How to Remove a Dog Tick Without Tweezers

A dog that loves to play outdoors is bound to pick up a tick at some point in time.

Ticks can really harm adult dogs and puppies – and need to be dealt with ASAP.

Let’s chat how to remove a dog tick without tweezers (and why).

how to remove a dog tick without tweezers
How to remove a dog tick without tweezers

The nature of the beast (why dogs will ALWAYS get ticks)

Dogs of all breeds can sometimes be quite the handful to deal with. Even though they love to just hang out, and relax like us, they also LOVE to play, and spend a ton of time outdoors. 

While allowing your dog to wander outdoors is a great way for the dog to get more comfortable with their environment, as well as to provide for some necessary exercise. 

It also opens the door for them to get into situations that can result in some rather nasty consequences. 

One particularly nasty culprit to keep an eye out for, are ticks. 

Why dealing with ticks without tweezers matters

Whether your pup is out on a nature walk with you, or simply hanging out in your backyard, ticks can be found anywhere. 

Ticks are extremely problematic for dog owners, and even though some breeds are more prone to attracting them than others, ticks can find homes on any dog. And while there are a variety of ways to remove ticks from a dog’s skin, many involve using tools, or tweezers to remove the tick, which can cause severe pain for the dog. 

This is why it’s important to know how to remove a dog tick without tweezers.

How to Remove a Dog Tick Without Tweezers

puppy at the vet with owners one adult one child
A cute puppy enjoying a Vet visit

Method 1 – Liquid Soap & Cotton Ball

Step 1: Grab a cotton ball, and dab a bit of liquid soap onto it (Olive oil also works well instead of soap). And the cotton balls are ideal because they can get in less accessible spaces like ears, and toes. 

Step 2: Place the cotton ball on the tick, and hold it there for 1-2 minutes. At which point the tick should remove it’s head from the dog’s skin.

Step 3: Remove the cotton ball, as the tick should get entangled in the cotton. 

Step 4: Once you have the tick, place the cotton ball with the tick into a plastic bag, or sealed jar so that the vet can check for possible viruses. 

Many people assume to simply just kill the tick and get it over with, but it would be wise to let your vet take a look to ensure that nothing has been passed onto your dog. 

Method 2 – Invest in a high-quality tick removal kit

There are a variety of good alternatives if you are concerned about using tweezers to remove a tick from your dog’s coat. 

Tweezers (though convenient) present a variety of potential problems, and can end up causing more harm than good. 

Instead, you should look to purchase a high-quality tick removal kit that is specifically built to handle such situations. 

To help you get started, we have come up with our top 5 tick removal kits.

All of which are budget friendly and worth the investment). 

dog sits on a couch happily
Photo: Mark Vetch CC-by-SA 2.0 Not modified
  1. TickCheck Premium Tick Remover Kit –
TickCheck Premium Tick Remover Kit - Stainless Steel Tick Remover + Tweezers, Leather Case, and Free Pocket Tick Identification Card (1 Set)
  • ✔️ BEST TICK REMOVERS FOR PEOPLE OR PETS - Kit includes stainless steel tick remover for safely removing larger embedded ticks, and a specially shaped super-fine-tip tweezer for removing nymphs and small deer ticks, in a leatherette pouch
  • ✔️ UNIVERSITY TESTED - The tools in this tick removal kit have been field-tested and designed for easily and safely removing embedded adult and nymph ticks from humans, dogs, cats, or other pets
  • ✔️ FREE TICK IDENTIFICATION CARD to easily identify the most common species of ticks in the United States
  • ✔️ SUPPORT LYME RESEARCH - A portion of the proceeds of this tick remover kit helps fund university research on ticks and Lyme
  • ✔️ PERFECT FOR OUTDOORS ENTHUSIASTS - Keep your tick remover kit in your first aid kit, glove compartment, or backpack to easily remove ticks wherever you go

The TickCheck Premium Tick Removal Kit is undoubtedly the #1 option on the market when it comes to getting rid of the pesky critters. It comes with a stainless-steel tick remover for the larger/more embedded ticks. As well as a specifically shaped super-fine tip tweezer for the smaller deer ticks, all available in a stylish, and easy-to-store leather pouch. This tremendous product can be used for dogs, cats, or any other animal for that matter, and a portion of the proceeds go towards funding universities’ research in tick, and Lyme disease. 

