Yesterday it was bitterly cold. Too cold, you would think, for fleas and ticks to be out and about. Wrong. After Tucker came inside from his afternoon frolic I pulled a tick off of him. It hadn't been imbedded very long as it wasn't engorged but thankfully it had already died.
People often believe that flea and tick preventatives aren't needed during the winter months. This is a myth. Fleas, and we all know it only takes one to begin an infestation, can survive in temps as low as 33 degrees for as long as 5 days. Ticks, similarly, are active in temps as low as 32 degrees. Shocker right? On nicer winter days, we often take our pets out to enjoy the burst of warm weather. So why risk exposing them to active fleas and ticks during this period?
Just like you would protect your child in every way possible from germs, it is the same with pets.
Social settings are also a breeding ground. Dog parks, kennels, grooming facilities, etc. These places, like our human doctors' offices, go to extreme lengths to protect their clients from exposure. It only takes one animal carrying fleas, or ticks for that matter (or one child carrying an illness), to infect the rest.
You wouldn't unnecessarily deny your child the appropriate vaccinations and illness preventions to help them live long happy lives would you? It is the same for your pet.
Yes, preventatives can be expensive. But by researching, speaking to your vet, and selecting the right brand and type best for you and your pet, you will help ensure their long, enjoyable, illness free life.
Some well known brands include: Frontline (liquid), Advantix (liquid), Seresto (collar), and Bravecto (chewables).
Some natural remedies include essential oils such as: lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, and cedar. But these must be diluted in a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil before application to avoid skin irritation.
Rubbed on your pets coat daily or given as a supplement, coconut oil is also a great flea repellant.
Like with all medications, for pets and humans alike, they all come with their own set of risks and warnings. I cannot stress enough the importance of discussing all options available to you with your veterinarian.