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

What Does a Tick Look Like on a Dog?


Ticks 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 for prevention and treatment of ticks on dogs, it's good to know what does a tick look like on a dog by investigating tick on dog pictures and how to remove it promptly and properly.

What are ticks and what do they look like

Ticks are very small, 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 they are full, which usually takes multiple days.

Here are pictures of what a tick look 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 the Lyme disease. They also cause irritation, infection and inflammation on the part of 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 they eat. Here's a dog tick looks like before and after feeding:

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

In the post-feeding stage, ticks can grow up to 1cm in diameter, which is basically the size of a Lima bean. They often get mistaken for skin lumps. If you are not sure, get a closer look and try to spot the tick’s legs. If you are still not sure after a closer inspection, let your vet check the spot.

When you are 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 an area 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 pooch. You also always have to remove the tick, because it won’t detach by itself under no circumstance unless it is 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 look like and you've identified it, put latex gloves on to protect yourself. Use tweezers or a tick removal tool to take a grip of the tick at the attachment point, as close to the skin as you can. 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 you 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 you removed the tick. Try to gently pull it out. If you can’t, just 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