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Seeing ticks on your dog is not just disgusting but also worrying, especially if you consider the fact that these little buggers pose health risks to your dog.
Although most types of ticks will eventually drop off your dog after they have finished feeding, the process can take longer, during which time they could infect your dog with a wide range of tick-borne infections.
Indeed, the longer they stay attached to your dog, the greater the health risks.
So, it is important to check your dog frequently and remove these critters as soon as you spot them.
Without the right tools, however, you might accidentally break the ticks—bursting all their blood and germs into your dog’s skin or even your eyes if you are not cautious enough.
The long and short of it is that you need the right tick removal tools for dogs to do the job professionally.
In this post, we will be highlighting the top 12 tools that can help you do the job perfectly.
But before then, let’s highlight a few basics.
How to Remove Ticks Using Tick Removers
- First, wear nitrile or latex gloves to protect your hands from potential fluid spills (in case the tick bursts).
- Put the hook or tip of the removal tool against your dog’s skin, alongside the tick.
- Slowly slide the removal tool underneath the tick and grab it using the tip or wedge of the tool that you are using.
- Pull the tick steadily away from your dog’s skin without twisting or turning.
- Some fur or top hair of your dog’s skin may come off with the tick but don’t worry—it is normal. Apply light pressure if bleeding occurs.
Generally, removing ticks from a dog using a removing tool is quite simple.
What’s important to remember while you are at it is to avoid squeezing the tick as you may end up breaking the tick, causing pathogens to be injected into your dog’s body. Besides, you should aim at getting hold of the entire tick, including its head.
So, always endeavor to grab the tick as close to the mouth as you can to avoid leaving the mouthparts in your dog’s skin.
Additionally, a tick will not voluntarily detach itself from your dog’s skin until its meal is complete.
Don’t be tempted to apply Vaseline, alcohol, or any other chemical to the site hoping that the tick will drop off.
If you’ve heard about removing ticks using these methods, you should know how they work, the right procedures to follow, and the mistakes to avoid.
Best Tick Removal Tools for Dogs
This is one of the most common tick removers among dog owners because it is simple and easy to use.
The pack contains two twisters—a bigger and a smaller option—to help you remove both small and big ticks.
One advantage of using this twister to remove a tick from your dog is the fact that it doesn’t squeeze nor pulls your dog’s fur, which means that your dog’s comfort is taken care of.
Made of plastic, the twister is stable against disinfectant or antibacterial ointments.
The kit comes with a typical tick remover with a V-shaped opening to help pull bigger ticks from your dog’s skin without applying unnecessary gripping pressure.
It also features a precisely designed super-fine-tip tweezer to help you pick up nymphs and smaller-sized deer ticks.
To help you identify the type of tick that has been feeding on your pet, the kit comes with a free tick identification card that lists most of the common tick species in the US.
This tick remover looks simple but it is intelligently designed for simple and seamless tick removal.
The bowl-shaped end has a notch to help you grab the tick at the base of the skin and remove it in a single motion.
The bowl also helps you contain or hold the tick before you dispose it off.
The other end has a keyhole to help you carry it around with ease.
TickEase Tick Remover’s secret weapon is the CDC-recommended fine-tipped, pointy design that is deemed to be very effective in removing engorged ticks.
All you need is to slide it under the tick, twist, and pull with even pressure.
And as the name suggests, this remover is dual-tipped, which means that you only need one tool to remove all types of ticks from your dog.
One of the most important features of this tick remover is the fact that it is convenient to carry around.
You can attach it to your key chain, dog collar, pocket, wallet or travel pack.
In terms of functionality, it features a tear-shaped slot, which you need to slip over the tick and gently pull it away—painlessly and in one motion.
This is another intelligently-designed tick remover that’s worth adding to your tick eradication arsenal.
It’s designed just like a hammer and allows you to pull the whole tick without leaving its mouthparts on your dog’s skin.
The head also features a scoop/bowl to help you contain the tick for easy disposal.
Another amazing tick remover that we had to include in our list is this precision-design remover by Pro-tick Remedy.
It features precision edges to help you grip the tick’s mouthparts without damaging it, keeping its fluids away from your dog’s skin.
It’s small, incredibly flat, and comes with a pull chain, making it easy and convenient to carry around.
Among the tick removers we have reviewed, this is the remover with the most perks—it comes with 5X magnifier, tick ID card to help you identify various tick species, and a pamphlet with insightful tick protection tips.
For ticks that are buried deep in your dog’s ears, thick fur, and other hard-to-reach areas, this is the right tool to use.
It features a retracting, special fiber filament loop that intelligently finds its way around the tick’s mouthparts, allowing you to pull the critter at exactly the right place.
The loop has a pool strength of 20lb, which means that it can pull ticks of all sizes.
If you want to take your dog tick removal routine to another level, get these patented tick-removing pliers.
They are designed to easily slide under the tick, allowing you to pull it out without leaving behind the mouthparts.
