Dogs are very prone to getting ticks in warm weather.

Warmer temperatures definitely equal more outdoor time which is super fun. But, those higher temperatures also come with safety concerns and pests unfortunately! Ticks are one pest to definitely look out for and try to protect your dog against.

Why are ticks dangerous for dogs?

Well, ticks are parasites that latch onto animals and humans and feed on their blood. They can carry and pass on diseases like lyme disease. It’s extremely easy for ticks to latch onto dogs in long grass or wooded areas as they pass through the grass and buses. The symptoms of lyme disease can include a ‘bullseye’ rash around the bite, lameness, fever or lethargy. Talk to your vet right away if you notice any of these and your dog has had exposure to ticks.

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Questions to ask yourself to protect your dog from ticks

How do I remove a tick from my dog?

It’s easiest to remove a tick with a tick remover tool or hook, as they’re sometimes called. These tools are especially designed for tick removal and are most efficient. Place the tool between the tick and your dog’s skin, gently twist until the tick is removed and dispose of it safely. Try to wear gloves if you have them available. Always check that the full tick has been removed, including the head/jaws. Contact your vet if in any doubt that the tick has been fully removed.

How do I check my dog for ticks?

This can be tricky, especially if you have a long-haired dog! But there are certain areas of your dog’s body that ticks seem to latch onto more often. Check around the face, nose, eyes, ears and neck area, in the joins where their legs meet the body and around the tail. Ticks can also get between their toes! Grooming your dog regularly in the warmer months can also alert you to the presence of any ticks.

What do ticks look like?

Ticks vary in colour from black to brown to red. The longer they’re attached to the host, the larger and more swollen they get – try to get them as early as possible to decrease the chance of disease transmission.

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Is there a way to repel ticks?

There’s a plethora of tick repellents on the market, including spot on treatments and tick collars. Some of these treatments are more effective than others, so ask your vet for location specific advice.

How can I avoid ticks?

To stand a better chance of avoiding ticks, try to avoid areas where they’re prevalent like grassy or woodland areas in summer. It’s sensible for you as the owner to dress appropriately too, without bare skin, so as to avoid picking them up. If you live rurally, try to keep your garden tidy and cut back the grass. If you’re in a known tick area, try keep your dog on a lead and avoid the long grasses and undergrowth. 

Ticks are a summertime pest but you can avoid your dog’s exposure to them with a little forward planning and effort. You can’t always avoid areas with ticks so the best advice is to remain vigilant and try to remove them before they latch on. Be sensible and always contact your vet if you’re unsure about tick removal or tick bites.


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About the author

Vaila Erin is a writer, lover of animals, and a bit of a nomad. For her, life is about stories — observing yourself and others so that you can laugh, cry and entertain each other with its absurdities. Connect with her at or via LinkedIn.