Learn how to check for and remove ticks from your dog

If you walk your dog in woodland, grassland, or in heath areas - or even in a garden that harbours a lot of wildlife – then at some point they will probably come home with a tick. Dogs pick up ticks when they brush past vegetation that ticks are sitting on. The ticks then climb or drop onto your dog’s coat before burrowing into the skin, attaching themselves firmly into the tissues and sucking blood. Ticks can cause a number of unpleasant diseases in dogs, so it is important to remove them as soon as possible.

To make sure you can deal with this quickly and correctly, download our step-by-step guide to removing ticks from your dog.

How to check your dog for ticks

Ticks are small, egg-shaped creatures that look a bit like spiders. They range in size from about 1 mm to 1 cm and they have pale bodies that become darker as they enlarge and fill with blood. A tick attached to your dog will feel like a small bump, so it is important to run your hands over your
dog’s entire body when you get back from a walk, to make sure that you find any ticks your dog has picked up.

Tick removal

It is important to remove ticks as soon as you find them because the longer they feed, the higher the risk that they will transfer disease to your dog. The most important diseases that dogs can catch from ticks are Lyme disease and babesiosis. Both are potentially very serious – which is why prevention is so important.

Our infographic shows you how to remove a tick safely. Be sure to use this method, rather than trying to burn the tick off or smother it with lotions.

It is important to remove ticks correctly using the correct equipment, because if you leave the tick’s head in your dog, or squeeze the tick as you are removing it, you could cause infection. Once you have removed the tick, check the skin for infection or other abnormalities for a few days afterwards.
And if your dog becomes unwell, book a veterinary appointment with your local Healthy Pet Club practice as soon as possible, being sure to mention that you removed a tick recently.

Tick prevention

If you live in an area with ticks, it is sensible to use a treatment on your dog that repels or kills ticks. If you pop into your local veterinary surgery, we can give you some advice on the best product to use.