Dog owners at Houston dog parks are on heightened alert for fleas that seem to be everywhere these days.

“It starts itching right there,” said Megan Suggs while pointing to a hairless spot on her small dog’s torso. “It costs money to go and get the shampoos and get all this taken care of. There’s fees and vet bills.”

Word of an outbreak has been spreading online. At the West Alabama Animal Clinic, Dr. Amanda Hanna has had her hands full with dogs and cats in need of relief.

“We’re seeing more fleas than normal,” said Hanna, who blamed the exploding flea population on recent rainfall and the mild winter.

She warned some once-per-month flea treatments may not be enough to keep the insects off.

“And that’s definitely something that you can talk to your veterinarian about,” Hanna said. “Because they’re adding in different preventatives. Maybe even some on top of what the pet may already be on.”

Pet owners like Kelsey Peterson are already heeding the advice.

“Definitely after the park I’ll be searching her more hard core,” Peterson said.