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Fleas and Ticks on Dogs in the Northwest

What do dog parents in the Northwest — including parts of Northern California, Washington State and Oregon — have to know about fleas and ticks on their canines?

Kellie B. Gormly  |  Apr 7th 2018

The Northwest — including parts of Northern California, Washington State and Oregon — has many areas with lots of precipitation, cooler temperatures and thick forests. Despite the many wet, soggy rainforests, though, there are some parts of the region, like parts of Washington, that are much drier. This leads to a variety in the types of parasites and the seasons. For consistency’s sake, let’s focus on the heavily populated region of Seattle, which has a relatively mild climate.

Fleas on dogs in the Northwest

A dog in a harness on a walk.

What pests should Northwest dog parents worry about? Photography ©gradyreese | Getty Images.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, fleas can be a year-round problem; however, the pests are especially prone to bite dogs in the spring, summer and fall seasons. One flea can multiply exponentially, and lead to a full-house infestation that spreads to your other pets.

Fleas are one of the most common infestations that a Northwest household can get, according to the Western Exterminator Company website, which has several offices in Washington and Oregon. Fleas especially thrive in this region when there is a mild winter. Winter is the perfect time to fully purge fleas — before a potential infestation comes in the spring.

Ticks on dogs in the Northwest

As for ticks, they typically start coming out in the spring … just when people and their dogs are getting outside more. The most common ticks in the Northwest are the Western black-legged tick, American dog tick and Rocky Mountain wood tick, according to

The department recommends keeping your dogs out of the woods in order to avoid ticks and using tick-control products according to your veterinarian’s advice. You should use tick repellent too, and shower after coming back from a woodsy area to wash away any tick hitchhikers.

More recommendations for preventing fleas and ticks on dogs:

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It’s Flea and Tick Week sponsored by Andis on Stay tuned for more tips on how to keep your dog and household safe from fleas and ticks!