Is Flea and Tick Prevention Necessary during the Winter Months?

As temperatures drop and you begin your preparation for the colder months ahead, your pet should be part of your considerations. The American Veterinary Medical Association’s website has an informative guide on cold weather care for your pets. The guide stresses that many owners don’t understand Flea and Tick prevention protocols should not be ceased during the winter months.

The dog on the winter hunt

Contrary to popular belief, pests such as fleas and ticks, though more active during the warmer seasons, still live and feed during the winter. Research shows that even in temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit, both fleas and ticks can actively seek out blood meals. Unfortunately, both of these pests carry diseases and parasites that can seriously harm your pet.

Even mosquitoes, which transmit the deadly heartworm disease, can survive in near-freezing temperatures, but unlike fleas and ticks, they aren’t usually active until temperatures begin to reach 50.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends owners keep their pets on parasite-prevention medication year-round, with the goal to prevent the contraction of internal parasites transmitted by these common pests. Even if temperatures outside are low enough to hinder pest activity, places that remain warm inside, such as your home, can accommodate pests and parasites.

Consult your veterinarian to determine the best form of pest prevention treatment. There are a wide variety of options including oral medications and topical treatments, all of which vary in efficacy and application. These preventative treatments should be administered year round, despite temperatures outside. While it may cost a little more than only utilizing treatments during the warmer months, it will be considerably less, when compared to paying for your pet’s recovery, should it contract a disease.

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