Most dogs love spring. It means warmer weather and more opportunities to play outside. While it is important to let your dog play outdoors and run around for exercise, you still need to be mindful of ticks and fleas. These pests can become a big problem for your dog, especially in the warmer months of spring and summer. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent your pooch from getting ticks and fleas this season, and here are five of them:

Keep your dog away from woods and swamps. Having your dog play outside is fine. However, you may want to keep a close eye on them. Try to keep your dog away from the woods or any swamp-like, damp areas, as they attract the most bugs. If your dog is drawn to these places, walk him or her on a leash so you can better control them and keep them away from certain bad spots.

Keep your lawn neat and tidy. Make sure to mow your lawn frequently and to keep it neat. Maintaining your lawn is especially important if your dog is kept outside often. This will discourage ticks and fleas from living in your yard. Treating your lawn is with chemicals is not recommended, but if you choose to, check to make sure they are safe and pet-friendly.

Give your dog a bath. You don’t have to wait for your dog to already have fleas or ticks to give them a bath. Bathe your dog frequently, especially after they’ve played outdoors for an extended period of time. This will keep your dog clean and help to kill off any possible ticks and fleas. Comb through your dog’s fur before and after their bath to remove tangles. Make sure to use a mild shampoo with lukewarm water. You can also look for flea and tick shampoos at your local pet store.

Invest in a flea collar. Flea collars can be an effective way to prevent fleas and ticks from biting around your dog’s neck, one of the most attractive spots for the pests. The collars emit a toxic gas that is safe for your dog, but deadly for the bugs. Some collars can also provide a medication that seeps into the fat layer of your dog’s skin; these collars are typically more effective. Check with your pet store or vet to see what kind of flea collars they carry.

Use topical medication. Topical medications are an extremely effective way of keeping your dog bug free. For the best results, use a monthly topical medication to kill current ticks and fleas and prevent new ones from biting. This can also be a much more affordable treatment option, especially in the long run.

By taking proper precautions, you can ensure that your dog can have fun outdoors this spring, without bringing parasites into your home. These five tips will not only help kill fleas and ticks, but they will stop them from ever becoming an issue to begin with.