Springtime has arrived with fresh flowers, breezy days — and a few annoying pests. It’s the perfect time for adventures with your pet, but you may find fleas and ticks along the way. Learn how you can prevent these pests and keep your pet safe all year long. Identifying Pests Fleas We’re all familiar with these tiny brown critters. If a flea has settled on your cat or dog, you may notice excessive scratching, licking, hair loss, scabs, or hot spots on your pet’s skin. You may also notice flea dropping or eggs in your pet’s fur. Droppings look like small dark specks of dirt, while eggs appear as white specks. If you notice any of these signs of fleas, contact your veterinarian immediately. Ticks Ticks are tiny but mighty pests that can cause serious health issues for your pet. Your pet may pick one up while walking in tall grass or shrubs. They usually latch onto your pet’s head, neck, ears, paws, or around the eyes. Removing ticks can be troublesome, so be sure to do everything you can to prevent your pet from contracting one. Prevention Methods The best way to protect your pet from these pests is with a year-round preventative. Talk to your veterinarian to find the best option for your pet. The most effective preventatives will prevent parasites at all life stages. It is extremely important to choose a safe and efficient product that continues to prevent and eliminate pests over time. There are various types of flea and tick treatments. Topical: Monthly liquid applications that are applied directly to your pet’s skin. Oral: Tablets that are given monthly. Be sure to work with your veterinarian to determine the correct dosage. Collars: Flea and tick collars can protect your pet for long periods of time, but they only kill adult parasites. It is extremely important to talk to your veterinarian before choosing one of these types of treatment. Do not use human pest repellants, and only use preventatives for your pet’s species. Take your pet in for regular checkups and keep their vaccinations updated to increase their protection against pests. Fleas and ticks can be irritating, but with proper care and treatment, your pet can stay safe all year long.