Ticks carry diseases that can cause serious health problems in your pet. Common diseases transmitted by ticks include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and anaplasmosis. They can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea, lameness, joint swelling, muscle pain, and loss of appetite. Read on for tips to keep your pet tick-free and learn why a year-round preventative is important. 1 Know their hiding spots. Ticks love dense vegetation, like shrubs and tall grasses. They can also be found in gardens and lawns, especially ones next to wooded areas. In the fall, they like to nestle in piles of leaves. Avoid these areas when out with your pet. 2 Clean up your lawn. Keep your trees trimmed and your lawn free of leaves and garden debris. This will help reduce the tick population around your house. 3 Keep your dog on a leash. When out for a walk, it’s best to use a leash so your dog isn’t tempted to run through wooded areas or dense vegetation. Keep him contained to low-grass areas to reduce the risk of ticks latching on. 4 Conduct a regular tick check. Inspect your pet’s neck, head, and ears, which are favorite places for ticks to hide. Finding ticks before they’ve had a chance to embed will limit infection. This is especially important to do after spending time outdoors, as the risk of picking up a tick is higher. 5 Put your pet on a year-round preventative. While ticks are more prevalent during the spring and summer months, they can be found year-round. In fact, during the fall months when the weather turns chilly, they can seek shelter in the foundations of homes. A year-round preventative recommended by a veterinarian will ensure your pet is protected all year long.