Winter is here, and with it come colder temperatures. Many dedicated dog owners take advantage of this relief from warmer days to give their pet a break from flea and tick prevention. However, pet owners and veterinarians in various regions of the US will continue to see ticks during the winter months. It is not unusual to find ticks on dogs in the Northeast United States throughout the year, and Lyme Disease is diagnosed during all 4 seasons!
Because of this, we recommend flea/tick prevention 365 days per year, especially with the trend of warmer winter weather. Remember that ticks are not killed by cold temperatures! While ticks may “hibernate,” as soon as the thermometer climbs to near 40 degrees Fahrenheit, they will become active again and ready to feed on your pets.
Regarding the type of flea and tick medication you select for your pet, you should be aware of how they work in general. Some of the products available will repel ticks, whereas others do not repel but will kill ticks when they bite your dog. It is possible to use multiple products together to protect your dog both externally and from the inside out as well.
We also recommend year-round heartworm prevention. This monthly medication not only protects your dog against heartworm, but most of these medications also cover your pet for hookworms and roundworms. Some preventatives take care of whipworms and tapeworms as well. Keep in mind that your dog can come into contact with these parasites while running around exploring the environment all year long!
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Dr. K @ QK, KWilliamsDVM@qkdogs.com
And remember that February is Pet Dental Health Month! 80 percent of dogs will have some sort of dental health issue by the age of 3, and periodontal or gum disease is the number one illness found in dogs. So, be sure to take care of those pearly whites!