6-Yrs After Raising Wild Gorilla He Introduced His Wife & Despite Warnings, She Got Too Close

Damian Aspinall is well-known for his conservationist work with lowland gorillas. For decades, he and his family have worked on increasing the number of gorillas in the wild by raising and releasing them into their natural habitats.

Years after releasing a pair of gorillas, Damian and his wife, Victoria, met up with them in the wild…and the interaction took everyone by surprise.

Source: The Aspinall Foundation / YouTube

The two gorillas, named Djalta and Ima, were raised by Damian when they were just small babies at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent.

They were released as fully-grown adults back in 2003.

Source: The Aspinall Foundation / YouTube

Damian planned on introducing his wife, Victoria, to the two gorillas. However, they needed to be careful. Western Lowland gorillas can be territorial and shy of humans entering their space.

Even though Djalta and Ima were raised by Damian, there was a possibility that they wouldn’t welcome him into their home.

Source: The Aspinall Foundation / YouTube

But, thankfully, when Damian and Victoria approached them, the gentle giants welcomed them with opened arms.

Victoria had never met the pair of apes before, but that didn’t stop them from being curious, affectionate, and playful with her.

Source: The Aspinall Foundation / YouTube

It seemed that Ima fell in love with Victoria; he stole her hat, exchanged lots of hugs, and even played with her hair as she laid down in his lap.

Source: The Aspinall Foundation / YouTube

It’s touching to see both Ima and Djalta not only remember Damian, but to embrace his wife as part of their family, as well. The emotional intelligence of these incredible creatures is stunning.

The entire encounter is unbelievable, but so sweet to see. As humans, we should do our best to protect these creatures and their homes in the wild!

The 12 Most Pet-Friendly Cities in the U.S.

Welcome to the United States of America, where Fido can dream big. He’ll discover cities that welcome him from coast to coast and new experiences in every state, but some destinations stand out from the pack in the “Land of Paw-portunity.” From their delicious restaurants with unique dog menus to their off-leash play areas etched into the great American landscape, our favorite pet-friendly cities are a must-visit for all four-legged travelers.

1. Portland, OR

“One park down, 32 left to go!” – Photo by Roshelle

Portland has more dog parks per capita than any other city in the U.S., so you know “Paw-tlandians” are proud of their city’s pet-friendly status. Sellwood Riverfront Park is popular with canines who love water and getting sandy paws. Dogs who are more at home on the trails will find many options around the city. Forest Park is full of winding paths for leashed pups to enjoy, but the more adventurous outdoor lovers should fetch a map for Wildwood Trail. This moderate pathway spans 30 miles and will take a couple of days to complete. For more leisurely walks, there’s the vibrant and captivating International Rose Test Garden, home to 10,000 rose bushes. When it’s mealtime, stroll over to Tin Shed Garden Cafe, which boasts a dog menu featuring chicken, ground beef or pork mixed with rice or sweet potatoes, and peanut butter banana ice cream for dessert.

Turn up the heat at Dotty the House in SE Portland. During your stay, Fido can play in the fenced area while you sweat it out in the sauna or hot tub.

2. Asheville, NC

A Dog Stands in Front of Biltmore at Pet-Friendly Asheville.

“Biltmore? It’s pretty big already!” – Photo by Cheddar bacon cheese

Asheville is one of America’s hippest cities, boasting a thriving arts scene, live music venues and a walkable downtown full of quaint shops. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s also a desirable destination for dogs who love to hike. Stride out across 10 miles of varied trails through thick woodland at the North Carolina Arboretum. For more refined “aristo-dogs,” the historic Biltmore Estate just outside the city is home to 250 acres of pet-friendly landscaped gardens. You can get a different perspective of the estate from the water on a pet-friendly kayak trip with French Broad Outfitters. Among the quirky gift shops and stylish boutiques downtown, visitors will find a mouthwatering food scene. Posana serves up farm-to-table eats for all, including canines. Fido can sink his teeth into dog biscuit appetizers made in-house, local bison burgers for his main, and bacon-soy ice cream for dessert. After a day of shopping, spend a delightful afternoon with a good book and your pup by your side at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar, or grab a craft beer at one of the many pet-friendly breweries around town.

Experience the natural beauty surrounding Asheville with a stay in this upscale cozy cabin, featured in our winter cabin roundup.

