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What Do Ticks on Dogs Look Like ?

full tick on human skin

They may be small, but they are not so small that you can’t see them. Ticks are a little bigger than fleas and can easily be seen when they land on your pet. Unless your pet is the same color as those ticks.

When you know what to look for, you can get them off your dog very quickly. They can come in different colors which makes them easier to spot as well. A good search for ticks will turn them up fast and then you just take the right steps to remove them.

What do you know about using Brewer’s Yeast for dogs ticks? Click here to learn more.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Has a Tick?

yellow lab licking its hind quarter

There are some fairly obvious signs that your dog has a tick or two. These signs are not the only way to spot those little creatures, but they help when you can’t see them initially. The signs to look for:

  1. Your dog does more licking and chewing than normal
  2. There is red, inflamed skin around the area
  3. Small dogs exhibit anemia due to blood loss. They may also have pale gums and act tired all the time
  4. You see random scabs all over your dog’s body
  5. Your dog shakes its head quite often. This is an indication of a tick in their ears

Other signs are more elaborate, and they include tick paralysis, tick disease, and Lyme disease. You may not know if your dog has these diseases until you get their blood tested.

Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Ticks? Click here to learn more.

What Do Ticks Look Like on A Dog?

2 corgi laying on a grassy knoll in the forest

The first thing you will see when you are searching for a tick is a bump. Only the head of the tick goes into the dog’s skin, leaving the rest of the body exposed. The color of the body will depend on the type of tick it is.

Keep in mind that ticks are not insects. They come from the spider family and can have between 6 and 8 legs. Once you learn what the different ticks look like, they will be easier to spot.

American Dog Tick

American Dog Tick on human skin

Their bodies are oval-shaped and flat. The females have a white to off-white color on their backs while the males have a brown and white color design in the same location.

Black-Legged Tick

Black-Legged Tick outdoors on the leaf of a plant

Their name gives away one of their colors. The tick’s legs are black. Their bodies are flat and oval also, and the females have an orange color with a black dot and the males have a brown color with an off-white border.

What Should I Do If I Find a Tick On My Dog? Click here to learn more.

Brown Dog Tick

Brown Dog Tick isolated on a piece of recycled paper

Again, the name tips you off to their color but the bad aspect of these ticks is that they can be found just about anywhere, even in your home. Both the male and females have the usual flat oval body, but the males are darker in color than the females

Lone Star Tick

close up of a Lone Star Tick on a leaf

What makes this tick species different from all the rest is their body shape is more round than oval or flat. The female will have a spot of white on her back. The males will have dark rust and brown color to them and no white dot.

Where Do Ticks Like to Attach Themselves?

Person pulling back the fur on a dog to reveal a tick burrowing in the dog's skin

There are some common areas on a dog that all of these tick species like to go to when they are on your pet. The lone star species does go to the head and neck, but they also like to attach to the bellies, armpits, and groins of dogs.

The brown dog tick likes to go between the toes of a dog, but they are comfortable with being on the head, ears, and legs of dogs. For the black leg tick, the head is a given as are the ears, and neck. But they also like to attach to a dog’s back.

Finally, the American dog tick prefers the head area, including the ears and neck of a dog. Each tick species carries specific diseases with Lyme being the most common one

The brown dog tick is known to spread Rocky Mountain fever which other ticks may not do. The Lone Star’s specialties are ehrlichiosis and Heartland virus disease.

Those diseases tell you to check your dog and children each day, so they do not get sick.

Some Final Words

Triangle warning sign with a silhouette of a tick in the center, nailed to a tree in the forest.

Finding ticks is not going to be a problem. Their bodies help them stand out. You can tell how long they have been attached by the size of their bodies. If they are not fat, then they have not been on your dog very long.

Just be careful when you pull the ticks off your pet. You do not want to push any diseases or germs into your dog.

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