A finger with a tick on it
A finger with a tick on it

How Do I Get Rid of Ticks on My Dog?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, then pulling “upward with steady, even pressure” without twisting or jerking. After removing the tick, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.1 Your vet can also provide advice for removing ticks and recommend a reliable tick control product.

What Are the Signs of Ticks on Dogs?

When looking for ticks, you may feel or spot ticks on your dog’s body underneath their fur. When it first attaches, an adult tick will look like a tiny round bug with 8 legs. After feeding, it will swell up to look bloated and bluish-gray, and eventually detach. If that tick has already detached, you may notice a small bump or inflamed area at the site of the bite.

Engorged tick
An enlarged tick on a dog's skin

Do Ticks Carry 
Lyme Disease?

If a tick that is carrying a pathogen bites a dog, that dog is at risk of becoming infected as well. The most commonly-diagnosed tick-borne disease is in the US is Lyme disease, which is transmitted by the black-legged tick and caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Signs of Lyme disease in dogs include fever, lameness, joint swelling, lethargy, and even serious kidney damage.2

A group of ticks on a dog's skin
A group of ticks on a dog's skin

How Does Oral Tick Protection for Dogs Work?

When a dog takes NexGard® (afoxolaner), the active ingredient protects them by spreading throughout their system. When a tick bites, it gets a tiny dose of that active ingredient, which is designed to quickly kill the tick. However, the active ingredient will eventually leave your dog’s body, which is why it’s important to dose on a regular schedule.

A woman gives her dog NexGard
A woman gives her dog NexGard

Sick of ticks? Defend your dog from tip to tail with monthly tick protection.

A german shepherd looks inquisitively at the 4th wall

What to Know About Ticks and Dogs

How Is Lyme Disease Transmitted?

Ticks attach to your dog’s skin using their mouthparts and then begin feeding on their blood. It can take a few days for ticks to get their fill. The harmful bacteria that cause Lyme disease are transmitted to your dog while the tick is feeding. This is how Lyme disease is transmitted to the host.3

How Big Do Ticks Get on Dogs?

Initially, ticks are small and difficult to spot, but that changes after they’ve fed. Ticks attach and feed over a period of days to a couple of weeks. As they become engorged, female ticks swell to a much larger size and become more visible. The amount they grow depends on the tick’s species and sex.

Where Are Ticks Found on Dogs?

It’s important to thoroughly search your dog for ticks on a regular basis, especially after they’ve spent time outside. Ticks can be anywhere on the body, but they prefer warm, dark, and inconspicuous hiding places. When searching for ticks on your dog, pay special attention to between the toes, inside the ears, under the legs, and around the groin area.4

When Are Ticks Most Active?

Different species of ticks are more active during different times of the year, but they can prey on hosts all year long.3 That’s why it’s crucial to keep your dog on year-round tick protection.

Make Monthly Flea and Tick Protection Delicious

Get NexGard Chews From Your Vet

Ask your vet about NexGard chews—they’re the flea and tick protection vets recommend most.4

Give Your Dog NexGard Chews

NexGard chews are bite-sized doses of beef-flavored deliciousness, and dogs love them.5

Enjoy Protection


Each dose of NexGard chews lasts for a full month of adventure, and you’ll love how easy it is to protect your pet.

Keep Up the Protection They Love With Monthly Reminders1

Dogs deserve flea and tick protection every month and the delicious beef flavor of NexGard makes protection delightful. Sign up for free reminders when it’s time to give your dog their monthly dose of NexGard. Messaging and data rates may apply.

Heartworm disease is a year-round threat. Pair up NexGard Chews with a heartworm disease preventive.