3. San Diego, CA

“Home time? It thought you said roam time!” – Photo by Michele Friszell Wells

San Diego has everything to attract road-tripping dogs and owners. The sprawling west coast city is packed full of pet-friendly beaches, parks and eateries. Two of BringFido’s favorite pet-friendly beaches on the West Coast are found in San Diego. Located within 15 minutes of one another, Original Dog Beach was one of the first off-leash beaches in the country, while Fiesta Island offers calm waters on the bayside and bigger surf on the beachside. You can explore the waters around Fiesta Island in a pet-friendly kayak provided by Aqua Adventures Kayaks & Paddleboards. After an active day, cool down with a cold one at San Diego’s only outdoor Beer Garden, Quartyard. Fido will be kept busy with sausages, a dog park and live music. If sausages don’t hit the spot, head over to Sally’s Fish House & Bar for a taster from Sally’s dog menu. Canine items include pupcakes, chicken and rice, crab cookies, and rawhide bones. Check out our Ruff Guide to San Diego for even more pet-friendly tips before you visit.

Rest up at this centrally located tiny home retreat. The artsy urban homestead is fenced-in and has an urban farm in the backyard.

4. Colorado Springs, CO

“Keep throwing it in the lake … it’s your car we’re driving home in!” – Photo by @colorado.aussie.tales

Positioned at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs’ idyllic location makes it an enticing destination for outbound hounds. Here you’ll find the world famous Garden of the Gods, which allows leashed pups to explore 21 miles of hiking trails around vibrant red rock formations. Well-behaved dogs will also want to visit Stratton Open Space, where they can swim off-leash in a lake and explore hiking trails if they’re under voice command. Elsewhere in the city, Pub Dog Colorado is the first and only dog-approved eatery and outdoor play park in the state. Let Fido romp around, grab a bite from the canine menu and dine indoors with you, or simply unwind after a long weekend of adventures.

Continue your escape to nature with a few nights at The Broadmoor. This 5-star hotel is located on the shores of Lake Cheyenne and offers furry guests treats, bowls and a pet bed.

5. Boston, MA

“We might be small, but we are strong!” – Photo by @jasperandfeeb

Boston is the historic center of New England. Founded in 1630 by “Paw-ritan” colonists from England, every street has a tale to tell, and thankfully Fido can share in the stories. The Freedom Trail will give you a basic rundown of the city’s history, but one of its many pet-friendly tours offers a bigger scoop. BHC Water Taxi also offers an affordable, heated and pet-friendly trip on the Charles River. Along the banks of the river lies one of the most popular pet-friendly walks in the city, The Esplanade. Dogs can pause for a picnic in luscious green surroundings and pay a visit to the Lotta Fountain for a refreshing bowl of water. Don’t forget to pay a visit to one of the dog-friendly breweries around the city, too.

Loews Boston Hotel is the place to be for four-legged travelers in Beantown. Pups receive a goodie bag upon arrival and can take an evening wander around nearby Boston Public Garden.

6. Austin, TX

“Please keep on the grass!” – Photo by @mavfromtopgun

Living by the slogan “Keep Austin Weird,” the natives of Texas’ capital are proud to be alternative. With a huge community of yoga lovers, including the world’s most-watched yoga instructor Adriene Mishler and her blue heeler Benji, the city is a great place to relax. Pooches who want to try a paw at the practice for themselves can pay a visit to Austin Doga. Fido can also enjoy a leisurely stroll in Zilker Botanical Gardens, a pet-friendly botanical garden on the Colorado River. The city is popular among foodies for its ever-expanding food truck scene, but a number of brick and mortar restaurants catch the eye, too. One thing that’s sure to turn Fido’s head is the smell of sausages. Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden has a fenced dog area and a special canine sausage just for him. For dessert, head over to Amy’s Ice Cream for a doggy yogurt with peanut butter, honey and bananas.

Practice mindfulness at this quiet refuge with a fenced yard. It may feel like a secluded escape, but it’s actually just minutes from all the action of downtown Austin.

7. Tampa, FL

“This is one long sidewalk!” – Photo by @theballadofbarkley

Tampa is famous for groovy neighborhoods full of delicious eateries and vast stretches of sandy beaches. Picnic Island Beach Dog Park combines the best bits of a dog park with a day at the beach. If Fido works up an appetite playing, he won’t have to trek far from downtown to locate a restaurant that goes all out for canine customers. The dog menu at Square 1 Burgers & Bar includes chicken patties served with steamed broccoli, ice water and a doggy treat. Before you head to the next pet-friendly city, take to the high seas for a view of Tampa’s beautiful skyline on a voyage with Shell Key Shuttle Sunset Cruises. Come for the sun, stay for the pet-friendly fun!

