As the weather warms up, you'll doubtless be hearing more and more about ticks, which are getting active once again.
We generally think we don't have to worry about them during the winter months, but some experts say ticks have become an issue all year long.
After walking the trails at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax on Monday afternoon, some dogs might bring home an unwanted visitor: ticks.
So, dog owners like Cody Brown will conduct tick checks after every hike.
“She's shorthaired, so it's pretty easy to pick up on them if she does have any,” said Cody Brown. “She did have one last summer when she was a pup, but it didn't get in her. We got it before it burrowed.”
And for many pet owners, prevention is everything.
“We regularly treat him all year long because he's an outdoor dog all year,” Chris Donahoe said of his dog. “But we haven't had many problems with ticks.”
Treating animals all year long is a good way to go.
Veterinarian Charlotte Ramey of the Fairview Animal Hospital says ticks are present when the temperature reaches four degrees, which can happen even in the winter.
“Ticks are not a problem 365 days of the year, but they are a problem 12 months of the year,” Ramey said.
Some medications are a good starting point for pets, but if you find a tick embedded, Ramey says you want to deal with it right away.
“A good pair of tweezers and you want to pull straight off,” Ramey said. “Some people will try to twist them - this is not ideal because we can twist the head off, and the head can get embedded in the skin.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.