If your pet has a tick

Even if your pet is protected, you should always check for ticks if they’ve been outside in an area where you know ticks dwell, areas with a lot of tall grass for example. Knowing how and where to check for ticks on your pet is the first step and then you must be able to remove and dispose of them properly – ticks can be very resilient creatures. 

Finding the ticks

Check your pet's skin on its head first (around muzzle, behind ears and on its neck), then work your way down its forelegs and the rest of its body – searching for any lumps on the surface of the skin.

If you find a lump:

  • Part the hair and look at it more closely or with the help of a magnifying glass, if necessary.
  • The place where the tick attaches may or may not be painful and there may be skin swelling.

What to do when you find the tick

It is important to dispose of any ticks you find hygienically and be careful not to release the live tick back into the environment, as it could re-attach itself to your pet or your family!

  • The ideal device for tick removal is a specially designed hook with a narrow slot, which needs to be slid with care under the tick at skin level so as to grip the tick. You can find these hooks at your vets office or local pet store.
  • Secure the hook in place around the mouthparts of the tick, ensuring that it is not entangled in the hair. The hook is then rotated around its axis several times until the attachment is freed. The loose tick will then be easily detached and removed without putting either the tick or skin under tension.
  • When attempting to remove a tick, avoid handling the parasite directly without gloves – remember ticks carry unpleasant infections!
DO NOT attempt to burn, cut or pull the tick directly off - If you do so it is likely that the mouthparts of the tick will be left behind.

Ask your vet for more advice on how and where to look for ticks on your pet.

The risk of ticks to pets

Ticks are generally unpleasant creatures. More than that, they pose a threat to the health of your pet and your family. But knowing the health risks that ticks can create is the first step to preventing them.

Learn more now


You want your pet to be protected. But when it comes to treating them against the dangers of ticks, there is a multitude of options available.

Get the facts

Back the campaign

We have joined forces with vets across the country to call on the Government to get a comprehensive tick control programme reinstated into the Pet Travel Scheme so that trips abroad with our pets stay safe and UK dogs are not exposed to the risk of imported tick-borne disease. A big thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign.

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Information brought to you by MSD Animal Health