Shower your snowbird in treats at Westin Tampa Bay, where furry guests receive beds, bowls and sea views.

8. Salt Lake City, UT

A dog poses in front of the State Capitol in Salt Lake City.

“I don’t see a State Capitol!?” – Photo by @tanyahnt

In 1847, a group of Mormon pioneers (and their dogs) settled in Salt Lake Valley. From then on, Salt Lake City became the world headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The stunning architecture of Salt Lake Temple is a sight to behold, but there are also plenty of attractions for canine visitors. Wherever you are in the city, you’re never far from an epic pet-friendly hike. Responsive pups can run free on trails and dive into the creeks at Memory Grove Off Leash Area at Freedom Trail and Tanner Park. Your very own “Michael Yelps” can also practice swimming at Barley’s Canine Recreation Center. And don’t worry about missing out on the slopes while you’re here. Nearby Park City is home to Round Valley Ski Trails, which allows snow-dogs. Back in SLC, swing by Uinta Brewing Company and hang out on the fully fenced patio.

Located within walking distance to downtown and with easy access to the slopes and hiking trails, this “perfectly curated” home is a gem for two- and four-legged tourists looking to experience everything the city has to offer.

9. Phoenix, AZ

A Couple Walks Through a Cactus Garden in Pet-Friendly Phoenix.

“I tried to make friends with a plant, but he was too prickly!” – Photo by Facebook.com/visitphoenix

Phoenix has grown a lot since settlers began farming the land in the mid-19th century. Nowadays, the city is a sought-after desert destination. Give Fido a taste of life in the Wild West with a tour of Pioneer Living History Museum, which covers 90 acres of authentic buildings, historically accurate reproductions and costumed interpreters. Then head to Shaw Butte, which introduces canine visitors to the surrounding landscape. For that classic cactus shot for his instagram, take your pooch for a hike at South Mountain Park and Preserve. You’ll need frequent water breaks in Arizona’s warm climate, which is where O.H.S.O Eatery and Nanobrewery comes in handy. Dogs can refuel with homemade treats and rehydrate with a water bowl while overlooking a pretty canal from the patio. If you’re in the city during baseball season, don’t forget to check out the PetSmart Patio at Chase Field, home to the very dog-friendly Arizona Diamondbacks.

Reward your good boy with a stay at the Happy Hippie Dog House. The backyard is fenced, full of colorful agility equipment, and completely chemical-free.

10. Seattle, WA

“Take me back to the Emerald City!” – Photo by @dallasthebulldoginseattle

Bring your pooch to the birthplace of grunge, Frasier and, most importantly, the Starbucks Puppuccino. Seattle has many reasons to stamp its paw as a dog-friendly destination. Located a short drive from downtown, Warren G. Magnuson Park Off-Leash Dog Area is one of the most epic dog parks in the country. Seattleites flock to the fully fenced, 8.6-acre park to play on beaches and explore its diverse trails. Local treat vendor Seattle Barkery also rocks up at the park from time to time to supply handmade treats to four-legged tourists. Get a different perspective of the city from high above on a pet-friendly tour in a seaplane with Kenmore Air. Back on dry land, grab a treat at Fremont Brewing Company, which offers snacks for pups and delicious beers for humans.

Sleep in Seattle near the Starbucks flagship store in Pike Place Market at this gorgeous pet-friendly loft.

11. San Francisco, CA

Dogs Run on Baker Beach in Pet-Friendly San Francisco.

“Last one to the bridge loves cats!” – Photo by Joe Potato

Many of San Francisco’s most popular tourist attractions are pet-friendly. Its most recognizable landmark, The Golden Gate Bridge, allows dogs on the walkway from 5 p.m. until dusk everyday. But to see this amazing feat of engineering in all its glory, bring Fido to Baker Beach, which offers lovely views of the bridge. Dogs are welcome on certain sections of this stretch of sand without a leash and can meet local pups chasing tail in the South Bay sunshine. Golden Gate Park is just around the corner from Baker Beach and is said to be visited by a spooky “Lady in White,” but you’re much more likely to see happy hounds having fun in the off-leash section. After burning off calories while sightseeing, let your pup indulge in a barker’s dozen of made-from-scratch, all-natural, hypoallergenic pastries from Le Marcel. While he’s enjoying his pastries, explore the iconic Embarcadero together, or take a pet-friendly tour of Fisherman’s Wharf.

