Many pet owners want to stop giving their dogs flea and tick medication during the winter months. However, even in cold climates, veterinarians universally recommend continuing treatment all year long. Fleas and ticks can remain real dangers even during the dead of winter.
Fleas and ticks are tougher than you think
Once the calendar turns to fall many pesky bugs like mosquitoes disappear for the most part, but that doesn’t mean all insects and parasites are gone. All New Pets explained that fleas can live at temperatures as low as 33 degrees for up to five days outside. And if your pooch catches one of these fleas and carries them indoors during these near-freezing outdoor temps, the fleas can thrive in the balmy indoors and stick around all season.
Similarly, ticks are active when temperatures rise to 40 degrees, the website explained. This means that when you take your dog out for a long hike on a gorgeous winter day, they’re as exposed to ticks as they can be in early fall or late summer, when ticks wreak the most havoc.
There’s no warning for risks
Another reason that you shouldn’t stop your dog’s tick and flea medication during the winter is that other dogs may carry ticks or fleas from warm environments to your pooch, such as at a doggie daycare or the airport.
There are also no rules about when winter starts and ends. So if you take your dog off on Dec. 21 and go to put your pooch back on medication on Feb. 21, there may have already been spring weather, outdoor dangers and they may be scratching away at fleas already.
Veterinarians advise using medication all year round, because the side effects are mild and the risks of stopping treatment are serious. Continuing through the winter ensures your pooch is never unprotected from fleas and ticks, which are irritating and can carry an array of illnesses.
Invest in the right medication
There are a variety of different treatments to prevent fleas and ticks for an entire month, so discover which is best for your pet.
- Frontline Plus for Dogs – This over-the-counter medication works in only 12 hours to kill ticks and fleas, as well as lice and mites. It’s also an easy-to-apply topical medication that’s waterproof and provides 30 days of protection.
- K9 Advantix II – This medication doesn’t just protect against ticks, fleas and lice, but also mosquitoes, killing all within 12 hours of application. Advantix is safe for pooches older than 7 weeks and protects for a full 30 days.
- Advantage II for Dogs – Advantage II protects from new fleas in two hours after it’s taken and kills all eggs, larvae and fleas after 12 hours. While Advantage doesn’t protect against ticks, it’s perfect for dogs who live in areas where lice are a far bigger issue.
Use PetPlus to save on these popular preventative medications and many more over-the-counter and prescription drugs.