There's nothing like the warmer weather when it comes to enjoying time outside with your furry best friend. It's one of the best parts of spring, after all.

After a long and cold winter, so many of us can't wait to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. And with warmer temps, what's not to like?

The flowers are popping up, the leaves are opening, and the grass is getting greener. By the time April rolls around, lawnmowers will be heard all throughout The Garden State.

And that of course will last all the way into the fall, when the colder air finally returns and vegetation dies off or goes dormant for another winter season. Aside from allergies, spring is a great time to get outside and enjoy the weather once again.

Group of dogs playing in the park

Risk to dogs

Although this risk can exist year-round, it really begins to ramp up during the spring season. Especially in New Jersey when our grasses begin to grow tall once again.

Along with insects emerging, fleas and ticks also begin to come out in greater numbers. Unfortunately, your pets are one of the creatures they love to cling to.

And once they take hold of your pet, your home becomes a potential location for fleas and ticks to jump from your pet to you or your furniture.

House Cat

Risk to cats

If you have an indoor cat, then the risks are minimal. However, if you have a cat that likes to be outdoors, then they also have a risk of attracting unwanted pests.

With that said an indoor cat might be at higher risk of ticks or fleas landing on them if they share a home with a dog. And the more animals within a single home, the greater the risk.

Even with indoor cats where the risk is small. A trip to the vet, for example, might be enough for fleas or ticks to find your furry best friend.

Dogs and cats snuggle together


The dangers of fleas and ticks aren't just limited to dogs and cats. Humans are also at risk.

Ticks, for example, may carry diseases that can make both you and your pet very sick. In some cases, the illness may be very serious, such as Lyme disease.

Along with humans, your dog is also vulnerable to the disease. Fortunately for cat owners, Lyme disease is much less likely thanks to their natural resistance to the bacteria.

Tall grass along a sidewalk
Mike Brant - Townsquare Media

Grass & dampness

Although not the only way to pick up ticks or fleas, they're among the top. If your pet roams in any of these areas, you might want to check them.

Tall grass and weeds are a prime spot to pick up ticks. They essentially hang out in the grass and weeds until something brushes by that they can latch onto. That, of course, could be your pet.

As for fleas, experts say they tend to prefer areas that are shady and moist. If your pet should roam in such an area, be aware they may pick up fleas.

Outside of that, contact with another pet that already has fleas could also increase the risk of your pet getting them. Those aren't the only ways, but just a few that come with the warmer weather.

Sad doggy in a puddle

Important reminder

Although the weather is getting warmer, we all sometimes need that gentle nudge to take care of things that are important. We're all busy, and that's OK.

But with the risk of ticks and fleas in the Garden State only going up as the warmer months approach, right now is the time to get tick and flea treatment for your pets.

Ticks become more active during the month of March, whereas fleas tend to surface more toward the end of May.

A cat roaming around outside

Poison to cats

Another big reminder for anyone who has cats. Treatments for dogs are known to be highly toxic if you give it to your cat.

If you have both dogs and cats, do not use the same treatments. Only use what's specified for your dog on your dog and for your cat on your cat.

It's very important to take steps to help prevent fleas and ticks, but using the right treatments is just as important. Follow the instructions from your vet to help keep those unwanted fleas and ticks away from you and your best friends.

tick insect warning sign in forest

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Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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