To remove a tick from your cat or dog, you will need:
- Latex or nitrile gloves
- Fine-point tweezers or a tick-remover tool
- Rubbing alcohol
- A small container with a lid
Make sure you have all these items nearby and you are wearing the gloves before you start removing the tick.
How to remove a tick from your pet
- Pour rubbing alcohol in the small container – you’ll need this when the tick is out.
- Hold your pet and try to keep it calm by talking to it and stroking it. It's best to ask someone to give you a hand because it might be difficult to hold your pet and while also trying to extract the tick.
- Comb your pet's fur so you can see the tick clearly.
- Pull on the tick with the tweezers using a gentle straight motion. Get the tweezers as close to your pet's skin as possible and try not to twist or jerk it as this might cause the body to break away from the head or puncture the tick causing potentially infectious fluids to spill out. Don't squeeze it too hard as the tick's body may break off and leave the head in your pet's skin. Apply just enough pressure to get a good enough grip to pull it out intact.
- If you’re using a tick-remover tool, follow the instructions that come with it. The type of motion you use to pull on the tick may differ depending on the tool. For example, this is how Protect My Pet recommends you use a hook-shaped tick remover with a slide:
Once the tick is out, place it in the container with the rubbing alcohol to kill it.
Protect My Pet says: "Examine the tick before disposal to ensure the tick is intact and there are no mouthparts still present in your dog's skin. If you are unsure if what you have found is a tick, or how to remove it, your local veterinary practice will be able to help."
Clean the affected area of your pet's skin with rubbing alcohol.
Tick-removal myths and don'ts
Using petroleum jelly, burning, freezing or resorting to any other method to kill the tick while it's still in your pet's skin may not be the most effective way to deal with it.
Even if you managed to kill it, the head could remain in your pet’s skin, which could make your cat or dog ill.
Holding a flame near the body of the tick can be dangerous and severely injure your pet or burn its fur.
How to check your pet for ticks?
Ticks tend to stick out, so you can simply run your hands across your pet’s body and inspect any skin bumps you feel to make sure they are not ticks.
They often attach themselves to the face, neck, ears and underbelly areas.
If you are worried that your pet might have contracted a tick-borne disease seek veterinary help.