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How to Treat Ticks on Dogs: The 9 Best Ways to Get Rid of Ticks

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You have two options to get rid of your dog’s ticks: You can remove them manually, or you treat them using veterinary antiparasitic substances. It is important to remove ticks immediately and keep your dog under observation afterward to monitor symptoms of tick-borne diseases.

Once on your dog, ticks attach themselves and begin the feeding process. This can cause irritation and infections at the bite site. 

To avoid said irritation, you have to treat your dog for ticks, removing and preventing them.

Tick bites are considered dangerous because these parasites can transmit life-threatening diseases to your dog.

Under these conditions, the immediate removal of a tick or the use of antiparasitic treatments is vital.

In this article, you will find 9 ways you can get rid of ticks effectively.

How to Get Rid of Ticks on Dogs

Use tweezers or rubbing alcohol to remove individual ticks. For larger infestations, ticks can be treated and prevented with antiparasitic products such as spot-on pipettes, collars, shampoos, etc.

The most effective treatment and prevention methods for ticks on dogs are the use of antiparasitic products. They are effective and safe, although some dogs can experience allergic reactions or become intoxicated.

If you are not a fan of chemicals or your dog has gone through an episode of intoxication or allergy, you can choose to remove ticks manually.

How to Remove Ticks Manually

Check your dog for ticks every time you come home from a walk. This way, you can prevent ticks from becoming engorged and transmitting diseases to your dog.

You can use tweezers or rubbing alcohol[1] to remove ticks if you find them on your dog.

These methods are not recommended to treat massive tick infestations.

To remove ticks manually, you have to find them first. Start in the places ticks prefer to hide:[2]

  • Armpits
  • At the base of the ears and inside the ear canal
  • Neck area
  • Between the skin folds
  • Between the toes

Then check the rest of your dog’s body.

Here is what you need to get rid of a tick with tweezers or rubbing alcohol:

  • A pair of gloves for your protection.
  • Tweezers or a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol.
  • Disinfectant to clean the bite site.

1. Tick Removal With Tweezers

Tick Removal With Tweezers

Tick tweezers, or regular tweezers, are effective for removing unfed, partially engorged, and engorged ticks

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2. Ticks Removal With Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing Alcohol

Tick removal with rubbing alcohol (especially engorged ticks) is usually not recommended by veterinarians. If the ticks are infected, the rubbing alcohol can traumatize them. Trauma triggers them to inject their saliva and gut content into your dog’s bloodstream faster,  making your pet sick.

This method is best on small, unfed ticks.

How to remove ticks with rubbing alcohol:

  1. Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol.
  2. Cover the tick with the cotton ball.
  3. Wait a few minutes. The tick should detach on its own.
  4. Dispose of the tick.
  5. Disinfect your pet’s tick bite.

How to Kill Ticks With Antiparasitic Substances

The most effective method of treating and killing ticks on dogs is the use of antiparasitic substances. It also doesn’t require you to come into contact with the ticks.

You can use the following products to treat and prevent ticks on your dog:

  1. Spot-on Treatments
  2. Oral Medications
  3. Shampoos
  4. Tick Dips
  5. Tick Collars
  6. Powders
  7. Tick Sprays

Always talk to your veterinarian before choosing one of these treatments for your dog. They will recommend what is best for your dog.

1. Spot-on Treatments

Spot-on Pipettes

Spot-on pipettes are among the most widely used veterinary products for ticks worldwide. They are easily applied at the base of the neck for small dogs or at several points along the spine for large breeds.

These products treat ticks on dogs and keep them away for about a month afterward.

Always read the label and use products suited for your dog’s weight and age. Otherwise, you risk intoxicating your pet.

 2. Oral Medications

Chewable Antiparasitic Tablets for dogs

Oral tick treatment medications, such as pills, are recommended for dogs sensitive to topical products. Oral medication can be administered directly or mixed with your dog’s food. This type of medication can keep ticks at bay for 4-5 weeks.

Chewable tablets are easy to administer because they have a pleasant taste. Dogs rarely experience any adverse reactions to this type of treatment.[3]

This type of treatment is also recommended if you have small children. It prevents kids from coming into contact with residue left by topical products.

3. Shampoos

Antiparasitic shampoo for pets

Tick shampoos are not very effective for killing ticks. They do not offer long-lasting protection against ticks; they only act on contact.

Use an antiparasitic shampoo once every two weeks for better efficiency, especially in the hot season when the tick population increases.

4. Tick Dips

Tick dips are liquid products that contain highly concentrated substances with an effect on ticks and other external parasites. Tick dips should be diluted with water. Apply it by wetting a sponge and dabbing the solution on your pet. You can also pour it on your dog’s back, avoiding its face. The solution has to come into direct contact with your pet’s skin to take effect.

The product does not rinse off. Dry your dog with a towel or let it air dry.

Read the product label carefully before use, as these substances can cause your dog to become intoxicated. Do not use tick dips on dogs less than 12 weeks of age or pregnant and lactating females.

5. Tick Collars

Tick Collars
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Tick collars are generally used as an additional method of prevention. It is placed around your dog’s neck and releases antiparasitic substances for 4-8 months, depending on the product. 

Place the collar out of reach, but leave a space between the collar and your dog’s neck of about two fingers. Cut off any excess material as dogs can chew on it and become intoxicated.

Collars are often used in combination with spot-on pipettes, especially in the hot season.

6. Tick Powders

Tick Powder
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Anti-tick powders are powders used on dogs to prevent and kill ticks. Apply the powder, and comb your dog with a brush or massage the powder into your dog’s fur with your hands. 

The effect of tick powder lasts up to four weeks. Use it once a week in the hot season when ticks are plentiful.

Read the label before application and use the product carefully. Avoid your dog’s face and do not let it inhale the tick powder. The powder can be irritating to the eyes, mouth, nose, and lungs.

Some products can also be used on your dog’s bed and around the house.

7. Tick Sprays

Antiparasitic spray for pets

Tick spray kills ticks and other parasites quickly and can offer protection for a few weeks afterward. Spray your dog’s body generously, avoiding its face. Do not let it inhale or ingest the solution.

Tick sprays can be used between baths with antiparasitic shampoos or when you want to take your dog to areas with lots of vegetation.

FAQs

What Kills Ticks on Dogs Instantly?

Tick sprays can kill ticks on dogs almost instantly. Remove the tick immediately if you don’t have tick spray and submerge the tick in alcohol, acetone, or bleach after removal. These solutions will kill the tick instantly.

Should I Worry If I Found a Tick on My Dog?

Remove the tick as soon as you find it on your dog. Although not all ticks carry dangerous pathogens, you have no way of knowing if they are infected or not. It is best to remove it with tweezers or special tick tools immediately.

About Iulia Mihai (DVM)

Dr. Iulia is a certified veterinarian with more than 10 years of experience in the field. With extensive knowledge of diet, care, and medication, she helps Misfit Animals provide readers with accurate knowledge on technical topics.

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