Flea and Tick prevention is important for keeping your dog and/or cat safe from tick-borne diseases and flea infestations. A common question that is asked by many pet owners is whether this prevention should be administered year round or just during the warmer months.

In Wisconsin it is a common practice among owners to only give flea and tick prevention during the warmer months but the recommendations of our veterinarians is to give flea and tick prevention all year long. As we head into fall and winter, here are some reasons why you should keep your pet on flea and tick prevention year round.

Around the end of summer and start of fall, here at Oak Creek Veterinary Care, we typically see an increase in flea infestation cases, especially in the months of September, October, and even November. Weather conditions during these months tend to be perfect for fleas to thrive and studies have shown that flea populations increase up to 70% during these months. When the weather starts to get cooler though, the fleas will look for warm bodies to jump on which in most cases will be our furry family members.

Fleas can cause all kind of discomfort and problems for our pets. Flea bites can cause allergic reactions to pets, which can cause flea bite dermatitis, severe itching, hair loss, and it is also very common for fleas to transmit tapeworms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ticks find their hosts by detecting animals´ breath and body odors, or by sensing body heat, moisture, and vibrations. Some tick species can even recognize a shadow! Ticks are able to identify well-used paths, where they rest on the tips of plants, in a position known as “questing.” There they lie in wait for an unsuspecting host to pass by. Ticks can’t fly or jump, but this ambush tactic is very effective.

Prevention is recommend year round for ticks because they are hearty little bugs capable of lying dormant during winter and the cooler months, but at any time when temperatures rise above freezing they are capable of coming out of their dormancy to find a warm bodied host to latch onto. Ticks are capable of transmitting many diseases such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasmosis, which all cause various symptoms in your pet.

For specific product recommendations please contact us at (414) 301-9113!