ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — As temperatures warm up and people get outside more often, it is important to remember that the area is in the most active time for ticks.

There are many ways to stay ahead of the game when it comes to ticks, whether it is inquiring about medicine for dogs or how to check after a long walk.

Preventing ticks from infecting dogs can be life-saving.

“So, Pepper is really easy to check because of her light colors,” said Jarrod Hennis, owner of Rockford Art Deli.

Hennis goes on walks with his dog, Pepper, every day. They walk through various trails and paths in the stateline. He has already found and removed more than 30 ticks from her this year.

“Already has Lyme disease from several years ago from ticks. We try to do the best we can with, you know, being pre-prepared for it, but it’s just insane. Like, the ticks around here are so bad,” Hennis said. “Normal years haven’t been too bad, but I think it didn’t get cold enough last year, so the ticks are heavy this year.”

Amber Pinnon, adoption and program coordinator for Winnebago County Animal Services (WCAS), said that prevention is key when dealing with ticks.

“They carry a lot of diseases, so, and especially as the weather gets warmer, dogs are outside more,” Pinnon said. “Sometimes cats may be out in your backyard more, or things like that, so it’s really important to be vigilant and make sure that they’re checking them over, you’re having a good feel over for them, just because the sooner that a tick is caught, the less likely they are to carry diseases with your pet.”

Talking with vets about what they recommend for tick and flea medicine is a good start. Medicines are the best for preventing ticks and disease, and so that residents do not have to pull them off themselves.

Still, it is always important to check.

“So, whenever your dog comes from outside, you just want to look around the ears, especially, and make sure that you’re not being too rough with them. Sometimes they can, something if you lift a paw wrong, that can hurt or something of that sort,” Pinnon said. “So, you want to look at paw pads, feel all over their body, look at their bellies, especially because that’s where the top of the grass is going to be, around their tail, everything like that. They may be just as excited to get love and attention from you.”

There are many locations that will test a tick and give quick assistance to the right treatment if a resident does indeed find a tick on their animal and are worried it may have diseases.