Can Dogs Get Fleas in the Winter?
A good snowstorm is a perfect opportunity for you to cuddle with your favorite furry friend. The problem is that you aren’t the only one who wants to get closer to your dog during the winter.
While the winter weather drives plenty of pests away, fleas are one nuisance that doesn’t always disappear with the falling snow. Keep reading to learn how fleas can remain active during the winter months and what it means for your best friends.
Do Fleas Die in the Winter?
Flea populations definitely thrive during the warm weather, which is why flea and tick season can span from early spring to late fall for most places in the United States. Regions with winter weather typically will see a dip in flea activity, but these bugs are still quite resourceful when it comes to cold season.
Can fleas survive in the cold? No, they can’t. Fleas at all stages of their life cycle – eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults – will die if exposed to freezing or near-freezing temperatures for too long according to PetMD. The problem is that while sudden freezing temperatures and snow will kill off other bugs, fleas find ways to survive.
Fleas end up avoiding the freezing cold by finding places like wild animal dens, barns, and even spaces under your own home to nest during the winter. These spaces are warm and humid enough for adult fleas to not only survive, but also lay eggs that will grow in peace until they’re ready to hatch in warmer weather.
How Does My Dog Get Fleas in the Winter?
Fleas find your dog in the winter the same way that they do in the summer – they jump. Fleas can leap as far as 13 inches, which is roughly 200 times their own body length. If your dog gets close enough to these pests, there’s a good chance that they’ll find a way into your pup’s fur.
When it’s cold out, your dog’s coat is an ideal place for these pests. All it takes is for your dog to venture too close to a potential flea hideout and these nasty insects may relocate to your furry friend. From there, you’ll have to deal with the usual problems – itchy bites, flea eggs, and the potential for future flea infestations.
Do Dogs Need Flea and Tick Medicine in the Winter?
If you want to protect your best friend from these pests all year round, it’s best not to skip any treatments during the winter months. If you aren’t using any flea and tick prevention products, talk to your veterinarian about potential flea treatments that they think would help kill fleas and protect your dog whether it’s winter or not.
Medication isn’t the only key to flea prevention. Regular grooming and a high-quality diet also play notable parts in defending your dogs against these pests. Brushing and bathing can help rid your dog’s coat of any fleas before they have a chance to do too much damage and lay eggs.
Meanwhile, feeding your dog kibble with plenty of protein and essential fatty acids, like omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, can help your dog develop healthier skin and fur. That nutrition will help protect your pooch in the cold season, especially if your dog starts shedding more in the winter because of the dry air and cold winds.
How Else Can I Protect My Dogs from Fleas in the Winter?
Prevention can go a long way, but there’s always a chance that fleas can become a problem. Make sure to keep an eye out for any signs that you need to treat your dog for fleas. You can read our post on flea and tick prevention to learn more about warning signs and how you can support your dog.
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