  1. ZenPet Tick Tornado Tick Remover –
Sale
ZenPet Tick Tornado - Tick Remover for Dogs & Cats & People - Value Pack - Easy and Fast Tick Removal Tool (1 Pack)
  • ✔️ BEST TICK REMOVER FOR PETS OR PEOPLE - The Tick Tornado safely and easily removes the entire tick, reducing the risk of infection and serious illnesses like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease.
  • ✔️ VETERINARIAN MADE - Safest and easiest way to remove dangerous ticks. Created by a veterinarian, the Tick Tornado is an effective alternative to tweezers, matches, or other devices.
  • ✔️ PERFECT FOR OUTDOORS ENTHUSIASTS - Keep your tick remover kit in your first aid kit, glove compartment, or backpack to easily remove ticks wherever you go
  • ✔️ HOW TO - The twisting motion is necessary to ensure that no parts of the tick's mouth are left behind in the skin when the tick is removed. This helps to minimize the chance of transferring infectious agents, like Babesiosis and Lyme Disease.
  • ✔️ USA DESIGNED - This tick removal card has been field-tested and designed for easily and safely removing embedded adult and nymph ticks from humans, dogs, cats, or other pets.

The Tick Tornado by ZenPet is another spectacular choice for any pet owner, as it is not only extremely effective, but amazingly affordable as well. The Tick Tornado safely removes any tick present on the animal with a unique twisting motion, ensuring that no parts of the tick’s mouth gets left behind in the dog’s skin. This removal tool was specifically designed by a veterinarian, to help lower the risk of Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in our furry friends.  

  1. TickPro Kit Remover –

[Currently out of stock!]

The TickPro is another effective tool for removing ticks, as it carries one of the more durable options, with nothing but tremendous reviews. It comes with a large stainless-steel tick remover, and a fine-tip tweezer for the smaller ticks. Each item is made with high-quality material, and double coat painting to ensure for premium longevity. Plus, this renowned design comes available in a convenient leatherette pouch for easy portability. 

  1. Acronde 3-Pack Tick Remover – 
Sale
Acronde 3 Pack Tick Remover Tool Set Stainless Steel Tick Remover Kit for Cats and Dogs
  • Best thick remover kit for cats and dogs: Kit includes one double-ended tweezer, one single ended hook tool and one specially shaped super-fine-tip tweezer. Tiicks removal kit that allows you to be safe and effective to remove any sizes tiicks from pets, people, and other animals.
  • Easy to use: Our tools require no instruction; The tiick removal fork can be used to remove larger tiicks. The double-ended tweezer is used to remove the smaller tiicks. The ultra-fine-tip tweezers can be used to precisely remove tiny tiicks.
  • Easy to carry: Keep your tiick remover kit in your first aid kit, glove compartment, or backpack to easily remove tiicks wherever you go.
  • 100% Natural: Three tools are made with high quality stainless steel that wont upset your pet!
  • University tested: The tools in this tiick removal kit have been field-tested and designed for easily and safely removing tiicks from humans, dogs, cats, or other pets.

The Acronde Tick Remover is one of the best alternatives for any animal. The kit comes equipped with 1 double-ended tweezer, 1 single ended hook tool, and one specially shaped super-fine-tip tweezer.

With the tick removal fork being used to remove larger ticks, the double-ended tweezer used to remove the smaller ticks, and the ultra-fine-tip tweezers can be used to precisely remove tiny ticks. All three of these tools are made with high-quality stainless steel, and are designed with safety, and comfort in mind. 

