Ticks in dogs - How to identify and eliminate them


Ticks in dogs are one of the most common external parasites that we will find in our pets. Despite being frequent, that a dog picks up ticks can be really dangerous, especially if they are many at once. In addition to sucking your blood and irritating your skin, they can transmit diseases.

Do not panic! In this article you will find everything you need to know about dog ticks, from how to identify them to how to treat and avoid them. Do not miss it!

> (Photo via: uncomo)

Ticks They are parasitic arachnids that adhere to dogs' skin to feed on their blood. There are many different species of ticks, and they are classified into two groups: hard and soft.

  • Within the group of hard ticks (Ixodidae), species stand out Amblyomma, Dermacentor, Haemaphysalir, Hyalomma, Ixodes and Rhipicehpahlus. The last of all is the most frequent, is present in all continents of the world and is very abundant.
    How to identify them? This type of ticks they have a kind of hard dorsal shield, like a breastplate. In males it covers the entire body, while in females it only occupies the part closest to the head.
  • Within the soft ticks (Argasidae), the most common is the species Otobius megnini. These they have no dorsal shell and there is no way to distinguish their sex with the naked eye. They usually choose the area of ​​the ears to settle.

All ticks follow the same vital stages: they leave the egg and are called larvae, then nymphs and adults. They need to feed on blood during all stages of their life, so they already from the moment of birth they will look for a dog to stay in.

Larvae and nymphs usually choose the area of ​​the spine, while adults look for areas of thinner skin where it takes less effort to obtain blood: between the toes, ears or neck.

How are tick bites in dogs

Though your dog may be attacked by ticks at any time of the year, in the cold times it is much less likely, since these parasites usually hibernate. The times of greatest risk are the warm ones, from the beginning of spring until the beginning of autumn.

Ticks they are not flying animals nor can they jump, so in nature they live at ground level. His favorite areas are those with vegetation, from the countryside and forests to any neighborhood park or your own home garden. When your dog is walking and a tick decides that your hairy is your ideal hotel, climb it by its paws and he is crawling until he finds the ideal place to settle.

Symptoms of ticks in dogs

How to know if your dog has ticks? As we said, adult ticks prefer thin skin areas, because this makes it easier for them to feed. To find them, inspect:

  • Neck
  • Ears both inside, behind and between the folds)
  • Belly
  • English
  • Perianal zone
  • Any other area that your dog does not scratch

The parasite, once installed, causes a wound through which it will feed. This hemorrhage is easily recognizable. But the thing is not there! In addition to sucking blood, ticks they introduce their saliva into the wound, it contains toxins and anticoagulant agents, anti-inflammatories and analgesics, which when entering the body of your pet, reduce their ability to defend themselves. In other words, Ticks in dogs, in severe cases, can lead to paralysis and poisoning. And yes, a large tick infestation could kill your dog.

Before finding the hemorrhage and the tick, The first symptom that will show you ticks in your dog is the constant itching. It won't stop scratching!

This is how ticks feed on your dog's blood

Ixodidae ticks they feed in two phases: in the first phase, which lasts a week, they can multiply their size tenfold. The second phase lasts only 12 to 24 hours, but The parasite can increase its weight up to 50 times. Amazing!

On the other hand, ticks from the Argasidae family only feed once, increasing to four times their initial weight.

Hard ticks usually remain in the same body longer than soft ones.

Diseases that transmit ticks

Ticks in dogs can pose a great danger of contracting diseases such as:

  • Lyme disease: transmitted by hard ticks. It produces joint inflammation, fever, lack of appetite, kidney problems ...
  • Anaplasmosis: high fever, diarrhea, vomiting, paralysis, lack of appetite ...
  • Babesiosis: anemia, jaundice, fever.
  • Hepatozoonosis: hyperthermia, anemia, polyuria and motor problems> (Photo via: elpopular)

You can start with Pass a flea comb through your dog's body, so you will eliminate ticks that have not yet adhered to your skin.

If your dog already has the tick attached to his body and has bitten him, Everything will depend on the amount you find. If you have between one and three, you are not in great danger and you can remove them yourself, but If you have more, it is best to go to the vet, as you may need a specific treatment.

When you locate a tick, take some tweezers and grab it carefully not to break it, the closer to the head, the better. Pull it carefully up. Don't do it sideways or squeeze too much, if you split the tick in two you will increase the risk of infection. When removing the tick completely, the wound must be disinfected as soon as possible.

Go to your veterinarian, especially if you have found several, so you can inspect it well and check if it has transmitted any disease.

How to prevent ticks

Yes, there are certain measures you can and should take to prevent ticks in dogs. Deworming your pet with the appropriate frequency is very important. You will find these products in different formats, from pipettes to necklaces, sprays and even antiparasitic shampoos.

Further, Take special care when choosing the places that you frequent with your dog in the times of greatest risk. In parks and other green areas there can be many ticks. If you can't avoid them, or if you want to make sure your dog doesn't catch ticks, We advise you to get a flea comb and inspect your dog for parasites after each ride

If you choose bathing your dog with antiparasitic shampoo, you can multiply its repellent effect by mixing it with apple cider vinegar in equal parts.

