With warmer weather in the forecast, you’re itching to get outdoors to play and soak up some sun with your pooch. If you’re not careful, you and your pet may also be itching for other reasons—external parasites. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are hardy pests, but they enjoy warmer temperatures as much as we do and will be making their spring-time surge as the temperature climbs. Keep these pesky blood-suckers from feasting on your furry pal, and transmitting potentially life-threatening diseases, with the following three tips.

#1: Keep your pet on year-round parasite prevention

This first tip is a no-brainer. If you keep your pet on parasite preventives all year long, there are no gaps in protection, and fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes can’t get past the prevention-product barriers. While skipping a dose or two may be tempting in the coldest months of the year, remember that parasites can become active as soon as the temperature rises above freezing, and you will have a full-out infestation in your home in the dead of winter.

#2: Check your pet for hitchhikers after coming indoors

While thick-coated, fluffy pets are perfect for snuggling, their lush coats also provide the ideal environment for pesky hangers-on. After each outdoor adventure, thoroughly comb through your pet to check for fleas and ticks. Since most parasite preventives require the parasite to bite your pet before dying, your furry pal can transport these pests indoors. Short-haired pets can also provide a safe haven for fleas and ticks, so ensure you check under the collar, around the eyes and ears, between the toes, and in the groin area for blood-sucking parasites.

#3: Maintain your yard to decrease parasite appeal

Many people believe the myth that ticks fall from trees. Instead, ticks travel through leaf litter, climbing up tall grasses and weeds to quest for their next victim. To decrease your yard’s curb appeal to parasites, keep your lawn mowed short, trim bushes, remove leaf litter, and pull weeds. For a natural mosquito repellent, try adding pots of lavender, lemon balm, peppermint, citrosum, or lemongrass, to urge these blood-suckers to fly elsewhere.

Need to restock your pet’s parasite preventive? Stop by our hospital to discuss the best options to keep your furry pal parasite-free.