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Mar 30 2017

Does My Pet Really Need Flea/Tick Protection Year Round?

Every pet owner questions if their pet needs flea and tick protection during the colder months of the year. We understand that it can be expensive and inconvenient to give flea and tick protection year round. We also know that some owners question putting chemicals on their animals to kill/repel fleas and ticks. The most common question we hear is: “don’t fleas and ticks die during the winter months?” Each of these concerns are common and have fairly simple answers.

As a veterinary practice, we know the health of your pet is very important, and seeing the costs of flea and tick protection can be a shock. We always try to work with our manufacturers to offer promotions and rebates that help keep the costs down.

The chemicals in the flea and tick protection are advertised stating it is a safe product for animals. Like all things, some adverse reactions have been reported and there are warnings regarding certain animals who shouldn’t be given that medication. Reactions such as sickness, fur loss, and in some situations, even death have been reported, but for the most part reactions are rare. Most reactions occur from user error. The most common mistakes we see are giving the wrong sized dose for your pet, the wrong medication, or not administering it correctly. We always recommend reading the tube/box to make sure it is the correct weight and product for your animal.

We always recommend giving flea and tick protection year round as the weather is unpredictable.

  • Fleas can live outdoors and can survive in temperatures as low as 33 degrees for up to 5 days (long enough to jump on to your dog or you during your short walk outside and make their way in to your home!). Flea eggs love warm crawl spaces and porches where they can live year round.
  • Ticks are most active in the late summer and early fall, but, even in the winter, if the temperatures exceeds 32 degrees (which it can in most places) they will become active again.

Therefore, since the weather is so unpredictable we highly recommend using flea and tick protection year round just in case we have those occasional warm winter days, as the fleas and ticks will become active and will look for the warmest place possible to live.

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