  1. The Original Tick Key –
The Original Tick Key -Tick Removal Device - Portable, Safe and Highly Effective Tick Removal Tool (Assorted)
  • REDUCE THE RISK OF DISEASE AND MORE – By fully extracting attached ticks as soon as possible, the risk of contracting tick borne pathogens like Colorado tick fever, Heartland virus, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is reduced. Keep yourself and others safe from avoidable disease!
  • REMOVES TICKS WITH EASE – The Original Tick Key™ uses natural forward leverage to extract tick heads quickly and safely. Removes ticks of every size and kind without touching or harming them to minimize risk of infection.
  • ADVENTURE WITHOUT FEAR – Whether hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, gardening, or even playing sports outdoors, ticks present a serious threat. Take an Original Tick Key™ with you wherever you go and enjoy nature with the peace of mind afforded by an intuitive, reliable tick removal tool.
  • WORKS ON ANIMALS – Your favorite furry companions can benefit from your Original Tick Key™ too! No more brushing fur away to try to squeeze out a stubborn tick, risking its decapitation and injury to your pet - just apply an Original Tick Key™ and detick in seconds!
  • HUGE UTILITY IN A TINY TOOL – Measuring 2.5 inches long, 1.5 inches wide, and only a sixteenth of an inch thick, Original Tick Key™s are conveniently portable and make a practical addition to any keychain, backpack, hunting kit, or tackle box.

Rounding out our top 5 is the Original Tick Key, as it still remains one of the most effective tools for removing ticks in 2021.

The Original Tick Key uses natural leverage to extract tick heads quickly, and safely, and can easily fit into the palm of your hand (2.5”x1.5”). For a ridiculous price, you can obtain this convenient tool that fits perfectly on the end of your keychain, ensuring that you’re prepared anywhere you go. 

How to know when a dog has a tick – and when to remove it without tweezers

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a tick has latched onto your dog, but the most common symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Constant scratching/licking of sensitive areas – Ticks are more likely to burrow themselves in warm, and moist places, most likely in places where the dog often licks, or scratches. You will notice excessive scratching/licking as the tick will make the sensitive area more irritated. (So licking paws is bad news)
  • Constant head shaking in an irritated fashion – Ticks are also very likely to latch onto the head of your dog. Most notably in the ear canal, or the top of the dog’s head causing them to shake their head constantly. 
  • Abnormal behavior – This behavior can sometimes be obvious, like if you notice that your dog is whining more than usual, or seems genuinely upset, then this could be a sign that something is wrong. 
  • Scabs on your dog – Sometimes as you run your hands through your dog’s coat searching for ticks, you may come across a lump that you first believe to be a scab. Understand that when ticks burrow themselves into your dog, they can sometimes look a lot like scabs, and can therefore go unnoticed. 

Dogs and Ticks and Tweezers FAQ

vet checking dog for fleas
A Vet checking a dog for fleas

Why are tweezers so bad to use?

Removing ticks with tweezers is relatively simple as long as you have a safe, and high-quality tool that is specifically designed for tick removal. However, most would not recommend using tweezers at all, because they are extremely difficult to use, and you are more likely to end up hurting the dog, rather than helping them.

More often than not you end up squishing or killing the tick while it’s latched onto your dog, injecting the disease into them directly.

Also the head of the tick is known to break away from its body when this happens, leaving the head lodged into your dog’s skin. This presents a variety of other issues, with everything from a simple irritation, to a possible infection. 

Can dog ticks live in carpets?

Unfortunately, yes, ticks can absolutely find a home in your carpet. While they typically prefer to nestle in soil, branches, or leaves, your carpet can also be a more than suitable location for them to nest in, and eventually to lay their eggs.

The good news is that they are relatively easy to get rid of, and you almost never see tick infestations so long as you maintain a safe, and clean household. 

Do dog ticks live in trees?

The good news is that ticks are not typically found in trees. You will instead find them in tall grass, or dense bushes most often, as they need high humidity in order to survive. So, as long as you avoid these sort of areas, you will not typically find ticks in trees.

How long do ticks live?

Depending on the type of tick, they can live for up to a number of years in certain environments. For example, deer ticks can live up to 3 years, but begin reproducing after 2 years. 

To sum up the itchy issue 

There are a few different ways you can go about removing a tick from your dog’s skin, but the absolute last thing you should consider is to use tweezers. Understand that there are far safer, and more effective methods for removing ticks, all of which are fairly cost-efficient as well. 

So long as you are aware of the variety of alternative methods, you should be able to minimize the tick problem moving forward.