Adult Golden Retriever Scratching fleasMany pet owners (and people in general) love cooler temps since all the itchy, bitey, crawly things seem to be less of a problem in the fall and winter. Unfortunately, while we may not see or experience them as frequently, harmful pet parasites remain a problem during the winter months as well.

Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes: Not Just a Seasonal Problem

As a pet owner, it’s important to know that pests remain active throughout the year. Check out some of these surprising facts:

  • Mosquitoes can survive in temperatures as low as 50 degrees.
  • Ticks are only dormant when it drops below freezing for extended periods of time (think: weeks!).
  • During colder months, black-legged ticks (the same ones that carry Lyme disease) continue laying eggs and multiplying as they feed off warm-blooded hosts.
  • Fleas are a concern year-round. They can lay up to 50 eggs a day, causing skin problems for your pet and can lead to an infestation of your home.
  • It only takes one mosquito bite to infect your fur friend with heartworm disease. At Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center, we strongly recommend playing it safe by maintaining prevention efforts, even in the winter.

Don’t Take Any Chances With Harmful Pet Parasites

While humans certainly find these parasites annoying, the problems they can cause among pets are even more severe. Fleas and ticks can transmit the following diseases to our beloved fur friends:

  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Lyme disease
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Tularemia
  • Plague
  • Internal parasites (e.g., tapeworms)

Living in a relatively warm region, it’s not hard to see why parasites are problematic in our area. However, even colder regions are experiencing much warmer winters, making it possible for harmful pet parasites to thrive throughout the year.

That’s why the best approach to keeping your pet safe is to maintain proper wellness care and year-round prescription preventives. We also recommend annual screenings for internal parasites and heartworm.

To learn more about harmful pet parasites and how to protect your pet, please call the team at Long Animal Hospital.