Stay at the Westin St Francis Union Square in downtown SF. Four-legged guests are treated to a welcome bag at check-in and Heavenly Dog Beds in the room.

12. Kansas City, MO

“This city is off the leash!” – Photo by Facebook.com/kcmoparks

Swope Park Off Leash Dog Park is a good place to start your pet-friendly adventures in Kansas City. Described as the crown jewel by the local park system, you and your pooch can explore trails that wind around 1,805 acres of woodlands and grassy meadows. For a slice of culture, sniff out the best sculptures at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. No trip to Kansas City would be complete without a visit to Bar K Dog Bar. Equipped with a doggie jungle gym, a giant bowl filled with tennis balls and two fenced dog parks, you’ll have to drag Fido away to see the other sights.

The heart of KC is at your doorstep at this luxurious historical home that has stood the test of time.

This post from BringFido originally appeared as The 12 Most Pet-Friendly Cities in the U.S..

How To Persuade Your Boss To Go Pet-Friendly

The success of companies like Amazon, Airbnb and of course, BringFido, isn’t entirely due to operating dog-friendly workplaces, but there’s no doubting the “paw-sitive” effects of inviting pups to attend water cooler discussions. According to a 2019 study conducted by Society for Human Resource Management, 11 percent of offices in the U.S. are pet-friendly. While you might think your business could benefit from four-legged interns, convincing the boss isn’t as simple as showing them pics of your pooch. Instead, forward this article to them and look forward to the joys of working with Fido.

Start With an Adoption Drive

A Fluffy Dog Sits in a Pet-Friendly Office.

“So, this is my new office?” – Photo by @my.two.shelties.fla

Get the ball rolling by suggesting an adoption drive at the office. These fun events are a great way to find a home for pups in need and provide positive press for any company. Welcoming foster dogs into the workplace for a day can also act as a blueprint for making your business pet-friendly on a more permanent basis

Use a Holiday as a Test-Drive

A Dog Wears Black Eyeglasses.

“Have you seen my glasses? I know I left them around here somewhere.” – Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

National Pet Day? National Have Fun at Work Day? Casual Friday? Give your boss a preview of a canine workplace by bringing Fido to the office during a fun holiday or event. Who knows, maybe every day will soon be Take Your Dog To Work Day!

Survey the Room

A Yorkie Sits on a Black Office Chair.

“This is my seat now.” – Photo by vlad shu on Unsplash

Before buying Fido his own chair and cancelling doggy daycare, canvas the other members of your team. Unfortunately, Karen might not like the idea of introducing furry employees to the office. She could have a valid reason, like allergies, or simply not like pets (it happens); either way, it’s necessary to check. Another problem could be pups not getting along. You can address this by organizing a timetable so that your coworkers can enjoy a different dog’s presence each day. If you’ve thought through the potential roadblocks to a pet-friendly office, you’ll be more likely to get your boss’s buy-in.

Explain the Benefits

A Man Sitting on an Office Chair Pets a Dog.

“I’ve told you about wearing that hat to work!” – Photo by DEVN on Unsplash

Fur Means Morale

Every good boss is an expert at boosting team morale, but you don’t have to order pizza for the whole office to get employees on your side. Having their best friends napping at their feet will keep them active, engaged and in their comfort zone all day.

A Girl Holds a Phone to a Dog's Ear In an Office.

“Hello, Treats and Bones, Inc. How can I direct your call?”Photo by @matterofform

Team Building

Have you ever snuck into the break room hoping to avoid that awkward colleague you have nothing in common with? Thankfully, Fido’s there to break the ice. A common love of dogs can help coworkers bond and come together as a team.

A Black Dog Pushes a Cart With Beer in the Dog-Friendly BringFido Office

“Okay, this is my kind of exercise!”Photo by @lily_monet

Keeping Pace

Healthier workforces are more productive, and dogs in the office can help! Staying active and taking periodic breaks is important, especially if you’re at your desk for hours at a time. Dogs give people a reason to achieve their recommended steps every day. Additionally, the average adult can only spend around 20 minutes on a task before they lose concentration. When you return from Fido’s pee break, you’ll both be refreshed and ready to produce your best work.

