Fleas and ticks can make your pets’ lives miserable – not just uncomfortable, but downright dangerous. Let’s start out this little discussion by remembering that my concern is all for the pets. I know that treating for these pests can be annoying, tough to remember and downright expensive, but remember the alternative. A dog or cat that has been infested by fleas can be more than just uncomfortable. They can scratch themselves to painful degrees, develop allergies, sores, lose their hair and your house can end up infested with a continuous cycle. And ticks? Ticks are more than just gross little bloodsuckers. A single tick can make a dog incredibly sick with any number of diseases, some of which can actually cause a symptom known as tick paralysis.

Trying to avoid the expense of tick treatment? Here’s some valuable pet advice for you. Stop for a second and just imagine what the cost of treating a dog that’s come down with Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever would be, and all of a sudden you’re going to understand the old saying about “an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure.” Not to mention the pain of seeing your dog lethargic and sick and knowing that you could have prevented it.

So, back to the question: when is flea and tick season? Well, that depends on where you live. Let’s start with ticks. Though there’s no doubt that peak tick season is when it gets warm out, that’s really more about the fact that we’re out more when it’s warm then about the fact that the ticks are out more. The truth is that ticks live all year round, pretty much everywhere. Different kinds of ticks live in different parts of the country, but if your dog is outside a lot, especially in wooded areas, then you need to worry about ticks all year long.

Fleas are a bit easier to predict, because they really aren’t around when it’s cold. So if you’re in an area that has actual seasons, with snow and ice and temperatures under the freezing mark for a couple of months, then you can probably take a break when things are at their absolute coldest. But as soon as things outside start greening up, it’s time to start the flea treatment. And if you live in an area that’s referred to by that lovely term “temperate”, then you need to treat for fleas all year long too. That’s the price you pay for all that nice weather.

Keeping your dogs and cats protected from fleas and ticks is a vitally important part of being a pet owner, and it’s one of my top tips about pets.