It is really important to always check for ticks on your pets and yourself whenever you are outside and before you enter your house, especially in the spring and summer. Ticks are easy to remove whether they are crawling or actually embedded. I find that they are easiest to remove when they are fully engorged but it is best to try and find them before they reach that state.
I never leave my home without my Tick Remover.
This handy little device which can fit in the palm of your hand, in a pocket or even suspended from a belt loop with a carabiner, makes removing ticks easy, safe and quick with one swipe. The tick comes out in one piece alive, unhurt and walking.
If you have a light colored dog or cat and one with short fur, it will be much easier to spot the ticks crawling around. I own Akitas which have very thick, dense and long two inch fur which makes it a little more difficult once the tick starts trying to bury itself. In any case, you can feel the ticks as they feel similar to a scab but smooth.
I make my own tick repellent in many variations, but I find that putting 5-6 drops of rose geranium oil on a paper towel and then wiping it on the legs, chest, back, head and neck area works really well.
Try not to walk your dog in tall grassy areas where there are tick conventions. Short grass that has just been mowed is the best but if you are out hiking, this is not an option. My male dog, Kumason, always marks his spot so after his kicking episode, I bring him into the street where I check him for ticks. It's a good idea to pull up your socks on the outside of your pant legs so ticks cannot crawl up inside your pants. While this may look a little weird, it's a small price to pay to avoid getting tick borne diseases such as Lyme Disease and others. Wearing light colored clothing and long sleeves help too.