A Man Opens a Computer to Type With a Dog by His Side

“You don’t have to pretend to type, Steve. We can all see the computer’s turned off!”Photo by @dreamypixel

Stress Relief

Pets are an all-day commitment, even when you’re at work. Employees who don’t need to rush home during lunch break or exactly at 5 p.m. to let their dogs out are more likely to stay a little late to finish that pressing project. They won’t obsess about their best friend’s mental wellbeing if she’s sitting right beside them. And they can alleviate a significant financial burden if they’re used to sending Fido to doggy daycare or arranging for a walker/sitter.

A Dog Sits on a Desk in a Pet-Friendly Office.

“I can help sniff out all the best places to go.”Photo by @lily_monet

The Cool Factor

“Wait, is that a puppy in your cubicle?” People who work in pet-friendly places often hear comments like this from jealous family and friends. Prospective business partners will never forget the day they went to an office and were greeted by an adorable canine employee; future workers will be drawn to the benefits of bringing their best friends to work; and seasoned personnel are much more likely to stick around if their pooch can, too.

This post from BringFido originally appeared as How To Persuade Your Boss To Go Pet-Friendly.

BringFido’s Guide to Flea and Tick Season

This article was updated in May 2020.

The warmer months are here, and so are fleas and ticks. These resilient vermin work their way into our lives every year and can spoil a day out with a single bite. Luckily, you don’t have to move house or avoid the outdoors to escape these pests. Before setting out on hikes, trips and outdoor adventures with your dog, spray up and follow our guide to surviving flea and tick season.

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Ticks are tiny arachnids that can cause major problems. Photo by DrPhotoMoto / CC BY-SA 2.0

First things first: What are ticks and fleas? The short answer is they’re parasites who survive on other living things, stealing all the hard-earned nutrients for themselves. That alone is annoying, but when you add in the fact that they carry dangerous infections and diseases, they’re really going to be off Fido’s Christmas card list. Ticks, which are actually not insects but arachnids like spiders, carry Lyme disease (among other ailments) in their stomachs. This nasty infection can give both humans and dogs flu-like symptoms, joint pain and arthritis, and can even prove fatal. The areas where Lyme disease is most prevalent in the U.S. are the Northeast, Upper Midwest and Pacific coast, but it’s not unheard of in every state. Unfortunately, ticks can also give two- and four-legged victims other diseases like tick paralysis.The negative effects of fleas can range from mild skin irritation to the plague (that escalated quickly). There are 200 species of fleas that affect dogs, with the most common being the cat flea. Fleas thrive in certain areas during different times of the year, as shown in this map.

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Fleas and ticks are year-round pests, but some days are better than others. Photo by American Kennel Club

Although infections are a worst-case scenario, it’s better to be safe than sorry during flea and tick season by following a few simple guidelines.

Preventative Care

Pet parents should regularly apply a flea and tick preventative product to their dog. The different application methods include drops, chewable pills, collars, sprays and shampoos. Some contain strong chemicals while others use natural ingredients. With all the choices available, how do you know which one will best suit your dog’s needs? Here’s a rundown of the options:

Droplets can help rid your dog of fleas and ticks.

Droplets are an effective way to prevent fleas and ticks.Photo by iStock / Tatomm


Droplets are one of the best ways to prevent fleas and ticks. Once applied to an area, usually the base of the neck, the active ingredient spreads across the body, killing harmful pests on contact. Other methods require your pet to be bitten first for the poison to be administered to the invading species. Frontline Plus is one of Amazon’s best-selling products and rates highly among customers for reliability. Packages can be purchased with three or six doses, and can be applied in easy-to-use droplets directly on your dog’s skin each month.


Droplets aren’t for everybody, and many companies also offer a chewable pill that can be disguised in food. Unlike drops, the pills circulate the active ingredient around a dog’s bloodstream (a bite is the only way a flea or tick can be affected). Oral options like Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets are not preventative medications. Instead, they kill existing fleas that are living on your pet. Once those pests are gone, try feeding your dog EcoFlea by ColoradoDog Treats. It’s a great alternative if you don’t want to put chemicals on your dog’s skin or in her body. Depending on her size, your pup will need to eat three to six chews daily to stave off ticks and fleas. She’ll build up a protective barrier over time (often between seven to 10 days).

Flea collars are an effective way to treat fleas in dogs.

Are you in the market for a collar that can help keep fleas and ticks away?Photo by iStock / Tatomm


How about a collar that can help keep fleas and ticks at bay? Flea collars actually carry the active ingredient inside, radiating it over the dog’s body. Bayer’s Seresto Flea and Tick Collar is recommended by veterinarians, lasts up to a whopping eight months, and kills fleas and ticks through contact (no bites necessary).

