Pests Still Pose Threat in Winter

Cover of Snow Offers No Protection From Pests for Dogs

Fleas, ticks and other pests seem to be year-round tormentors of dogs, some veterinarians say.

Snow may be covering the ground, but dog owners must still be vigilant about pest control, says veterinarian Michael Dryden, of Kansas State University, in an article on the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) website.

“Due to changing climatic conditions, flea and tick ‘seasonality’ also is changing,” Dryden says. “Experience over the past 10 years shows every year has the potential to differ from the previous year.”

CAPC recommends year-round treatments to ward off fleas, ticks, and heartworms.

It’s vital to be “proactive, not reactive” in dealing with these pests, veterinarian Kathleen Heaney, of Merck Animal Health, says. Merck has introduced a novel topical treatment, Activyl, containing a chemical turned on by an enzyme in the flea’s gut.

Other manufacturers offer ways to make the monthly chore easier, such as the Hartz UltraGuard Pro Flea and Tick treatment, which features an applicator designed to get the product to the right spot, no matter how long the coat or wiggly the dog, says veterinarian Georgette Wilson, Hartz Mountain’s director of scientific and medical affairs.

For more information on pest control, visit capcvet.org.