03/16/2015 06:19 EDT | Updated 05/16/2015 05:59 EDT

Early tick season has Vancouver's dog walkers feeling the heat

Ticks usually aren't something dog owners have to worry about until around June, but the recent warm weather means if you're walking your dog in parks and woods you should watch out for the pesky parasites.

"Always inspect [your dog] even if you don't suspect a tick," said Vancouver veterinarian Suann Hosie in an interview with B.C. Almanac.

"After a walk in the woods, look behind their ears, in any folds of skin around their neck — those are favourite places for the ticks."

Vancouver dog walkers are already feeling the heat. Custom dog hiking company North Shore Dog Walkers recently issued a warning to dog owners asking them to check their dogs for ticks. 

Ticks can carry diseases, such as Lyme disease, which can be passed through the ticks' saliva when they bite and can even cause anemia or paralysis.

Here are some of Hosie's dos and don'ts when it comes to tick removal:


- Use your fingers or tweezers, grasp the tick not by its big, fat belly, but as close to the skin as possible

- Slowly pull outward

- Take your pet to a vet if the tick is too firmly embedded, or you're getting squeamish


- Try and burn the tick off with cigarettes, or douse it with kerosene, oil or Vaseline

- Twist or jerk the tick once you've got a grip on it

To hear the full interview with Suann Hosie, click on the audio labelled: How to remove ticks