Shopping cart

Ticks on dogs

Ticks are arachnid critters that temporarily feed on blood and can therefore spend long periods of time on your dog. They attach themselves to the skin and this is not always without consequences. How can you recognize ticks in your animal, what are the risks and what should you do to remove and prevent them? You can read that in this article.

Ticks in dogs

What does a tick look like on a dog?

A tick is very small, only 1-3 mm in size. You can therefore easily overlook them. Especially if your dog has a thick, long coat and if the tick is not engorged. The tick is then flat and can vary in size from a pinhead to a few millimetres. A tick attaches itself to the skin with its mouth. They are especially visible when they are engorged. They look a bit like a brown or grey wart with legs. Sometimes the ticks walk over the coat looking for a suitable place to attach themselves. They mainly attach themselves to the thinly furred parts of your dog, so on the ears, neck, skin folds, groin and armpits.

Protection against ticks on dogs

How can my dog become infected with ticks?

Ticks are found throughout the country in forests, dunes, heathlands, sheltered meadows, parks and gardens. A tick infestation is more common in dogs than cats and is seasonal. Sheep ticks are mainly active in the months of March to December and the Dermacentor tick shows peaks in September-November and March-April.

Ticks in the garden

Now that you know that ticks are also in low grass, it is very wise to also check your four-legged friend for ticks if he or she has been in the garden. It does not matter whether you have a lot or little greenery in the garden. Ticks always find a nice spot. That spot is of course preferably as close to your faithful companion as possible. So even if you have spent some time together in the garden, checking is of great importance!

Can dogs get sick from a tick bite?

Dogs, but also people and other pets, can get sick from a tick bite. The tick can cause inflammation where it attaches itself. This can cause itching and irritation.

In addition, ticks can transmit diseases to your dog. Think of Lyme disease. Around 10% of ticks in the United Kingdom are infected with the Lyme bacteria. Dogs infected with Lyme can develop vague symptoms just like people. Symptoms that may be associated with Lyme disease include:

  • Joint pain
  • Neurological phenomena
  • Fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Kidney problems
  • Skin changes

In addition to Lyme disease, ticks can also transmit other diseases, such as Anaplasmosis (in the UK and abroad), Ehrlichiosis (ticks abroad) and Babesiosis (ticks abroad). The transfer of a bacterium, virus or parasite usually does not take place earlier than 24 to 48 hours after attachment, so it is important to always remove a tick as quickly as possible. Always make a note in your diary when your dog has had a tick. If your pet becomes ill in the period after a tick bite, always report to your vet that he/she has had a tick or that he/she has been abroad.

What can I do to protect my dog from ticks?

There are several things you can do to protect your dog from ticks:

How to remove a tick from a dog

  • Always use a tick removal tool to completely remove a tick with mouth and body. You grab the tick as close to the skin as possible with the tick tweezers. You remove the tick by gently pulling on the tick with a twisting motion or straight up until it releases. Then wrap the tick in tape and throw it away.
  • Never squeeze or prick an attached tick and do not use alcohol, heat or soap before removing a tick. The tick can then transmit diseases more quickly. After removing the tick, you can disinfect the skin with alcohol or iodine. Also, clean the tick remover after use.

Want to know more about ticks on your pet? Have a look at our tick guide. Also, our vet is happy to help you. Send an email to or call our customer service.