A common, ongoing, question that pet owners face is: “Should I treat my pet with flea/tick medicine year-round?” Our answer: Yes.
Although it is up to the owners whether or not they want to treat their pets year round, the consequences can be much worse if you choose to stop treating your pet. If you choose to stop treating your pet with flea/tick prevention, there is a chance that they could experience a flea infestation (your home too!), develop tapeworms, or suffer from flea allergy dermatitis, You will be able to distinguish if your pet has developed flea allergy dermatitis because your pet will continually be biting and scratching at their skin, to the point of hair loss.
So, here are some fun facts about why your pet should be treated year-round:
- Fleas can live outdoors in temperatures as low at 33 degrees for up to 5 days.
- In the winter, if the temperature exceeds 40 degrees ticks will become active again.
- Flea eggs can live year round in protected areas such as crawl spaces and porches.
So, just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean that our dear friends are not around and ready to latch on to your pets coat!
Another common comment in regards to treating your pet year-round with flea/tick medication is: “But is it right to be giving our pets ‘poison’ or letting them ingest ‘chemicals’ all year for the rest of their lives?” Our answer: these labels not accurate and flea control is needed year round.
Words like “poison” and “chemicals” sound scary but ALL flea/tick prevention medications have been tested by the Environmental Protection Agency and all reports have shown that these medications ARE safe and that any adverse reactions are a result of user error. It is VERY important to make sure that you are giving your pet the correct dosage of medication and never, we repeat NEVER, use dog treatment on a cat or visa-versus. Flea/tick prevention is catered specifically to the specific animal it is being used on and can cause serious reactions, even sometime fatal reactions, when misused.
So, which brand of flea/tick medication should you be using on my pet?
Well, there are two different product types that can be used on your pets – chewable tablets the work systemically and topical ointments that are applied externally to your pets skin. Two very common, prescription, chewable tablets that we recommend at Fremont Veterinary Clinic are Nexgard and Trifexis. Nexgard and Trifexis are both prescription medications and are given orally once a month. But, only Nexgard protects against BOTH ticks and fleas while Trifexis protects only against fleas. Both of these medications are in the same chemical family and kill by causing uncontrolled activity in the nervous system of fleas (and ticks for Nexgard). Advantage are Advantix are both, over-the-counter flea/tick preventative and are commonly used in the fight against fleas/ticks. Advantage and Advantix can both be purchased here, at Fremont Vet Clinic, over-the counter, no prescription necessary. The BEST way to figure out which medication is most compatible for your pet is to consult your veterinarian before making your final decision. They will be able to lead you in the right direction in deciding which medication will work best for your pet while keeping them safe.
We, at Fremont Vet, strongly recommend giving your pet flea/tick prevention medication year round. This way, you as a owner, will not have to worry and your pet will always remain protected! If you have any further questions regarding the correct preventative medication for your pet, book an appointment with one of our doctors today and they will be able to further assist you and make sure you are on the right track.