Should I Treat My Pet for Fleas and Ticks Year-Round?

“You Hoser!”  “You Knob!” These are just a couple of quotable lines by Bob and Doug McKenzie of “The Great White North.” Currently it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere and many areas are indeed white, though not all. So, is it safe to stop utilizing flea and tick preventatives on our pets during this season?

The farther north you go, it might be reasonable to stop using flea and tick preventions if your pets don’t travel to more temperate or warmer climates. However, if you and your pets are among the lucky ones (matter of opinion) and don’t see conditions where winter’s cold blast freezes everything in sight, you may want to continue year-round flea and tick prevention.

In veterinary practice, we commonly get the more directed question: “Doc, when is safe to stop flea and tick prevention and when should we start back up in the spring?” Where our veterinary practice is located (Nebraska), this can be a hard question to answer since our weather patterns can be extremely variable like many states in the Midwest. Ticks are hardy creatures and can actually be seen on the tips of grass protruding out of the snow. Here in Nebraska, we may only have about 60 days in any given year that we may not have tick issues and those start and stop dates are variable. In other areas of the country, (Southern and Southeastern states) fleas and ticks are likely to be a nuisance year round.

As pet parents we are creatures of habit. All too often, in the spring or early summer, we see pets with ticks or fleas that could have been prevented. Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, the owner’s calendar got away from them and March became April, and then May, and guess what, it is too late. It is so much easier to remember to simply treat with the appropriate flea and tick prevention on the first of the month or the first Saturday of the month.

In general, unless you are very diligent and “Jack Frost” is not on your doorstep every night, it is recommended to continue flea and tick prevention year round. The one or two months that you “save” by not treating could, in fact. cost so much more if your pet acquires one of these nasty “critters.” There are many easy, economical and safe options like SENTRY Fiproguard available today. So why leave your pets and family members at risk of not only getting ticks and/or fleas but also all of the other diseases these parasites transmit? Use flea and tick preventions routinely! Don’t be called a Hoser or Knob by your cat or dog and don’t leave them unprotected.

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