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“Get in the bath, they said. We have a treat for you, they said!” Photo by @rita_thebostonterrier

Sprays and Shampoos

Most flea and tick shampoos and sprays must be used along with another preventative product. Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Advanced Strength Dog Shampoo not only kills fleas, flea larvae, flea eggs, and ticks on contact, but also leaves your pooch smelling delightful from all the natural ingredients and essential oils. Sprays work in a similar fashion, and many of them can be applied to your home as well as your pet. Wondercide Flea and Tick and Mosquito Control Spray can be sprayed anywhere, smells good and is designed to give your pet’s coat a nice shine, too.Sometimes, we realize our dogs are covered in fleas a little too late to save our beloved rugs, carpet and couch. Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray can be used around your house regularly or just as a one-off after an infestation to kill fleas, flea larvae, flea eggs, ticks and mosquitoes without any hazardous or harmful chemicals all over your household items.Outdoors folk who are heading to a high-risk area should also apply bug spray. Repelsafe is an all-natural option that can be used on both humans and dogs. It’ll even kill ticks on contact and help keep mosquitoes away.

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Ticks show up more clearly against lightly colored clothing.Photo by @hiking_ontheflipside

How Flea and Tick Season Affects You

By now, Fido should be equipped and ready for outdoor survival during flea and tick season, but what about the person on the other end of the leash? There are a few rules you can follow to limit your exposure to the harmful little critters. Hikers are advised to wear lightly colored clothing, which should easily show the darker colored ticks coming along for the ride. You should also cover any bare skin (a magnet for ticks), and that means tucking socks into trousers and shirts into pants. Nobody said staying safe was going to look good!

Try and stick to the main sections of trails. Stray into long grass and overgrown areas, and you’re venturing into flea and tick territory. Finally, make sure you inspect yourself and your dog post-hike. Ticks will burrow into any crevice they can find, so make sure you are thorough. Another pro tip is to try to limit your dog’s interaction with other furry flea and tick magnets. Deer, raccoons, opossums and feral cats are all known to carry an abundance of these pests on their coats. If you know they’re likely to be in the area, it’s probably best to leash up your dog.

Tick keys and tweezers can help remove ticks buried in your dog's skin.

Use tweezers or a tick key to remove ticks from your dog.Photo by iStock / Tomasz Majchrowicz

Flea and Tick Removal

As weird as this might sound, you don’t want to remove the head of a tick to get rid of it. Their heads can detach from their bodies, remain on the skin and keep infecting the person or dog (creepy, right?). Instead, grab a pair of blunt-end tweezers or better yet, a tick removal tool (like a tick key); make a part in your dog’s fur to get a good view of the pest; then pull it out by the body to leave the whole thing intact. Once removed, rub your hands and the area where the tick was attached with rubbing alcohol to kill harmful bacteria.

Don’t use your hands to attempt to squish the tick to exact Fido’s revenge, as they will just wriggle out of it and may embed themselves in your skin. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests putting the removed tick in alcohol, a sealed container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet to be sure it can do no more harm. Regularly checking your furry friend for fleas and ticks is an important best practice. Every time your dog goes outside, inspect her thoroughly on return (especially in areas with less hair, like the ears and under the legs). During peak season, it’s recommended that you do this every day.

Also keep an eye on the places where a tick has been embedded on you or your dog. One of the first signs of Lyme disease is a spiral-shaped bruise that appears around the area. Take your dog to your vet if you are at all concerned that she may have contracted an infection (or get yourself to the hospital). In most cases, when infections are caught early, they are treatable with antibiotics.

Removing fleas is a totally different process. Dogs who run and hide when they hear their owners utter the dreaded words “bath time” will thank them afterwards for taking care of the itchy parasites that have been living rent-free on their fur. Any kind of lather kills fleas, so most dog shampoos will get rid of them in the bath. As we mentioned before, there are a number of flea and tick shampoos that are specifically designed to target fleas, including TropiClean Natural Shampoo, which is made using essential oils. Apple cider vinegar helps to balance your dog’s PH after a wash, which is useful because fleas hate dogs with a balanced PH. The final step is to use a flea comb, like this one from Safari. Go over your dog’s fur after her bath to catch any clingers and to remove dead fleas. The comb should be used once a week during peak flea season.

This post from BringFido originally appeared as BringFido’s Guide to Flea and Tick Season.