tick on dog how to remove a tick
Discover how to remove a tick from a dog in 7 easy steps. ©Panyawat Boontanom/EyeEm/GettyImages

How to Remove a Tick from a Dog and Prevent Tick Borne Disease 

Can I remove a tick from my dog myself? Yes! We’ll tell you why and how to remove a tick from a dog.
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How to remove a tick from a dog is pretty simple and just takes a few steps. First, how soon should I remove a tick from my dog? As soon as possible. The longer a tick stays attached, the greater the risk of your dog getting an infection or possibly contracting a tick-borne disease. Check out the below easy steps to remove a tick yourself or if you’re scared to remove it yourself, take your dog to your veterinarian immediately.

How to remove a tick from a dog

The best way to remove a tick from your dog is with a pair of sharp-edged tweezers or with a tick removal tool. Do not try to remove it with your fingers — you could squish or tear the tick and spread infection into the bite area.

Steps for removing a tick from your dog:

  1. Spread your dog’s fur 
  2. Using tweezers or the tick-removing tool, grasp the entire tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible
  3. Gently pull on the tick in a slow, steady motion until the head pops out. This takes a little patience.
  4. To kill the tick, drop it into a container of rubbing alcohol
  5. Wash your hands thoroughly 
  6. Using a cotton ball, clean the tick bite site with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
  7. Clean your tweezers or tool with rubbing alcohol 

See a video on how to remove a tick from your dog by veterinarians (VetVid) and explained by Dr. Michael Dryden, Professor of Veterinary Parasitology at Kansas State University. 

How to remove an engorged tick from a dog

engorged tick
An engorged tick is much easier to identify. ©Nancy Kerns

If the tick is engorged, follow the same steps listed above. However, after dropping the tick into a container of rubbing alcohol, take it — and your dog — to the vet to be tested for diseases.

Myths on how to remove a tick from a dog

  • Can you remove a tick from a dog with rubbing alcohol? Rubbing alcohol will not remove a tick from a dog. But it will kill the tick once you’ve safely removed it. 
  • Can you remove a tick with Vaseline? No, do not use Vaseline to remove a tick. Burning a tick off, freezing it, using nail polish or Vaseline will cause the tick to dig in deeper. 
  • Can you remove a tick from a dog without tweezers? Although there are various methods online for removing a tick from a dog without tweezers, medical professionals confirm that sharp-edged tweezers and tick removal tools are the only safe way to remove a tick. If you don’t have either of these, take your dog to the vet for tick removal. 

For more information on tick diseases and the most recent Pet Parasite Forecast, go to the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) website.

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