Tick-borne diseases are becoming more prevalent in our area! Ticks can carry many diseases, such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. By looking at the outside of a tick, it is impossible to tell if that particular tick is a carrier of disease or not. All ticks are a potential threat. Therefore, tick repellant and prevention are vital to minimize the health risks of vector-borne diseases.
Ticks thrive in warmer weather (April-September) and are most prevalent in tall grass and leafy areas. When walking with your dogs in the woods, I recommend you stay on trails and check your dog for ticks (around ears, armpits, groin, etc.) at the completion of your walk. The sooner you remove a tick, the less likely it will pass diseases to your dogs. Better yet, talk to your veterinarian about which tick prevention product he/she recommends for your pets!
Here is a reference from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding ticks: http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/index.html