How To Remove A Tick From A Dog?

How To Remove A Tick From A Dog?

It is not uncommon to find ticks in dogs. If you are residing in the tick infested area, you may encounter ticks in your dogs and other pets. There are some species of ticks that may host on your pets alone, specifically, dog ticks. This blog will provide you with all the information about the ticks in dogs and how to remove them to keep your dogs safe from tick infections. 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 ticks in the United States alone. 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.

Dried Dead Tick On Dog

Dog ticks can cause disease and infections in dogs and humans. Many believe that a tick will either fall off after feeding or die. But that is not the actual case. The ticks attach their sharp mouth parts to the dog’s skin to suck blood for days and sometimes weeks. When a tick dies due to tick prevention medications or scratching or biting, the dead tick remains attached to the dog and does not fall off.  They may be dried and stuck to the body of the dog. Sometimes the tick body may be absent while its head is attached to the body. 

They become dry and flat but stay connected to the dog. Dried ticks are not as dangerous as live ticks, but they cause skin irritation and infection to the dogs. You should remove the dead dried from the dog’s fur with the same process as removing the live ticks. 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 Ticks Die While Attached To A Dog?

  Yes, Ticks die while attached to a dog’s skin. The possible reasons could be:

  • Attachment of flea collar, which has been proved to be effective in killing the ticks
  • Oral preventives are applied to the dog’s skin. The medication kills the ticks instantly when they try to bite the dog.
  • The dog might scratch the tick-bit area with its paw or bite it with its teeth when it feels irritated, thereby killing the tick.

What Does A Dead Tick Look Like On A Dog?

The dead tick might look dried, skinny, or engorged. Dead engorged ticks look silvery white. The leg movement of the tick has to be observed to check if it’s alive or dead. If there are any small movements on the leg, it indicates that the tick is live. The legs get firmly attached to the dog’s skin while feeding. Sometimes, you may also find some buried dried dead ticks on dogs.

Will Dead Ticks Fall Off Dog?

  •  Only the unattached dead ticks fall off from the dog. Ticks secrete a cement-like substance during feeding. This substance attaches the ticks to the host’s skin firmly, which will not fall off easily even if it’s dead and dried.
  • Ticks also use hook-like barbs, which help them to penetrate the host’s skin. Even if the tick dies during feeding, these hooks remain the same and do not allow the ticks to fall off. 

Dead Tick Still Attached To Dog – What Should I Do?

You may notice buried dried dead ticks on dogs during cuddling or playing with your dog. Do not panic. Dead dog ticks don’t fall off that easily. This is because the tick attaches itself firmly to its host while feeding. Dead ticks can be removed using the same process we follow to remove the live tick.

How to remove a dead tick from a dog?

  • First, examine if the tick is dead or alive by observing its leg. If the leg of the tick does not move for a long time, it’s a dead tick.
  • Remove the unattached dead ticks with a paper towel. If it’s attached firmly, we can use tweezers to remove them. The dead ticks can be flat or engorged. Remove the tick by attaching the tweezer to the mouthpiece of the tick. See to it that the tick is removed without leaving any broken parts. Clean the bite area and use anti-parasitics to prevent ticks in the future.

What to do if a tick head is stuck in a dog?

If the tick’s head gets stuck in a dog, never dig around the sides to remove the remainder. This might infect the dog’s skin. There are possibilities to expel the tick naturally. We should not use Nail polish remover or petroleum gels on the pet. Apply disinfectant and visit your vet for further advice.

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. You can also use other tick removal tools like tick collars, sprays, vaseline, etc. Go for expert advice before trying these methods. 

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.