A recent run of historically hot weather has also brought forth some nasty critters that can make life miserable for your favorite four-legged friend.
Fleas and ticks are wreaking havoc in Alabama and across the nation in an outbreak that some say is the worst in recent memory.
The explosion in both of the miniature menaces has gotten the attention of local veterinarians, with some calling the outbreak serious.
"Fleas and ticks have really been a problem this year, more than I've ever seen," said Wilson McManus, head veterinarian at Valley Animal Hospital in Huntsville. "The ticks have just exploded. We see a lot of problems every day... I'm really concerned about it from the aspect of it transmitting disease to our pets, other pets, and to people."
Experts say a mild winter combined with a wet spring produced optimal breeding conditions for both fleas and ticks, which are now thriving in the very hot and dry weather.
Parasite experts say lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and anemia are just some of the sicknesses the parasites can pass on to humans and animals. Parasite prevention products include oral pills and skin topicals that are readily available in most veterinary offices.