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Why should I continue my flea and tick prevention during winter?

Yes! Yes! Yes! Keep your pets on flea and tick protection all year round! It is common today to hear people say “I don't give my pet flea and tick prevention in the winter there is no need, since it is so cold". This is a myth that is still believed today. We want to share some information as to why it is recommended you continue your prevention all year.

It only takes one. One flea can be brought into your home on you, or you’re pet. That one flea can cause a flea infestation. Fleas can survive outdoors in temperatures as low as 33 degrees for as long as five days. This is plenty of time for them to come into your home and get nice and warm. Flea eggs can live year round in protected areas such as garages, crawl spaces, and porches.

It is proven that ticks are more active or highly active in the late summer and early fall. Some consider spring and summer as tick season and don’t realize how active ticks are in the fall. Ticks can be active in temperatures ranging from 40 degrees and as low as 32 degrees. During the winter when we have a warm or mild day we take our pets out to enjoy it, this exposes them to ticks in the environment.

Your pets can be exposed to fleas and ticks in social settings as well. Doggie parks, grooming facilities, kennels, and daycares are risks too. These facilities jump through hoops to insure no fleas are present but it can be an ongoing battle. It only takes one animal carrying one flea or tick to spread exposure.

Reasons owners may not use preventatives all year round:

Cost. While these products can be very effective when used properly, they can be considered expensive. Veterinary Hospitals often have special offers and rebates on the products they carry. Some pet parents will stop giving preventatives when it gets cold to save money. Anyone that has ever had a flea infestation knows how expensive, difficult and time consuming it is to correct the situation. Another concern is the fear that these products are not safe and can harm their pets. While there are reported reactions and illness related to these preventatives, the serious reactions are almost always a result of user error. The Environmental Protection Agency launched an investigation in 2008 and continues to monitor safety and any adverse reactions. Time and time again they are proven to be safe when used properly. Visit this link for detailed information on being safe about flea and tick prevention products:

The gamble:
While the risk of your pet getting a flea or a tick in the winter is lower than in the other seasons, we want you to be aware it is not impossible. You may decide to gamble each winter, but what happens if you lose? Your pet could contract a tick borne disease, your pet and your home could become infested with fleas. If this occurs it can be far more costly to treat your pet for an infection or infestation.

Our goal is to educate pet owners on the very real risks of exposure and why we recommend year round protection for animals. There are many different preventatives on the market and they all have pros and cons. No single product is right for every pet. We strongly suggest to talk to your primary veterinarian and discuss what they feel is effective and best for your individual pet.

Theresa N Klales

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