Blood-sucking ticks are being challenged by a new coalition of Dacorum vets, university boffins, and TV presenter Chris Packham.
Ticks have started feeding earlier in the year and for longer, putting both dogs and their owners at risk. Tick bites can transmit serious infections such as Lyme disease - a serious and debilitating illness that can cause long-term health problems in dogs and people.
But the Big Tick Project is encouraging owners to take their pets to participating practices, including Springwell Vet Surgery, Hope Vets and Clarke and Marshall Vet Surgeons for a tick check and advice.
Any ticks found on dogs will be collected and sent to Bristol University laboratories to help advance the knowledge of tick-borne disease, benefiting both veterinary and human medicine.
Chris Packham, who is the public face of the campaign, said: “Research highlighted by Bristol University suggests that ticks are a growing problem, especially in areas such as urban parkland, woodland or open country.
“While I find both ticks and fleas interesting creatures, I don’t want them on my dogs, in my house, or on me.”
To find out more about the Big Tick Project or to take part visit www.bigtickproject.co.uk