How to Remove Ticks from Dogs (7 Effective Ways)

Ticks are a nuisance to pet owners, as it is vital that you protect your pet from these nasty critters.

Not only do these little bloodsuckers disrupt the joyful day to day life of your furry pal, ticks are also notorious for transmitting serious diseases that can sometimes be fatal, like Lyme diseaseehrlichiosisanaplasmosisrocky mountain spotted fever, or babesiosis depending on the type of tick that infests your pet. 

how to remove ticks from dogs

In this article, you'll learn 7 proven effective tricks in removing ticks on dogs.

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What are the 7 Tricks Against Ticks?

Ticks are natural Olympians in the game of hide-and-seek. 

Although some of these parasites secure themselves to their host out in the open, most of them hide in areas that are strategic for their survival such as the groin, between the toes, inside the ears, under collars, and along the eyelids.

Furthermore, your dog can get any of the aforementioned diseases within 12-24 hours from the actual bite so it is therefore important to get rid of ticks at the very first sign of their presence.

Before anything else here's a short video demonstrating the proper way of removing ticks from dogs.

1. The Tweezer Method

A pair of tweezers are the most commonly used tick remover device. Before trying it, though, it's important to note that this method is not foolproof.

In fact, removing a tick with tweezers can be completely ineffective if you don't remove the entire tick. Keep that in mind before moving forward.

Originally a surgical instrument, the tweezers are often used to pluck, pinch, or extract objects that are too small for the human fingers to secure. 

surgical tweezer

The device is basically composed of two narrow metal legs that are joined at one end. For effective use, these two legs are manipulated by the thumb and the index finger.

In the tweezer method:

  1. Position the device perpendicular to the biting tick.
  2. Place the plucking end of the tweezer around the tick's head. As much as possible, avoid twisting the tick with the device.
  3. Gently pull the tick upwards while maintaining sufficient pressure to avoid crushing or tearing the tick's body.
  4. When plucking ticks from your dog's ear, it is best to swab the organ, especially the bitten area with rubbing alcohol to prevent infection.

Removing ticks near or inside the mouth of your pet, however, is a more challenging task. If your dog isn't comfortable with you touching its mouth, it is best to seek professional assistance from your local vet.

2. The Tick Key

It is easy to carry with you all the time and convenient to use.

The tick key is designed to be conveniently attached to your key ring to ensure that you have a tick removal device that you can count on anytime, anywhere. 

In removing the parasite using the tick key:

  1. Simply press the device tightly against the dog's skin with the tick passing through the large hole. 
  2. Slowly slide the key while maintaining the same pressure until the tick comes to the tight narrow point of the device.
  3. Continue sliding down until the tick is successfully removed.

The video below shows how tick keys work.

3. Tick Shampoo

As the coolest method of removing ticks, the tick shampoo is specially formulated to freshen up your canine friend while killing ticks at the same time.

Moreover, tick shampoos are also effective in eradicating flea infestations, so buying a bottle will be like hitting two birds (pests) with one stone. 

As much as possible, choose a tick shampoo that is made of all natural ingredients. This is to make sure that the solutions is totally safe for you and your pet. You should also look for oatmeal and aloe vera ingredients which help in soothing irritated areas of the skin due to tick bites.

In bathing your pet dog with a tick shampoo:

  • Work your way from the head to the toes and tail.
  • Be very careful in lathering the shampoo unto your pet's head to avoid affecting the eyes.
  • Massage gently especially along the ears, in between toes, and other favorite hiding spots of ticks.
  • Let the shampoo settle for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing off.

In the case of ticks hiding inside the ears, it is best to use medicated drops instead of shampoo itself. The inner portion of your dog's ears are quite sensitive and can get infected when in contact with the shampoo's active ingredients.

4. Tick Powder

Another effective trick against these nasty parasites is the tick powder. However, using this solution can be quite tricky and challenging.

There are a lot of tick powders offered in the market and it is recommended to make sure that the solution you are planning to use is indeed intended for dogs. You should also check the label if it is formulated appropriately for your pet dog's age.

When using tick powder:

  • Apply in small amounts and rub it gently against the dog's skin.
  • If your pet has long fur or a double coat, gently brush the hair to the side before applying the powder. Do this one section at a time.
  • Apply tick powder indoors for protection against windy environment. You should also avoid using tick powder on your pet's face to avoid inhalation.  

5. Tick Spray

Most tick sprays are formulated to deliver residual effects. This means that your pet dog can enjoy prolonged protection from tick bites and infestation after application.

Tick sprays can be used after a bath using a tick shampoo for added protection.

Basically, the spray is formulated to be safely applied on pet dogs of all ages - from young and playful pups to the elderly chaps. Just make sure that the spray solution has already dried before setting your pet loose to play with your kids.

dogs are more prone to tick infestations than cats

6. The Dip

Another effective method of exterminating ticks on your pet dog is by drowning them with a chemical solution.

The most effective tick dip for dogs is one that contains pyrethrins. This method is done by diluting the solution with water and dipping your pet into it. For larger pet dogs, you can use a sponge as an easier alternative.

Tick dip is not advisable for puppies, especially those under 4 months old.

Pregnant and nursing dogs are also not allowed to take dips simply because of solution's strong chemical content. Be sure to read and understand all the details included in the product's label before use.

Read More: Click here to learn more about tick repellents

7. Pills

As far as consistency and safety for everyone are concerned, the oral tick medication alternative could be the best method in eradicating tick infestation. 

Pills now come in chewable formulas with tasty flavors. Depending on the formulation or strength of the product, a single pill can offer protection against ticks for about one to three months. The oral medication can either be administered on its own or with a dog food so make sure that you read the label before use. 

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Important Reminders

As mentioned earlier, ticks can cause serious illnesses to both the dog and its master.

As much as you want to save your pet from those blood thirsty parasites, you should also consider your own safety while you're pumped up in hunting down ticks.

wear gloves when removing ticks from dogs
  1. Wear sanitary gloves before initiating a tick removal method. Gloves protect your hands from tick blood or saliva; the parasite's fluid can be packed with harmful pathogens.
  2. Don't suffocate ticks with popular home remedies like nail polish and Vaseline.
  3. Refrain from crushing or tearing the tick with tweezers or tick key on your pet's skin. The parasite's vomit (due to suffocation) or blood on your pet's skin will increase your pet's chance of infection. It is imperative that nothing gets into your dog's bloodstream.
  4. Disinfect your hands with alcohol after the job is done (yes, even if you wore gloves).

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