itching pet.

As we head into the cooler months of the year, many pet owners make the choice to save a little money on flea and tick control. Skipping your pet’s parasite preventions isn’t always the smartest choice, though, and Volunteer Veterinary Hospital is here to help explain why. 

Doing Battle

No one wants their pet to have fleas or ticks. These external parasites can cause itching, skin irritation, transmit other parasites, and they often carry infectious diseases including Lyme disease.

The flea we most often are up against is Ctenocephalides felis. This parasite can lay up to 50 eggs in a single day when the temperatures are optimal (right around 75 degrees fahrenheit). Fleas can also reproduce at lower temperatures, though.

Ticks are a little trickier with more complicated life cycles. These creepy crawlies can be active year-round with the ability to hide in a dormant state during the coldest of stretches. 

Most pet owners understand how important it is to prevent fleas and ticks on their pet (and in their home). Many underestimate, though, how important it is to remain vigilant as we approach the end of the year.

Cool Weather Strategies for Optimal Flea and Tick Control

We have a variety of options for safe and very effective flea and tick prevention for our pets. Our team is here to help you choose the right product for your pet’s needs.

No matter which product you select, though, consistency is vital. This means that every pet in the home should be covered every month, even through the fall and winter. 

While the temperatures may be dropping outside, most of us keep our thermostats right in flea-friendly range, which makes a hospitable environment for unwanted houseguests. And, if we are being honest, the temperatures outside in Tennessee rarely stay cold enough for a long enough stretch to risk parasites in your home. 

Successful flea and tick prevention depends on staying ahead of the problem. While it is possible to eradicate a flea infestation once started, it can be a lot of work and take some time. Prevent fleas by:

  • Using quality preventives: ​Consistent, quality prevention is key. Some products are better than others, so be sure to ask us for recommendations for your pet. 
  • Don’t stop: It is vital to administer preventives as directed, year round, without skipping months. Lapses in treatment are key opportunities for these pesky parasites to slip into your life.
  • Keep the outdoors outdoors: ​Remember that fleas probably like to hang out in the same areas that your pet does. Shady, protected areas under shrubbery or decking are common flea breeding grounds. Keeping your pet on quality flea prevention and discourage access. If your property seems to have a heavy flea burden, however, actual insecticides may be appropriate. This is best left to a pest control professional.

As the weather is cooling a bit here, remember that pet parasites are not. Together we can come up with a plan to keep your pets and home parasite free.