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Health Questions & Answers

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ASK THE EXPERT - Fall and winter are here; can I stop my dog's Flea and Heartworm Preventative during these seasons? If no, why?

Smartliving Guest asked this
September 17, 2013 at 10:32 AM

A:

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I do not recommend stopping flea and heartworm prevention in the winter. Once a flea rides in on your dog or cat, it can live year round in the cozy environment of your house. If your pet is not protected against fleas, the flea population will grow in the home, causing your pet discomfort. Fleas live year round on wildlife such as squirrels and rabbits, so there is always the potential for infestation.

Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, and mosquitoes are not present in colder climates during the winter. However, most heartworm preventions also include a medication to treat intestinal parasites (worms) such as roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm. These intestinal parasite eggs that are shed in stool of cats and dogs are not killed in the winter months and can continue to infect your pet.

To keep your pet as healthy, and happy as possible, continue monthly heartworm and flea prevention year round.

Dr. Lynn Happel DVM Health Coach answered
September 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM

If a pet is suffering from a flea or tick infestation, they will be feeling miserable. As a trainer, I assure you that it is important to maintain a dog's mental well-being at all times, as well as their physical. However, if they are physically suffering from an ailment, they will struggle with learning or following the household rules simply because they just don't feel good.

Wild animals, firewood, and piles of fall leaves are known carriers and hideouts for fleas and ticks. Although the weather may turn cold, our pets still commonly act as carriers for these parasites.

Heartworm preventatives offer protection against intestinal parasites that can affect a pet over the winter months too.

It is important to help maintain a dog's physical health so that their mental well-being doesn't get disrupted.

To ensure our pets maintain a parasite free winter season, it is imperative to continue treating them every month with a flea, tick, and heartworm preventative.

Victoria Swanson Health Coach answered
September 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM
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