Skip to main content

Pet Insurance policies are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company.

How to Safely Remove Ticks from Your Dog or Cat

Figo’s quick tips for spotting and removing ticks from your pet

How to Safely Remove Ticks from Your Dog or Cat

If you live in a temperate climate and have pets that go outdoors, chances are that you’ve occasionally had to deal with common seasonal parasites. Ticks are among the most common parasites, adaptable to woodland, beach, grassland, and even urban environments. 

While a tick bite itself is not toxic to humans or animals, ticks are potential carriers of serious diseases such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis—so, recognizing and removing ticks from your pet promptly is important. 

Let’s look at a few quick tips for spotting and removing ticks from your pet.

Spotting Ticks on Your Pet

Ticks are a very ancient and primitive insect species with a non-segmented body and crablike legs. Dog ticks measure about 3/16 of an inch in length and attach themselves to a warm-blooded host. Deer ticks (those that carry Lyme disease) are significantly smaller and are often more difficult to spot. 

Ticks live on the blood of their hosts until their bodies become engorged. Engorged ticks are easier to spot because of their increased size. They may appear at first to resemble a seed or skin tag, but the legs should be visible on closer inspection.

Removing a Tick from Your Pet

Once you identify a tick on your pet, you’ll want to remove it as quickly and safely as possible, without enlarging the bite or risking further infection. Ticks burrow in head-first so that a tick’s head is likely below the skin surface.  


To remove a tick, you’ll need a pair of fine-point tweezers (household tweezers are often too blunt and could tear the tick, further increasing the risk for disease.

Once you’ve spotted a tick, part your pet’s fur gently with your fingers, and place the tweezers about the tick, as close to the skin surface as possible. Grip firmly and gently pull the tweezers upward to ensure that the tick’s mouthparts do not tear away and remain in your pet.  

Tick Hooks

Another way to remove a tick is to use a product made specifically for the purpose. Brands such as Tick Ease, Tick Tornado, and Tick Twister are available online or at your closest pet supply store.  

After you’ve removed the tick, clean the area gently with alcohol to kill any lingering microorganisms, and the bite should heal on its own. Disinfect the tweezers or hook as well to be ready for its next use. If your pet has persistent tick bites that do not heal after the parasite is removed, visit your vet—the cause could be something more than tick infestation.

Tick Prevention

One of the best ways to rid your pet of ticks is to practice a bit of parasite prevention. If your pet spends a significant amount of time outdoors, especially in Spring or Autumn, investing in a flea and tick collar now can save you a world of hassles later. Advantage, Advantix, and other brands offer flea and tick collars for both dogs and cats. Be sure to select a size that’s appropriate for your animal. Tick collars should fit snugly enough that your pet can’t slip-free, but should allow freedom of movement and swallowing.

Another way to minimize tick infestation is to trim the hair around your dog’s feet to discourage unwanted “hitchhikers” and to check your pet for skin parasites during weekly grooming sessions.  

At FIGO, we care about your pet’s health. That’s why we offer a broad range of pet health insurance options—one to fit every pet and every budget.

  • Instagram logo
  • facebook
  • tiktok
  • Twitter

No one is permitted to sell, solicit or negotiate an insurance policy without a producer license in the state in which the plan is sold, and all prospects should be directed to Figo Pet Insurance. The information contained in this website is for illustrative purposes only and coverage under any pet insurance policy is expressly subject to the conditions, restrictions, limitations, exclusions (including pre-existing conditions), and terms of the policy documentation issued by the insurer. Availability of this program is subject to each state’s approval and coverage may vary by state. Coverage underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (IAIC), a Delaware Insurance Company, 11333 North Scottsdale Road Suite 160 Scottsdale, AZ 85254. Live Vet and the Figo Pet Cloud are separate non-insurance services unaffiliated with IAIC. Figo Pet Insurance's California license number is 0K02763.

Copyright © 2015-2023 Figo Pet Insurance LLC. All rights reserved