It’s never to early to start thinking about the 2017 tick season. As temperatures get warmer, people will want to walk and let their pets out longer and more often. Due to the mild winter we have had here in Virginia, the 2017 increased number of ticks is bad news for dogs and cats.

So why are ticks such a problem for pets?

Extreme discomfort causes excessive itching or scratching. If left untreated, bites may lead to health problems and illnesses such as typhus and Lyme disease.

So what can you do to prevent tick bites in the first place?

Avoid areas where ticks are likely to lurk – such as heavily wooded areas and high grasses.

Administer tick control products onto your pet – contact your local veterinarian for specific products that target both fleas and ticks.

Mow your grass, cut your bushes back and rake your leaves – ticks are not immune from your lawn, keep your grass short to minimize the chances of infestation.

Complete “tick checks” daily – a few ticks on your pet isn’t a major problem but can become a major problem once an infestation occurs. Using a “tick key” tick remover helps best with extracting them. This preventative measure is very easy and doesn’t take much time out of your day.

Taking a preventive rather than reactive approach can amount to reduced stress and less money out of your pocket in the long-term. If you must take a reactive approach, be sure to check your pet often as ticks can be very difficult to completely remove once they have established themselves.

By taking these few steps, you can enjoy outside time with your pet without having to worry about you and your pet’s health.