Picture of How to remove a tick
In this instructable I will demonstrate how to easily remove a tick from your dog without pulling it out. The tick will crawl out on it's own and you won't have to deal with 'did I get it all out?'. This sounds like a magic trick and you might even think it is, I did. My sister inlaw had been telling me how to do it for quite a while and I just never tried it, because I didn't think it would work. One day when I was at the vet getting my dogs their yearly shots, my vet found a tick and removed it using this method and I was sold.

I easily remove about 20 ticks a year from my two dogs. When I used the old way, which was get your tweezers as close to the head of the tick and pull straight out, it would often leave parts of the tick behind. Ticks seem to like areas near the eyes and ears, which would leave marks and scars that wouldn't ever go away.

So how do you do it?
Rub the tick in a circular motion and pretend you're trying to make the tick dizzy. I generally stick with one direction, clockwise. It usually takes less than a minute, so if it's not working, make sure the body of the tick is moving around. Remember you can't get dizzy unless you're actually moving in a circle, quickly. I doubt the tick actually gets dizzy, but they sure don't like something about the movement and they crawl out on their own.

This was too difficult to document with photos, so here's the video.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
1-40 of 521Next »
jamesd155 days ago

I put on some surgical gloves, and followed your instructions - it worked perfectly. The tick came right off and was easy to capture between my fingers. Thanks for taking the time to post this pearl of knowledge, will pass it on!

Okay so my dogs tick is halfway in and halfway out, cannot even see were the head is . I have tried everything. Then came across this. No it hasn’t worked . Now what ? Vet ?

lebowski (author)  margi.peicot1 month ago
Be persistent, it will work. Make sure the body is moving around, and you're not just rubbing the tick.

You can ask use tweezers. Get them as close as you can to the skin, and pull slowly.
BluePlanetMan3 months ago

This worked *perfectly* when I did it on a friends dog that lives in redwood forest country. My hat's off to Lebowski who posted it. And this is the first time I can clearly recall removing a tick from any dog. And for those people who think it might make the tick regurgitate, I'd bet dollars to donuts that pulling them out with a pair of tweezers would actually make the regurgitation problem worse.

I tried this and it didn't work right away, it was backing out but still holding on so I put a little rubbing alcohol on it and tried again and it backed out immediately. Thank you!

OMG Thankyou Thankyou i just did this and it came right out no more vaseline and trying to pull it out

I just did this and it worked! Thank you so much!
mholliday3034 months ago


I just moved to Tamarindo Costa Rica. The house I am renting has three dogs protecting the property. My problem is they are loaded with ticks. I mean in the hundreds. I have gown attached to one of the dogs but am not sure how it will like me removing its ticks. Would this dizzy method work with something that vibrates? Or if I rubbed all the areas vigurously with my hand would I get the same effect?...ok the thought of that is horrifying. But I am hoping to remove more then one at a time.

Please help. I am staying awake at night trying to figure out what to do!

It worked, thank you for taking the time to post, you are a saint. I'm not sure if, like you said, would have worked as well if there was not a sac. I rubbed vigorously as you did for about 30 sec than reversed for about 15 sec and it dropped right off. I believe I'm going to send it in to be tested, again, thank you! Shad Atkinson Palisade, co.

icre8arch5 months ago

i tried it. the tick was off in less than 60 seconds.

So, over 500 comments, (I read them. so you don't have to) if you take away the ones that say it didn't work (less than 10%), take away the "experts" that say "NOOOOO, don't do this, go spend lots of money on a vet and by the way support our/my organization because I know so much", take away the ones that start flaming at each other and get off topic about diseases, etc. (and no, I am not interested in starting anything like that, I actually have a life) we are left with more than 400 comments that say it works, no problems with their pets after, no one coming back on and saying they or their pet got sick after using this method, we can conclude it works fine. Remember to wear gloves when you try it, and if it doesn't work, go spend money at your vet, or buy the special tweezers.
This method works. End of story. If you don't agree with this method, post your own instructable with your method that works for you.
The video, however, doesn't work. Do you have to be a premium member to see it?

very good deduction and well said

MikeD65 months ago

Worked on my dog the tick just got up and tried to walk away. Obviously still in one piece

143monkey8 months ago

After doing extensive research I wanted to share something with you. Irritating a tick (rubbing it, putting soap on it, squeezing it, etc) will almost always prompt the tick to release infectious fluid/saliva/matter into the animal or person.

