How to Remove a Tick From a Dog The Right Way

How to Remove a Tick From a Dog The Right Way

Parenting a pup comes with joys and challenges. No matter what, you want the best for your dog. So, having a good understanding of the threats that exist will help you be the best pet parent you can be.

Prepare yourself by learning:

What to do if your dog has a tick

First, don't panic. The tick removal process can be overwhelming and finding creepy crawlers in your dog's fur isn't fun. But, it is possible to get rid of ticks on your dog in a few simple steps.

1. Identify the parasite.

One big threat for dogs, especially ones who love the great outdoors, is parasites. To keep your dog protected, knowing the difference between fleas and ticks is a good place to start.

Found year round in the United States, it's likely you'll run into a tick from time to time. You can find ticks in beach grass, wooded forests, and even urban areas.

There are a few types of ticks that you might encounter. Some examples include the American dog tick and the brown dog tick. Each species has its own distinct markings and characteristics. They can help you determine which tick you're dealing with. All ticks have eight legs and can transmit disease to your dog.

2. Look for signs of infection.

If you notice your dog scratching or biting a specific area on their body, they might be suffering from a tick bite. Observe the affected area for signs of tick bites such as:

3. Safely remove the tick.

If you find a tick attached to your dog you might wonder, how long do ticks stay on dogs? A tick stays attached during the feeding process, which can range from five to seven days.

The longer the tick feeds, the greater the chance of infection. Follow the steps below to safely remove ticks and avoid tick-borne diseases.

4. Watch your pet.

Tick-borne disease is never something a pet parent wants to deal with. Make sure you know the signs of tick-borne illness, like Lyme disease. Consult with a veterinarian if your dog begins to experience symptoms.

How to remove a tick from a dog

No matter how scary and gross it can be, safe tick removal is important. Removing a tick safely ensures your dog avoids tick-borne illness from leaving the tick's head behind in your dog's skin.

Here's how to remove a tick from your dog in 6 simple steps.

1. Prep.

Start by prepping your dog, yourself, and the area around you. Put on protective gloves and find an open spot with good lighting. Be sure to clean the floor or table you set your dog on with alcohol. Gather your tools including a tick remover such as tweezers.

2. Comfort

Removing ticks can be stressful for your dog. Have a helper gently hold your pup to keep them calm and comfort them with treats while you pull the tick from their skin.

3. Remove

Separate your dog's hair around the tick with a flea comb. Using tweezers or a tick removal tool, grasp the tick as close to your dog's skin as possible. Make sure your tweezers are sharp and don't have blunt tips. In a steady motion, gently pull the tick out with firm, upward pressure.

Vet Tip

Do not make a twisting motion if you decide to remove the tick from your dog. Otherwise, you may only remove the body and leave the tick's head embedded in your dog's skin. This can cause disease, irritation, and infection.

4. Preserve.

After the tick detaches from your dog's body, place it in a small container with isopropyl alcohol. This will kill the tick but also help you preserve it in case your dog develops any symptoms after removal. Write the date and location of the tick bite on the top to share with your veterinarian.

5. Clean.

Wash your hands with soap and water and clean the bite area with antiseptic soap. Be sure to disinfect your tweezers with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol as well.

6. Repeat!

Scan your dog for more ticks or tick bites and repeat the process. Note: if you feel uncomfortable removing a tick from your dog, don't hesitate to call your veterinarian right away. It's better to ask for help than risk hurting your dog further.

Dos and don’ts of tick removal from a dog

When it comes to getting rid of ticks, there are a few strategies to avoid and some you should follow. Follow these dos and don'ts to remove ticks the right way.