Remember, if you have any questions or if you notice symptoms of discomfort or illness, go to the vet as soon as possible! And on a day-to-day basis, do your best to prevent ticks in dogs.

The tick bite in dogs

In order to understand how ticks bite and what their diet consists of, we must first know where these ectoparasites usually inhabit and how they get to stay in the skin of our dogs. In this way, we will not only know how to identify a tick bite in dogs, but we can also prevent it.

The season of the year and, therefore, the temperature at which we are are the key factor that determines the level of activity of this organism. In general, we identify as periods of greater activity those that comprise since the arrival of the spring to fall. During the winter, most tick species choose to hibernate, only a minority is able to remain active throughout the year.

Ticks they can't fly or jump, so when they are not on the surface of a host body, they are on the ground. Most of them survive in the wild, in rural areas, in forests, in the countryside or even in gardens and parks with vegetation close to the urban fringes. In this way, when the dog passes through an infested sector of these parasites, the tick accesses it through its legs, since, remember, they cannot jump. Start to climb and travel your entire body until you find the ideal place to settle and start feeding.

Tick ​​Feeding

The family ticks Ixodidae They feed in two phases. The first one lasts a week and can gain weight up to 10 times, while the second takes 12 to 24 hours. In this second phase of faster feeding, the parasite can multiply by 50 its weight. On the other hand, those of the family Argasidae They only feed once, sucking enough blood to increase their weight up to 4 times. Thus, hard ticks tend to remain longer in the same body than soft ones.

How to remove ticks in dogs?

As you have seen throughout the article, before biting the tick, the animal's body is scanned in search of the best place to stay. In this way, before it bites we can use a flea comb and comb all your fur several times. With this utensil we can catch both nymphs and adult ticks, not larvae, and eliminate them at the moment to avoid biting our dog or ourselves.

If, on the other hand, your dog already has bite symptoms, the fastest way to identify it is manually. So, arm yourself with patience, look at the areas where your dog scratches continuously, accommodate it and start inspect by palpating the skin in counterbalance in search of a parasite with an oval-rounded shape, between 30 mm and 1 cm and a half in size. Remember that depending on the type of tick you can have hard or soft skin. If you discover between one and three, you can remove them by hand, but if you find a larger number it is best to use products sent by the veterinarian.

How to remove ticks in dogs manually?

Once the tick is identified in the dog, you must make yourself with tweezers, grab the parasite with them as close to the mouth as possible and start pulling gently, always upwards. Never do it abruptly or turn it, since you will only be able to remove one part of its body and leave your dog attached to the other, causing a greater infection. For more details, you can check the following video that clearly shows how to remove a tick.

After removing the tick from our dog's body, it is imperative disinfect the area and go to the specialist so that he can examine the animal and determine if the parasite has transferred any disease. Also, if our dog has many ticks attached to your body, it is best to take it to the veterinarian to apply the antiparasitic product that you deem appropriate, being the pipette the treatment of choice for its rapid efficacy.

To prevent our dog from becoming the host of these annoying parasites, there are a number of products on the market that we must acquire and use:

  • Antiparasitic pipettes
  • Antiparasitic collars
  • Internal antiparasitic
  • Shampoos, soaps and antiparasitic colonies

In addition to the above, there are antiparasitic tablets that protect dogs against external and internal parasites at the same time. It's called double monthly deworming. All these products must be purchased in veterinary clinics and used according to the specialist's instructions. Similarly, once deworming has begun through the use of internal pipettes or antiparasitic, we should not interrupt the treatment unless stipulated by the veterinarian. On the other hand, we can choose more natural options that do not alter or damage our dog's organism. To do this, we advise you to consult our article on home remedies to deworm your dog. For now, there is no vaccine that acts against these parasites.

In addition to using the aforementioned products, we must pay special attention to the places we frequent with our dog during the periods of greatest activity of the parasites, trying to avoid those that may be infested by them. If you cannot avoid them, from ExpertAnimal we recommend acquiring a flea comb and combing the dog after the walk, in this way we will be able to catch the mite before producing the bite in case we have accessed the body of our pet.

On the other hand, at the time of bathe our dog with deworming shampoo, we can enhance its effects by mixing shampoo and apple cider vinegar in equal parts, a natural product that both ticks and fleas hate. In this way, in addition to providing our dog's fur with extra shine and controlling its body odor, we will prevent our pet from having ticks.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Ticks in dogs - How to identify and eliminate them, we recommend that you enter our Deworming section.

Cat flea

Siphonaptera insect species of the Pulicidae family. Parasita to a great variety of animals (cat, dog, foxes, wolves, rabbits, horses, etc ...) even to man. Despite the name it is the most abundant species on our dogs. It is a cosmopolitan species. It can be a vector of diseases, the most prominent being those produced by the bacteria Bartonella, the intestinal worm Dipylidium caninum, he Typhus.


  • Fleas go through four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The eggs are small and white. These combined stages vary from two weeks to eight months.
  • The larvae feed on the particles of dried blood, feces, and organic substances.
  • The adult flea is activated to eat when it detects movements, heat, noise or the CO2 exhaled by its host.