BlueLinen10 months ago

Good to know. So many people think that putting tea tree oil or finger nail polish will take care of the problem, but b/c the tick also has a survival mode, it will regurgitate everything in its gut into the host. So, don't put anything on the tick. Once removed, treat the area with tea tree essential oil or lavender essential oil, not both. I have a dog that shies away from tea tree oil, but when I removed a tick, had no problem with the lavender oil. Treat area a couple of times for several days, and then forget about it. The oils will deal with anything left from the tick, or so I've been told. Never had a problem myself.

j4xny1 year ago
Amazing!! The last time my other dog got a tick I took it to the vet who removed it with special tick tweezers left the head in and then had to have an expensive operation (the dog not the vet .... although the thought is tempting) 1 min gentle circular rubbing 1 tick trundling off across the floor (I caught it don't worry) 1 relieved dog and 1 ecstatic owner.
Healthy dog no issues, I was so impressed I did some more research and incidentally the thought is apparently this is a survival tactic for a tick who accidentally attaches in a dangerous place on a host which could cause it to be injured or killed so after sufficient movement it's self preservation clicks in and it lets go. It is very impressive quick and painless thank you so much!!
I can attest to the fact that if you rub the tick around and around not yourself but the tick in a circular motion for a few minutes IT DOES WORK!!!!!. My weamador had a tick on his front leg that I just discovered, come on line here, saw this suggestion and was done in less than 5 minutes. No need for tweezers where you risk leaving behind mouth parts or leg parts. HE SIMPLY FELL OFF. I cleaned the area with alcohol and disposed of the tick in the same. Thanks for the suggestion.
mclare502 years ago
Super helpful! Thank you! Wonderful job!
That it worked to get the tick out doesn't mean it went well.
When you agitate a tick that way it'll empty its stomach into the wound. The dog might not get sick, but it sure doesn't help.

And no you don't need an expensive vet. Get a tick key or something like that. (google it)
sannmer2 years ago
This has worked three times in a row for me. Incredible to see the tick just detach and lay there. Still completely creeps me out, but way prefer this to yanking half a tick off my dog.

NOTE that VIDEO does not work anymore. ?
maybetoday2 years ago
just happened to run across this site. Have a question. I have a german shepherd that had a tick on her ear and when I attempted to remove it the entire tick did not come off. A small portion that hardened but now appears to be growing. Is it like a keloid scar? Has anyone seen thsi before? Is there a way to get it off? Any infor wo8uld be great/ Not really a comment but would love advice
Sometimes when you get a cut, your cells don't regenerate properly. There is a type of tumour like this, though I highly doubt that your german shepherd has a tumour. Like I said, sometimes cells don't regenerate properly, and they end up reproducing continuously until there is a large "lump" where the cut was. There must be a scientific term for this, however I am not familiar with it. I would run this hypothesis by your dog's vet and see if it's true. It may also be an infection caused by interaction with a fresh wound, or the dirty tick interacting with it. Remember, sterilize equipment before using it to pull out a tick or wash your hands up to your wrists before attempting to pull one of these "stunts". Always run your "experiments" by your vet before starting.
LynneCsikos2 years ago
Our property is surrounded by bush, and we have 3 much-loved dogs who love the space. Consequently life is attended by a degree of silent stress - when we find ticks on the dogs, will we successfully remove them? I've tried every method, with varying degrees of success, but I still worried with each removal. Having searched and found this video I was frankly sceptical, and so tried it with the next few ticks (paralysis and others), combined with the drop of liquid soap, and the tweezers. Jury still out, as it seemed a bit hit and miss, till last weekend. My little Shih-tzu was asking for attention (as they do when they get a tick), so I checked her. Over the next 90 minutes, I found and removed 17 ticks!! She obviously had run through a nest at nose level. I gotta tell you, it gave me PLENTY of opportunity to trial the twirling trick lots of times and test it properly. IT WORKS!! There were a couple of stubborn ticks that wouldn't walk out, but tweezers and a firm unrelenting tug till they let go ends their story. We don't worry about infection in the site - I apply colloidal silver (anti-bacterial, anti-viral, healing) to the bite site, and feed the dog a teaspoon as well. Thank you SO MUCH for this info and the video. Just took another one off our male maltese this morning - no dramas, no stress. Yay!
COLIN P L2 years ago
Brilliant,i just tried this method,success within 30 seconds,a massive thank you.
dancell12 years ago
Amazing!!!! Worried that vet not open so tried your tip, was not sure if it would work and it did. Thank you so much.
Thank you! Just tried your method on a tick that was in my dog's head. It worked a treat! Brilliant!
ilpug2 years ago
We have ticks on our dogs all the time, seeing as how we live in the forest. I just yank them with tweezers. If it was a gnarly bite or not all of the tick came out, I just swab with a little bit of alcohol. The dog's don't mind. As far as Lyme's disease goes, I am pretty sure dogs are immune. I have never heard of any dog ever getting Lymes.

