Are you thinking of skipping your pet’s flea medicine this winter? Continuing flea prevention medicine all year can keep your dog or cat flea-free and healthy.
Can I Skip Flea Medicine in the Winter?
It might be tempting to skip that flea prevention medicine in the cold months. It can be difficult to remember to give it every month, it can be difficult to give if your pet won’t take a pill or sit still for a topical medicine, and it does cost money. But is skipping the flea prevention medicine worth it?
Can Fleas Live Through the Winter?
Yes, fleas can live through the winter! While freezing temperatures can kill most adult fleas, some will make it. Flea eggs and flea larvae can also live through the winter.
- Many wild animals (like squirrels, raccoons, and opossums) can carry fleas, and the fleas will live quite happily on these animals all winter long. When the wild animals wander through your yard, they will leave a trail of flea eggs. The eggs will survive the winter, just waiting for a day or two of warm weather to hatch.
- Adult fleas and baby fleas can find warm spots to hide for the winter like in a heated garage, along the foundation of your house, inside a dog house, or in a barn. These fleas are just waiting for your dog or cat to walk by so they can jump on for a ride and join you in your toasty warm house.
- Fleas can live in your house. Adult fleas, baby fleas, and flea eggs are very happy to stay warm and cozy inside your house all winter long.
- Flea eggs will hatch when the temperature is 60 degrees or higher. Just a few warm days in the middle of winter can cause a large flea hatch. Spring can come early and bring lots of newly hatched fleas with it. If your pet is off his prevention medicine, it is likely that he’ll get a flea infestation.
Continue Flea Prevention Medicine All Year Long
We strongly recommend keeping your pets on flea prevention medicines all year. Fleas can – and do! – live outside and inside through the winter. Keeping your dog and cat on flea prevention medicine will help keep them from getting fleas. If you have ever dealt with fleas before, you know that preventing an infestation is much easier than getting rid of fleas!
Flea prevention medicines come as topical ointment, pills, and collars. Some types of medicine will also protect against ticks or heartworms. Routine flea prevention medicine is one way you can help keep your dog or cat healthy.
Do you have more questions about fleas? Check out our Flea Resource Page. Then call us or come in. Our staff and our veterinarians are happy to answer any questions you have, and help you find the right flea prevention medicine for your pet.