Summer time is fun time, right? Well, maybe for us but not necessarily for our dogs. After all, they wear fur coats all year long. But there are lots of things dog owners can do to get a jump on seasonal problems.

Summer time is fun time, right? Well, maybe for us but not necessarily for our dogs. After all, they wear fur coats all year long. But there are lots of things dog owners can do to get a jump on seasonal problems.

Hot days bring more than tan lines - they also bring ticks, fleas and mosquitoes, which are parasites to both humans and dogs.

Ticks are at their worst during spring and fall, when it's often wet outside, said Dr. Heather See of Northarlington Animal Clinic. "But they are always around," she said.

If you're walking your dog, especially in or near a field, the side of a road or in areas with bristly shrubs, See suggests checking your dog for ticks before he gets in the car and again before he goes in the house.

"Check behind the ears, in the pads of the feet and under the arm pits," See said. "Even in your own backyard, your dog can get ticks. Prevention is the key - you never want to find an engorged tick."

Dogs are also susceptible to tick-borne illnesses like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, just like humans.

To prevent ticks, apply Frontline Plus once a month. And the same advice goes for fleas, which can be warded off with the same Frontline application. Flea season lasts from March through November, See said.

"Anyone's pet can get fleas. The fleas will hop on your leg or onto your sock to get to your pet," See said

It's important to treat all the pets in the home, whether they're indoor or outdoor animals, because it's easy to end up with an infestation. Once fleas start reproducing, it'll take a while to kill all of them, See said.

Let's not forget the bane of our summer existence, the mosquito. According to See, their bites can transmit heartworm. To prevent the problem, treat your dog with Heartgard Plus and avoid being outdoors during peak mosquito hours - dusk and dawn.

Keeping your dog cool in the summer is a must. Dogs can suffer from overheating, and they need to cool down, See said. Avoid running in the heat of the day, and check your dog's paw pads for damage - try booties if he has to run on asphalt.

Offer your dog shade, try a baby pool with water to wet their paw pads and bellies, or just pour water over your dog to cool him down. As for exercise, work up to it and allow for recovery time, See suggested.

"Don't go further than you can carry your dog," she said.

For more dog and cat news, events and health tips, click to the Heavy Petting blog at ColumbusAlive.com