They can also remove ticks of all sizes and comes with a 20X lens to help you search for hard-to-spot, small deer ticks.
Another tick remover that you may consider adding in your tick removal instruments is this stainless steel tick remover by eTradewinds.
It is dual-sided to help you remove ticks of all sizes.
In particular, the pin-sharp tweezers will help you remove the entire tick without cutting its mouthparts.
It includes a protective leather case to help you keep it in a safe, sterile environment as well as carry it around with ease.
Well, these Coghlan’s Tweezers may seem somehow cheesy, but they can also come in handy in identifying and removing tiny deer ticks from your canine friend.
If anything, the pointy tips meet the CDC recommendations for grasping the tick at its mouthparts.
And as you can guess, the 5x magnifying glass makes it easier and convenient to see and remove the tick’s mouthparts or splinters.
The last entry in our list is this handy Coghlan’s tick remover.
Its patented design entices the tick to release its grip, allowing you to remove the whole of it (including the mouthparts).
All you need to do is to push the spring button on top to open its claws, grab the tick close to your dog’s skin and turn the device a few times until the tick lets go.
To identify and safely remove tiny nymph ticks, you may need a magnifying glass.
We recommend this particular magnifying glass because it comes with a built-in light that can help you identify even hard-to-spot ticks.
It is also anti-scratch, which simply means that there won’t be any optical distortion while you are using it.
What You Should Do After You’ve Removed the Tick
After removing the tick:
- Dispose it off by soaking it in rubbing alcohol or sealing it in a bag and throwing it away. Avoid the temptation of crushing it as it could release pathogens.
- If you suspect that the tick contains Lyme’s disease pathogens, put it in a Ziploc bag and take it to your vet for testing.
- Wash your hand thoroughly with a disinfectant to avoid potential infections and remember to record the date you removed the tick. You vet may request it later.
- Apply a topical antibiotic ointment like povidine iodine solution or chlorhexidine on the area to prevent infections especially if you didn’t manage to remove the tick’s mouthparts. And if the area develops a rash or becomes inflamed, consult your vet.
Other Ways to Remove Ticks from Your Dog
Tick removal tools for dogs are only effective when you are dealing with a few ticks.
However, if you seem to lose count of how many of these pesky bloodsuckers are attached to your dog, you should consider other removal methods.
Here are some suggestions:
A. Tick Shampoos
These are shampoos that are specially formulated to freshen up your dog while killing ticks and fleas at the same time.
For your dog’s safety, use tick shampoos that are made of natural ingredients.
Check out the following post for the best options: 10 Best Tick Shampoo for Dogs
B. Spot-on Treatments
This entails the application of concentrated chemicals between your dog’s shoulder blades.
The chemicals are often formulated to kill ticks of all life stages and to protect your dog from re-infection after a given period.
Leading brands such as Frontline Plus Tick and Flea Treatment offers long-lasting protection for up to 30 days.
A 6-dose supply can even last for 6 months.
C. Tick Sprays
These are chemical-based sprays that are formulated to not only kill ticks fast but also provide residual protection to your dog.
They are also recommended after a bath with shampoo for added protection.
These are given orally to kill ticks and immature fleas.
The good thing about pills is that you don’t have to worry about your dog coming into contact with children after you’ve given it to your dog.
How to prevent ticks from attaching to your dog in the first place
To reduce the chance of ticks biting your dog in the first place, there are a few methods that you can leverage, including:
I. Use Tick Collars
Like traditional collars, these medicated collars are secured around your dog’s neck. They kill any tick that comes into contact with the area around your dog’s neck and head.
The effectiveness and longevity of tick collars vary but some of the best options in the market like Seresto Flea and Tick Collar and Hartz UltraGuard Collar can last up to 8 and 7 months respectively.
II. Use tick repellants
These are chemical formulations that are designed to keep ticks away from your canine friend before they can attach on, make your dog a host, and potentially cause infections. They come as sprays or wipes.
III. Spray your yard
Spraying your yard can also help reduce the population of ticks and fleas.
If there are no conducive environments for these pesky critters to live and breed, fewer will reach your dog.
Be careful when using tick yard sprays as they can be harmful to your dogs, fish, cats, and children.
We recommend using options that are safe for pets.
Check out the following post for the best options: 5 Best Tick Sprays for Yard (Safe for Pets)
IV. Leverage dietary preventatives
This entails giving your dog apple cider vinegar or garlic as a dietary supplement to make him less appealing to ticks and fleas.
After feeding on these supplements, your dog will excrete a smell that repels ticks and fleas.
If you and your canine companion frequent areas that are prone to ticks, it is a great idea to have a few tick removal tools at hand.
The good news is that most of the tick removal tools for dogs that we have highlighted in this post are small and convenient to carry around.
Slip one or two in your pocket, first-aid kit, or simply attach one on your dog’s collar and say goodbye to ticks.
Related Post: How to Tell How Long a Tick Has Been Attached To a Dog