If you put a flea or tick collar on the dog, keep in mind that the ticks will drop off all over the place, so put them outside of the house for a day or so after the collar is applied.
mrichmond33 years ago
Haven't tried this yet -- but I will at the next opportunity.

For the sake of those who, for whatever reason, have trouble getting this method to work, here is another method that has been 100% successful for me, allowing me to get the tic out whole every time.

1) Cover the tick in vaseline. This stops them from getting air through the spicules in the sides of their bodies and they die in place if you wait about 60s before going to step two. Wait at least 30s so they will be sluggish, if not yet dead.
2) Now that they aren't holding on anymore, grab their body, none too gently, with the tweezers or a pair of pliers (easier to use, frankly) and turn counter clockwise. Tics are threaded. I'm not joking. They come out within two or three1/4 turns.
3) Wipe up the excess vaseline with a kleenex and its all good. The vaseline cleans up remarkably easily.

If the tic is in a very hairy place, you can put tape on the dogs fur to hold the hair back away from the tic before you apply the vaseline. Doing this will make it easier to grab and turn the tic without getting the tweezers tangled up in the hair. Yes, some hair comes off on the tape, but they don't seem to mind much.
this information is also very useful thank you soooooo much
Sorry but this is just about a "HOW NOT TO REMOVE A TICK SPECIAL" and more like how to ensure you dog gets infected.....You should NEVER smother a tick with Vaseline or any other substance, infact nothing should ever be put on a tick. Vaseline does not suffocate a tick only breathes once an hour, there is a major flaw in your removal technique....the tick will back out when smothered but not before it has regurgitated it's gut contents, bacteria and all into it's host....also squeezing the body is totally wrong, and never ever turn a tick unless using an O'Tom Tick Twister. The weakest point is between the mouthparts and the body and you will most likely leave in some of the mouth parts doing it incorrectly., Also using the tool is quicker and safer for the dog..not to mention more comfortable. I have attached a link showing how a tick should be removed. Please read it. I am a voluteer for the charity, and we raise awareness about ticks. My husband had Lyme for 10 years before it got diagnosed...and he removed ticks in a similar manner to you. We did used to be told that was how to remove them...but after a lot of research we now know better....and trust me you or your dog don't want to contract Lyme Disease.
esty4ever2 years ago
This information was soooooooooooooooooooooooo useful i was crying because at first i thought my dogs "wart" was a tumer but since i found this information i now know its a tick im so greatful for this thank you soooooooooo much !!!!
Thanks so much for this advice! It worked great!!!!!!!!!!
shadrag2 years ago
Thank you so much for this video. I discovered a tick on my border collies' face almost exactly same position as in your video. The dog has only ever had one before and for that we had to take it to the vet (£16 straight away), dog was stressed out its eyeballs ,cos hates the vet, but he did remove with a tick remover tool.
So rather than pay yet again, despite being extremely queemish about these things ,i decided to don the latex gloves, put a muzzle on the dog (well you never know do you) and give it a go, and i just can't believe it , it just fell away into my hand after about 30 seconds, think the dog actually quite liked the experience. Decided to check all of its coat and found another little blighter behind its ear, (well i say little, it was huge), but again the technique worked a treat. Double checked the tick has its head on removal, put in small clear bag and stomped with my foot. Horrible, horrible little things and i am itching just typing this, but i'll defo be using this little trick from now on. thank u again.
Xeroshield are doing a online questionnaire about ticks and Lyme disease, the information gathered from this will be shared with BADA-UK so will be of great benefit to us....if you live in Scotland and can spare a few minutes to fill it in that would be great...

On the subject of ticks and Lyme disease, you may be interested to know that a leading Scottish life sciences company called Xeroshield is currently looking for members of the public who live and/or work in Scotland to take five minutes to fill out a simple online survey as part of a major new study.

Xeroshield is exploring the development of a device to remove ticks from humans and pets, combined with a laboratory service for the detection of Lyme disease in ticks collected and immobilised using this device. The study is designed to assess the potential market for such a product and service. But it is also expected to generate valuable data about general awareness of ticks and Lyme disease in Scotland.

The survey asks a series of very straightforward questions about people’s own experience of ticks and Lyme disease in Scotland. Xeroshield is keen to hear from anyone who spends long periods of time outdoors for work or leisure and is therefore at higher risk of being bitten by ticks.

At a later stage, Xeroshield also plans to carry out more detailed interviews and focus groups and would be particularly interested to hear from anyone willing to participate in these later this year.

