WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Tick season is here, so it’s time to check yourself and your pets.

“When you are outside with your pets, it’s just a good idea to check,” said veterinarian Shannon Beins with Blair Doon Vet Hospital. “Lately, the ticks have been around longer and through more of the winter months just because the season has been more mild.”

This week Jim and Kimberly Long got their dogs, Spencer and Sydney, into the vet for a checkup.

“Spencer is playful and likes to run and help with the farm chores,” said Kimberly Long. “So we monitor all of our animals for ticks. As soon as the grass gets a little bit long we will start seeing the ticks.”

Good advice to get started now, according to the experts.

“So it’s not uncommon for people to come across a few ticks this time of year,” said Sedgwick County horticulture agent Matthew McKernan. “The easiest way to protect you and your pets is going to be to keep yourself out of areas where ticks are most prominent. Typically this is going to be areas of high grass and medium to high brush.”

Beins reminds you to consider tick medicines right now.

“There are many, so make sure to check with your veterinarian to know what to get,” said Beins. “They’re definitely here, and individual species will be in different areas. So, for instance, if you are in a large field setting with really tall grasses, you’re going to think about the American dog tick. If you are in tall grasses or woody areas, you will see the lone star tick.”

Beins says if your pet is sluggish, not eating well or has a fever, it may be time to check for tick exposure.

“Look them over and find if there is any roaming tick there,” said Beins. Because if you can physically remove the tick as quickly as possible, you’re going to prevent some of those diseases from being transmitted because those can happen within 48 hours.”

Beins says her veterinary hospital is already testing animals for tick exposure.