  • They lack wings, flattened laterally and the hind legs adapted for the jump.
  • It measures 2 to 3 mm in length and is dark brown to almost black.
  • The larva is white and measures up to 5 mm long.
  • They have a slightly rounded forehead, more flattened in the female with twice the length than width.
  • They present a genal ctenidium formed by 6 to 8 well-developed spines and a pronotonal ctenidium of more than 12 spines.

Dog Flea

Siphonaptera insect species of the Pulicidae family. It is a much more specific species and almost always linked to its type host, the dog, but also to the wolf, the fox, and accidentally in the cat even in man. Very similar to cat flea. It is a cosmopolitan species. It’s a dog’s tapeworm vector, Dipylidium caninum, which can also affect humans.

Bird Flea

It is a species of siphonaptera of the family Ceratophyllidae. These fleas spend the winter in the cocoons in the nests of the birds. They leave with the heat of the spring sun and if they don't quickly find a bird to suck their blood, they start moving from one side to the other. In such circumstances they can enter the houses, but they can also be acquired when working in the gardens near nesting boxes or infested nests. Bird fleas can multiply enormously in chicken coops. Fortunately, they only live in houses for a short period of time and usually only breed in bird nests.

Man flea

It is a species of siphonaptera insect of the family Pulicidae. Despite its name, currently in our country it is a species linked mainly to small ruminants and dogs. In addition to the above, it can parasitize the pig, rats, and even the dog. The flea of ​​man has become a rather rare insect, but formerly he was the constant companion of men of all social classes. The probability that this flea can multiply in homes is small since modern houses are too clean and dry for larvae to survive.

Rat Flea

Siphonaptera insect species of the Pulicidae family. It can parasitize the two types of rats: Rattus norvergicus Y Rattus rattus, the house mouse and the man. Cosmopolitan species, although at present, it seems that its presence has disappeared practically from many countries, leaving isolated foci of them especially in areas of ports. It is very similar to P. irritans. They are a main vector of bubonic plague and typhus. The transmission of these diseases occurs when the flea feeds an infected rodent first and then bites a human.

Dog Coffee Tick

It is one of the most widely distributed garrpatas in the world and there is a record of its occurrence in a large number of guests. Its most common guest, for a marked difference, is the domestic dog. There are records of occasional collections in human hosts or domestic cats, as guests, but these cases are generally in circumstances where they have been in close contact with infested dogs.

Tick ​​Identification

Is it one of your favorite activities to enjoy outdoors on hot days?

Summer and spring days, too, are favorites for ticks. By being in contact with grass or nature you can be very close to these small arachnids that go unnoticed and want your blood to feed.

Unlike fleas, ticks do not jump and have little displacement capacity, which is why they wait patiently at the top of the grass to adhere to their host when they have contact. Before starting to feed, these ectoparasites are small, not larger than the size of a lentil, presenting sexual dysmorphism where the male is darker and has a kind of shield. In adult status they have four pairs of legs and three juveniles.

One of its characteristics is that they have the ability to remain dormant, when environmental conditions are not favorable or there are no guests nearby, so they can be present in the environments for a long time, even years and reactivate when the weather conditions and / or food allow it.

Female ticks lay about 3,000 to 4,000 eggs in just one litter, so the colony can grow rapidly.

From the larva stage, ticks are able to feed themselves. At birth they must find a host to feed. Then they fall to the ground, move, and an eight-legged nymph emerges. Therefore, they can also be found in the environment (thickets, cracks and walls). Ticks can adhere to any part of the dog, adults usually adhere to the ears and between the fingers, but the larvae and nymphs usually do so on the back.

Remove Ticks

The exterior and interior cleaning is essential to not deliver the conditions conducive to its proliferation. Keeping the grass cut and weeding is undoubtedly of great importance to achieve positive results. On the other hand, keep your pet with preventive vaccines and periodic inspection preventing contagion.

Rentokil will deliver all the tools to get rid of this annoying parasite.

By contacting Rentokil to help you eliminate your tick problem, you ensure that you contact a pest control company that has extensive experience in Chile in treatments to eliminate this annoying parasite.

The chemical control procedure will be carried out by experts, both in the correct choice of the product and in its application. and an application calendar will be determined. It is recommended to apply in cycles of three weeks depending on the level of infestation.

Rentokil Tick Treatments

We have specialized personnel in pest control, who will offer you the alternatives to end your problem. Pest Control from Bestway Rentokil Initial has extensive experience in tick removal treatments.

  • Visits made by experts who will analyze the level of the infestation.
  • Personalized treatment according to your problem, without disabling the property.
  • Pest control with high technology and insurance for you and your family.
  • It will be treated with biocides and products with low environmental impact.
  • Experts will guide and advise you to avoid reinfestations.

To succeed in controlling this arachnid, we must consider a series of elements that together will generate an integrated control.

Similar to the process performed with fleas, to achieve successful results, the procedure will require treatment in the infested area as in the hosts (dogs / cats)

  • Qualified technicians understand tick problems.
  • We offer a personalized and discreet treatment to avoid to the maximum to interfere in the operation of your company.
  • We have the necessary products to deal with this pest.