If you live and/or work in Scotland, would like to find out more about this project, and to complete the ticks and Lyme disease survey online, please visit:
Here is a photo of a tick, the mouth parts are the barbed parts in the middle of the photo. This is the only part of the tick that enters a host. It is similar to an upside down xmas tree. If the tick isn't removed properly some of the barbs can be left inside the host, and can become infected.
mrichmond33 years ago
Dear scottishquine. You are so confident and experienced, I'm hoping you can help me.

Although the smother method has worked well for me so far, its clear from your response that tick removal has become an emotionally heated and controversial topic. As I've gone around the web looking for more information I've found absolutely no studies -- no actual data. All I see is opinion and salesman ship for clever little tools.

Even the CDC and FDA website reference no actual data. Perhaps you could point us to some better websites or references?

I'm particularly interested in finding out what we really know about ticks -- what makes them panic and what doesn't and when they regurgitate. It seems to me that all of the tick removal methods would be equally likely, or unlikely, to cause a panic in the tick. Do we really know that upsetting a tick causes regurgitation? Why would it do that? How would this help a tick from an evolutionary point of view?

Also, if alcohol and vaseline and soap don't actually smother a tick, why do they all, none the less, cause him to let go and go limp? I can't find any data on that either.

Finally, since the "rolling" method above results in the tic choosing to let go and walk off, why is it thought that this is more likely than the alternative, prying and pulling, to cause regurgitation? It is fairly obvious to my that prying and pulling is more likely to leave body parts behind so ....

Oh one more, since timely tic removal seems to be a big part of this. Exactly how long after a tic digs in does lyme infection occur? Because if it occurs immediately, another 30s-60s or so won't matter. On the other hand if infection occurs after say, 30min, then I can see why we'd want to get the tic out right away, because who knows, we may be within the 30min window.

Very confusing.
There have been various publications which look at the risks and benefits involved in methods of tick removal. Most agree with, or cite, an evaluation of methods of tick removal by the acarology laboratory, department of entomology, college of biological sciences, the Ohio State University (Needham G.R.).

This study concluded that it is not unusual for a tick to continue to salivate for several minutes after removal, and if it is infected, the possibility of accidental inoculation with a disease agent is increased with careless handling of the tick. Longevity of the microorganisms outside the tick then becomes a critical factor in the degree of risk involved.

It also concluded that occluding the tick's air supply with substances, even for several hours, would not be expected to affect it because of its slow respiratory rate and, in practice, appeared to impede self detachment.

It also concluded that hot objects may induce the tick to salivate or regurgitate infected fluids into the wound because heat in the form of infrared radiation will stimulate partially or fully fed ticks to salivate. The same theory now applies to freezing agents as fluid is likely to be forced down the hypostome of the tick and into the host.

As an organisation, BADA-UK must comply with current official advice in terms of the preservation of human and animal health. All official disease prevention sources state that the only recommended removal technique is by manually removing a tick with fine-pointed tweezers (to avoid compression of the body) and to lift / lever outwards with a stead, even motion, without twisting or jerking. Until such time as new advice is adopted by such authorities, this is the advice that BADA-UK continues to offer.

Hope this clears things up for you.
I meant to add, that leaving ticks on your dog for longer than needed is a bad idea. The longer a tick is feeding the higher the chance that your dog could become infected. Remove ticks as soon as you find them. Also the "remove your tick before it has been on for 24hrs" thing is incorrect. Firstly you have no idea when the tick attached completely, and secondly ticks don't wear watches!...treat all ticks the same. My comment below gives you more advice and where to find other bits of very handy information.
Hi guys, just had to comment on this....this is exactly what NOT TO DO!!! by doing this you are stressing the tick, their defence mechanisim is the regurgitate it's gut contents bacterias and all into the host, and then back out..which is when you can also become infected with diseases the tick carries...the rough number in the UK is that 1 in 3 ticks are infected with Lyme Disease....

I volunteer for a self funded charity that raises awareness about Tick and Tick borne diseases....for example Lyme. The safest was to remove a tick with with an O'tom tick doesn't leave any mouth parts behind. Also you shouldn't touch ticks as they can pass on diseases through breaks in your skin or if you touch your mucas membranes after.

I have attached a link showing how you should remove a tick....and the link to our normal website too. As a charity we have worked very hard for our good name, and will only ever give our best practise advice, and will only recommend things that have been proven to work. If you have any questions feel free to ask of contact us through our website. Thanks for your time
kazza6903 years ago
This is the first time my dog has got a tick and fortunately came across this first when googling how to remove ticks. I did use a tissue to rub the tick as did not want to touch it with my fingers and hey presto came away in less than a minute...brilliant tip !!
1-40 of 521Next »