How to Kill Ticks on Dogs

by Lori Lapierre
Dogs should be checked regularly for ticks during warmer months.

Dogs should be checked regularly for ticks during warmer months.

Tick crawling on human skin. image by blindfire from Fotolia.com

Ticks are small parasites that suck the blood of a host -- such as deer, dogs, cats or people -- and can transmit serious diseases, such as Lyme disease, through contact. A tick be picked up by a dog running through tall grass or under trees, and it attaches itself to a host by burying its head in the dog's skin. While killing the tick is not difficult, removing it properly from the dog first is important to the health of the dog.

Step 1

Prepare a glass jar in which you will kill and store the tick once it is removed from your dog. Select a jar with a screw-top lid. Remove the lid and pour in approximately 1/2 inch of rubbing alcohol.

Step 2

Put on latex or rubber gloves before attempting to remove the tick. Avoid coming into contact with the tick, as tick-borne disease can be passed to humans, as well.

Step 3

Separate the dog's fur with your fingers to get a clear view of the tick. Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol over the bite area, covering the tick. A cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol can also be applied.

Step 4

Grasp the tick with the tweezers, which should have a fine tip for best results. The mouth of the tick will be buried in the dog's skin, with the body protruding above the mouth. Grab the tick as close to the mouth as possible.

Step 5

Pull the tick straight up with a steady motion. Do not twist or squeeze as you are removing the tick; this could leave part of the tick in the dog's body or push fluid from the tick's body back into the dog's bloodstream, causing infection.

Step 6

Drop the tick into the jar holding the rubbing alcohol. Screw the lid on tightly and set the jar aside. The tick will die within a few minutes.

Step 7

Wash the bite area on the dog with warm water and soap. Apply antiseptic or additional rubbing alcohol to the wound. Wash the tweezers and your hands with soap and water, and sterilize the tweezers with rubbing alcohol before using them again.

Items You Will Need

  • Lidded glass jar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Rubber or latex gloves
  • Cotton ball
  • Tweezers
  • Soap and water
  • Antiseptic

Tips

  • Many dogs will not hold still during a tick removal; if necessary, have someone else help you by holding the dog during the procedure.
  • Keep the tick in the jar after you kill it. If your dog starts to display signs of a tick-borne disease, you'll need to give the tick to a veterinarian for testing or identification. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet.

Warnings

  • Do not touch the tick's bite area on the dog with your bare hands. Disease can be passed through cuts on the skin, or by touching mucous membranes -- such as eyes or nose -- with contaminated hands.
  • Do not attempt to kill the tick while it is on the dog by burning it or drowning it in rubbing alcohol. It is safer for the dog to remove the tick first.

Photo Credits

  • Tick crawling on human skin. image by blindfire from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."