This year, be prepared for outdoor pests.

Ah spring. It’s finally warm enough to take your dog out for the long, leisurely walk he’s been begging for all winter, but you know they’re out there in the grass, lurking. Fleas and ticks are scary, but the even scarier part? According to this study, pet owners aren’t nearly as prepared as they think.

Let’s start with ticks. They’re spreading illness more than ever before—in the past 30 years, cases of Lyme disease have more than tripled. Plus, cases of serious tick-borne diseases like Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis more than doubled over the course of a 13-year study. One factor contributing to all of this is unseasonably warm weather. As long as it’s a little above freezing, ticks are able to come out of hiding and start looking for a new host way before what we consider “flea and tick season has officially started. Early springs and longer summers also allow them to hatch sooner and feed longer. In fact, it’s important to note that for some areas, tick season may be all year long now. That means you should always be careful with your pet in places where ticks like to hang out, such as tall grass and moist shady spots. Plus, you should also do regular tick checks on your dog or cat, paying attention to their head, neck, feet, ears and groin.

As for fleas, there’s way more to worry about than just itching and scratching. Dangers include flea allergy dermatitis, tapeworms, hair loss due to scratching, and hot spots. In large numbers, fleas can even cause anemia from blood loss and possibly death (this is especially a risk for puppies and kittens). Unfortunately, getting fleas is incredibly easy. Like ticks, they hide in tall grass and wooded areas. But because fleas can jump so high, even the most casual contact with an animal or place that’s infested can lead to your pet getting them as well. The worst part is that they’re relentless, biting your pet up to 400 times a day and laying 40-50 eggs per day.

So, what can you do, aside from only letting your pet outside in a little protective bubble? Talk to our store associates about flea and tick products. They come in a lot of different forms, and some even can be used together.



  • Applied directly on the skin between the shoulder blades to spread over the surface of the skin over time
  • As it spreads, provides nose-to-tail protection
  • Kills fleas and ticks when they bite
  • Both conventional and all-natural essential oil options available in store


  • Spritzed over your pet’s body, especially their legs, chest and undercarriage
  • Easier on sensitive pets than conventional products or more concentrated natural spot-on products
  • Repels better than spot-on products, but may not kill fleas and ticks
  • Can be used alone or as an extra layer of protection
  • Wears off faster than spot-on products, so apply more frequently
  • Both conventional and all-natural essential oil options available in store


  • Can be used in addition to other protection
  • Conventional options available
  • Essential oil-infused options repel pests naturally
  • Amber collars generate static electricity so it’s harder for fleas and ticks to cling

No matter which product you choose, always follow the instructions on the packaging, and never use dog products on cats or vice versa. And before you get started, don’t forget to talk to your vet — different pets can have different reactions.

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