Home Dog Care What Does a Tick Look Like on a Dog?

What Does a Tick Look Like on a Dog?


Ticks are a common problem for dogs and their owners, especially when your pet spends a lot of time outside, running in tall grass.

While there are many products you can use to prevent and treat ticks on dogs, it's good to know what tick looks ok like on a dog by investigating tick on dog pictures and how to remove it promptly and adequately.

What Does a Tick Look Like on a Dog

What are ticks, and what do they look like

Ticks are tiny, spider-like parasites with eight legs. They live in areas with long grass and woodlands.

They stick to animals and humans and suck their blood. They only detach from their host once complete, which usually takes multiple days.

Here are pictures of what a tick looks like on a dog:

What Does a Tick Look Like on a Dog

Ticks can spread many diseases by transmitting microbes and bacteria when they bite their host. The most dangerous and well-known tick-borne disease is Lyme disease.

They also cause irritation, infection, and inflammation on the part of the dog's body where they feed.

As you can see in the above tick on dog pictures, they are brown and tiny before they feed and become grey and enlarged after eating.

Here's what a dog tick looks like before and after feeding:

Tick on Dog - Before and After Feeding
What a tick on a dog seems like BEFORE and AFTER feeding.

In the post-feeding stage, ticks can grow up to 1cm in diameter, basically the size of a Lima bean.

They often get mistaken for skin lumps. If you are unsure, get a closer look and spot the tick's legs. If you are still unsure after a closer inspection, let your vet check the spot.

When looking for ticks, pay attention to areas around your dog's head, ears, paws, and legs.

Check your dog regularly for ticks, especially if you live in a place where they are known to be present.

Pay attention to signs that might signal that your dog has ticks, like constant head shaking or a mild fever.

How to Remove a Tick from a Dog

Don't try to force the tick to detach with hot matches, petroleum jelly, nail polish, alcohol, or any other chemicals.

This doesn't help at all, and it can cause harm to your pup. You also always have to remove the tick.

It won't detach by itself under any circumstance unless fully fed (enlarged to the max).

Here's a video on how to remove a tick on a dog (source):

Once you know what a tick on a dog looks like and you've identified it, put latex gloves on to protect yourself.

Use tweezers or a tick removal tool to grip the tick at the attachment point, as close to the skin as you can.

Please don't squeeze the tick's body, or it can cause microbes and bacteria to get injected from the tick into your dog.

Pull the tick straight out from your dog's skin steadily and slowly. Don't twist or turn.

Don't worry if a bit of your dog's skin comes off with the tick. Just apply pressure to the area if there is bleeding.

Once you remove the tick, be careful not to lose it. Flush down the toiled or save it for identification since that can be helpful or even necessary if an illness occurs.

In some cases, a part of the tick's head can remain embedded in the skin after removing the tick. Try to pull it out gently.

If you can't, leave it, and it should fall off eventually.

After this procedure, clean your dog's skin with mild soap and water. Another good option is a mixture of water and iodine.

Look for any signs of irritation or infection at this spot for the next couple of days, and call your vet if you notice any.

READ NEXT: The Ultimate Dog Fleas and Ticks Survival Guide

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Photo Guide to Tick Pictures