How to Remove a Tick From a Dog's Head

Written by kimbry parker
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How to Remove a Tick From a Dog's Head
Check you dog's skin regularly for ticks. (dog image by Ramona smiers from

If you notice your dog scratching his head a lot, it may be because of a tick. Ticks feed on the blood of animals. Not only are ticks itchy and uncomfortable, they can also cause disease and infection. According to, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease are two serious illnesses associated with ticks on dogs. It is important to remove a tick from your dog as soon as possible to prevent such illness. There is no need to take your dog to the vet to retrieve the tick from his head. Use the proper method to remove ticks at home.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Jar with lid
  • Fine-tipped tweezers
  • Water
  • Dog shampoo, soap or disinfectant
  • Clean towel
  • Triple antibiotic ointment

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  1. 1

    Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol into a disposable jar with a lid. The alcohol will be used to soak the tick immediately after removal.

  2. 2

    Grasp the head of the tick with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. The head will be right at the site where the tick is entering the dog's skin. Avoid grabbing the body of the tick or the head may remain attached to the dog.

  3. 3

    Pull the tweezers firmly in an upward motion to release the tick from the dog's head. Avoid twisting or jerking the tweezers while pulling.

  4. 4

    Place the tick promptly into the jar of alcohol. Do not flush the tick down the toilet or squash it with paper towels. These methods will not kill the tick.

  5. 5

    Clean the site on the dog where the tick was located with warm, soapy water or a disinfectant. Rinse the area well with water and dry with a clean towel.

  6. 6

    Apply a dab of triple antibiotic ointment to your dog on the tick site. Watch the site for a few days to see if there is any inflammation or signs of infection. If you notice either of these symptoms, contact your vet promptly.

Tips and warnings

  • Wash your hands well with soap and water after removing the tick.
  • Wear latex gloves while removing the tick to protect yourself from potential disease.
  • Do not try to apply alcohol, petroleum jelly or any other products to the tick while it is on your dog. Some people believe such items will make the tick back out, but that is not the case.
  • Do not use your hands to remove or get rid of the tick. You may be at risk for contracting disease from the tick.

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