Dog Care
The best way to remove a tick on a dog is to first make the tick loosen its bite and then to use curved tweezers to gently pull...

How Do I Remove a Tick on a Dog?

August 30, 2021
Susana Bradford
1 minute read

In order to remove a tick on a dog, owners should first loosen the parasite’s grip on the pet's skin; one of the most common techniques for doing this is to apply hot water to the tick. Removing the insect without first loosening its bite can lead to infections on the dog's skin. Once the tick has released its teeth from the dog's skin, owners should carefully pull the tick out, making sure not to leave its head behind. Once removed, the tick should be killed and the dog's skin disinfected.

Experts recommend that owners wear protective gloves when attempting to remove a tick on a dog. This prevents any infectious diseases from transferring through the tick into the owner's system. In addition, owners should avoid direct contact with the tick as much as possible; using implements such as tweezers and droppers can significantly reduce the risk of infection on both the dog and its owners.

Ticks' teeth dig deep into the dogs' skin when they feed, and their curved shape make it difficult to pull the parasites out. Immobilizing a tick on a dog will help loosen its grip on the skin, making tick removal much easier. Many experts advise dipping a cotton ball in hot water, then applying it to the insect. The discomfort will often cause the tick to unhook its teeth from the dog's skin. If hot water is unavailable, dabbing alcohol through a cotton ball or applying it directly onto the tick with the use of a dropper will suffice.

removing tick from dogs

After stunning the tick, owners should test whether or not the tick has released its bite. Pet owners should clamp tweezers as close as possible to the tick's head and give it a light twist. If it feels like the tick moves, it is likely that it has unhooked its teeth. Owners should then pull the tick out in a slow and steady fashion, so as not to risk leaving the tick's head behind. Owners should also avoid bursting the tick on a dog, as the blood can be poisonous to the pet.

Once a tick on a dog is removed, it should be tossed into a small jar of hot water or alcohol or incinerated. Owners should examine the dog's skin for any parts of the tick that might have been left behind and remove them accordingly. The area of tick bite should be disinfected with a dog-friendly antiseptic to ensure a perfectly healthy dog.

For more information on pet care and other helpful resources, visit Pettable's blog.

Meet the author:

Susana Bradford

Susana is an avid animal lover and has been around animals her entire life, and has volunteered at several different animal shelters in Southern California. She has a loving family at home that consists of her husband, son, two dogs, and one cat. She enjoys trying new Italian recipes, playing piano, making pottery, and outdoor hiking with her family and dogs in her spare time.