Brown Dog Ticks

Brown dog ticks are one of the more common ticks found on dogs in Australia. While they uncommonly cause much harm themselves, these ticks can carry a number of different and potentially deadly diseases. It’s important dog parents know how to protect their dogs from this parasite. 

Learn about other types of ticks, including paralysis ticks and bush ticks here. 

What Are Brown Dog Ticks?

Ticks are an arachnid that feed on mammal hosts as part of their life cycle. While there are several species of ticks in Australia, brown dogs ticks are quite commonly found. As their name suggests, dogs are their preferred host.

What Does A Brown Dog Tick Look Like?

Brown dog ticks are brown and have short mouthparts. Their legs are spread along their round bodies. 

brown dog tick on white fur dog

What Are The Symptoms Of A Brown Dog Tick Bite?

Brown dog ticks can cause some skin irritation at the site of the tick bite. If there is a heavy infestation of ticks, they can cause anaemia due to blood loss.  

Symptoms that suggest a tick bite include: 

  • A tick crater – a wound where the tick’s head was attached.  
  • Swollen, red skin around the area of the bite. 
  • Itchiness at the site of the bite. 
  • Pale gums and weakness if there is anaemia caused by a heavy tick infestation 

Brown dog ticks can carry deadly blood-borne diseases, such as canine ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. Symptoms of these diseases in dogs can include anaemia, bleeding disorders, fever, lethargy, or weakness. Ehrlichiosis is very serious and is a notifiable disease. 

If you’re concerned your pet has been bitten by a tick, call your local Greencross Vets clinic immediately. Find your closest clinic here. 

For emergency vets after hours, visit our partner emergency hospitals.  

How To Check For Brown Dog Ticks

To check your dog for ticks, gently run your fingers all over their body. You’re looking for a bump that is the tick itself or a wound or area of swelling that may be a crater where a tick was previously attached. 

Ticks usually prefer to attach to the head, neck, or between the toes but can be found anywhere on your dog. Don’t forget to check in their ears, under their front legs, in their groin area, along the lip margin and even inside their mouth! 

How To Remove A Brown Dog Tick

To remove a tick, use either tick removers or your thumb and forefinger to grip it as close to the dog’s skin as possible. Once you have a good grip, firmly pull the tick off the dog’s skin with a gentle twisting motion. 

Brown Dog Tick Prevention

Prevention is always better than cure. Popular tick preventatives that will protect your dog from brown dog ticks include, but not limited to: 

  • Chews such as Bravecto, Credelio Plus, Nexgard, Nexgard Spectra, Simparica, Simparica Trio and others 
  • Spot on treatments such as Advantix and Frontline Plus. 
  • Tick collars like Seresto. 

Make sure to read the instructions for whichever preventive you use, as they all have different guidelines for use. 

Book an appointment with your local Greencross Vets to discuss which tick preventatives best suit your dog. 

In addition to using preventatives, you can reduce the number of brown dog ticks in your dog’s environment by regularly cleaning your pet’s bedding. Keep your backyard tidy and reduce excess foliage where possible.


Treatment of a tick bite will depend on the dog’s symptoms. It is best to take your dog to a veterinarian so they can be assessed. Your veterinarian will discuss treatment options with you once they have completed the physical examination.  

Dr Cynthia vet consult dog health check

Brown Dog Tick FAQs

Where Are Brown Dog Ticks Found In Australia?

Unlike other ticks commonly found on dogs in Australia, such as the deadly paralysis tick, brown dog ticks can live in more temperate environments and don’t need humidity to thrive.  

Brown dog ticks are mostly found in central and northern Australia but have been seen in southern cities.  

brown dog tick commonly found map

Are Brown Dog Ticks Dangerous?

The main concern associated with brown dog ticks is their role in transmitting deadly diseases like canine ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis. 

How To Get Rid Of A Brown Dog Tick Infestation

To get an infestation under control remove all visible ticks from their body and apply tick prevention as soon as possible.  

Throw out all of your dog’s bedding and thoroughly clean their kennel with hot water or steam. Pay close attention to any cracks and crevices where the ticks may have laid eggs. 

 Take care using environmental acaricides as some can be toxic to cats and other animals.  

What Kills Brown Dog Ticks?

Acaricides are a type of pesticide which kill ticks. Acaricides are present in flea and tick rinses and some topical sprays.

What Do Brown Dog Tick Eggs Look Like?

Brown dog tick eggs look like caviar. They’re small, reddish-brown translucent spheres laid in clusters. Ticks lay their eggs in the environment, with brown dog ticks having a particular preference for dark cracks and crevices.

Can Brown Dog Ticks Infest Cats?

Read our Ticks On Cats Guide here.

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