of the dog. 

Sometimes the tick body may be absent while its head attached to the body. It is significant to remove the tick, even if it is dead, as it is disgusting and harmful. 

The procedure to remove the dead tick is the same as any other live tick. After removing it, kill it with rubbing alcohol. Also, rub some antiseptic solution on the area of the bite. If the redness persists, go to your veterinarian.

Can Dried Ticks Cause Diseases?

Dried and dead ticks may not cause any disease. The time they might have spent consuming is not sufficient to transmit disease. This is the case if the canine is on tick preventive medication. The medication given within 5 to 10 minutes may kill the biting tick. 

How To Remove A Tick If Identified?

Materials required for removing ticks:

  1. Tweezers or a tick remover.
  2. Paper towel
  3. Rubbing alcohol and soapy water
  4. Antiseptic solution
  5. A plastic zip-lock bag or a glass jar is
  6. Latex Gloves

Step 1: 

First, locate the tick. Before removing a tick, put on latex gloves to avoid any fluids coming into contact with you. Also, ask a friend or a family member to assist you.

Step 2: 

Using tweezers, remove ticks. Be as stable as possible. Do not apply much pressure; otherwise, the tick may break into pieces. Hold on to the tick close to the skin. Be as gentle as possible. 

Do not wiggle. Wiggling could make the tick release more saliva, with various disease-causing bacteria or tick paralysis enzymes. Use an upward motion to remove the tick. Make sure to be gentle. But losing a part of the skin is possible in the region. This situation is quite normal. The misleading ideas of killing ticks using petroleum jelly or burning the tick will not work. 

These methods are not effective if the tick is attached too tightly. Sometimes, the head may remain. So it is important to check after removing the tick for any residues. If the head is left out, carefully remove it again. If you cannot remove the tick, this may be due to fear or inexperience. You may contact your veterinarian. They may help you with the process. The vet may remove the tick at the pet hospital themselves.

Step 3:

The ticks may have carried some disease-causing microbes. It is significant to clean the area, the gloves, and the tweezers with rubbing alcohol. 

Rub alcohol is composed of 70% to 90% isopropyl alcohol. If the skin looks irritated, an application of an antiseptic ointment may be helpful.

Step 4:

It is significant to kill the tick and make sure to seal it in a container or with a zip-lock cover before disposal. If the tick is alive, do not throw it into the toilet and flush as it may survive and feed on other hosts.

If you plan to do tick analysis, it is best to wrap it in a wet paper towel before placing it in a sealed bag.

What are the consequences of the complete removal of a tick?

If the complete removal of the tick is not possible and the head is still embedded, you need not fret. As the tick will no longer transmit any disease, the dog may naturally be able to push the particles out of the skin. But the dog may experience redness and irritation. An application of an antiseptic ointment may be helpful.

Can Ticks Die After Falling?

Ticks can not die as they fall off the host. They may die soon after letting go of the host. This may be due to the absence of proper humidity indoors. Male ticks may die after a meal as part of the life cycle. The male ticks feed to produce sperm and mate with half-fed females. So they eventually die. But in the case of certain tick species, this may not happen. Females do not die immediately after the blood meal. They feed for the very purpose of laying eggs. So, after a feeding, they would lay eggs in suitable areas. 

What If The Dog Develops A Bump After A Bite?

It is usual for a dog to get a red bump on the tick bite area. This red bump occurs due to the saliva of the tick. The tick saliva has enzymes that help make their bites not painful and stop blood clots. These enzymes may irritate the skin, causing the following.

  • Loss of hair in the region of the bite.
  • A red bump, medically called a granuloma, may arise.
  • There might be itchiness in the region.

Is it significant to take one’s dog to a vet after removing a dead or live tick?

If febrile symptoms appear, make sure to meet the veterinary medical practitioner. The symptoms may arise weeks or months after the bite. Otherwise, it is not necessary to go to the veterinarian. Also, if the tick removed is dead, it may pose no threat to the dog. If a tick is removed before 24 to 36 hours, the chances of disease transmission are minimal.


Immediate removal of the tick is significant. This action minimizes the risk of any disease transmission in dogs. One should also follow all precautionary measures before and after the tick removal process. It is better to talk to your veterinarian about preventing tick bites on dogs.