Summertime means being outside with our family and pets. But it’s critical to keep our four-legged friends (and even us humans!) safe from disease.

Tick exposure can occur year-round, especially with climate change, but ticks are most active during the months of April through September.

Protect Yourself and Your Pet from Ticks

· Use a tick preventive product on your dog. With warmer winters, tick preventative should be given all year, and not just during the summer months.

· Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin.

· Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.

· Walk in the center of trails.

· Keep your yard clear of tall grasses and leaf litter.

· Check yourself and your pets for ticks daily, especially after spending time outdoors.

· If you find a tick on yourself or your pet, remove it right away.

Dr. Rebecca Smith is a veterinary epidemiologist at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. To learn more, watch as Dr. Becky Smith explains how to check your pet and yourself.