Flea and tick treatment during the cold months?

I can't imagine that I really need to keep giving my dog her flea and tick prevention treatment during the winter months, but am not sure. She's indoors almost all the time during winter. Just out for short walks and when I take her to doggie day care a couple times a month. Can I stop for a few months?

Asked by Member 773116 on Nov 26th 2008 Tagged fleas, ticks, winter, cold in Flea & Tick Prevention
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If she goes to doggie daycare or is around other dogs, I would recommend keeping up with the flea and tick prevention. Dogs can get fleas in the winter - I'm not sure about ticks.

Zack answered on 11/26/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Some fleas can survive very cold environments, especially if there's a nice, warm shelter available (ie: a home). Additionally, if your dog frequents areas other dogs frequent (boarding facility, day care facility, etc.), your dog is much more susceptible to a flea infestation, no matter what time of year!

As far as the ticks go, they are even better able to handle the cold temperatures. Our peak season for ticks on the Eastern Shore seems to be between December and May. I don't know in what area of the planet you live, but I do know ticks can survive freezing temperatures.

I would highly suggest you continue your flea and tick preventative year-round. After all, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." An that's no lie!

Member 300693 answered on 11/26/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


I don't know where you live but, considering that your dog is pretty much an inside dog during the winter months, the fleas are never exposed to the extreme cold long enough to get rid of them, therefore, they're a year round pest. I know it's troublesome but, to keep your pet, and you (BOL) un-bitten by the little buggers, this is the price we have to pay. I found that I can buy the real product for a better price on Ebay. Just be careful that you check the description out carefully. I have a supplier that I have used for a long time and would be happy to give you his Ebay name if you like. Good luck to you!!

Lily answered on 11/26/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I feel it's like the heartworm medication,keep it up year round and you have no problems.I know fleas can breed right in your carpet and without the flea it takes to produce many more,and what better place to live? on your dog,it's cozy and warm there in all that fur.

Ody answered on 12/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Why don't you try to hold off as long as you can before re-medicating your dog. I do. My 3 dogs can go much more than 30 days during the winter months between medication (I use Advantage). I mark the calendar, but can usually stretch it farther. When I see they are starting to scratch, I immediately bathe them and re-medicate.

Member 656033 answered on 12/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have stopped using flea and tick products this month and probably will not start up again until late or middle spring. I have two dogs and a cat and live in South Florida where it stays warm most of the winter. I have been doing this for many years and never have had a flea or tick problem ever, ever! Don't let everyone get you concerned and worried if you don't. This is the perfect opportunity to take a break from the outrageous prices of these meds. Yes I do love my pets very much and I would never compromise their health.

Princess answered on 12/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


All these flea products are poison pure and simple and what you're exposing your dogs to is horrendous. Wonder why most of those products suggest you put on rubber gloves before putting it on your dog? Think about it. Feed a good quality raw diet, either make your own or purchase, use salmon oil for the coat. flea comb them and your animals should need minimal if no flea products at all. This is not rocket science. It's called health and fleas hate healthy skin. And yes, my 5 dogs live on the coast, cats all around, fleas are never killed off so I don't need to hear that argument. Don't keep supporting these companies who produce products that are poisoning our animals. Time to seriously wake up.

Aaron answered on 12/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Montana Mtn's Snowdrift

fleas are a year round problem as are ticks. I live in northern Florida in the Big Bend area and these little buggers will not die. I have recently been using a once a month chewable product fed with a meal (sold by weight of the dog or cat) and it begins killing the fleas within 30 minutes, and prevents infestations. It kills fleas before they can lay eggs, I saw the blacks specks on my dog's crate floor and the scratching began to stop. I have seen hair growing back where there were bald spots. Advantix can't be used on or around cats, and there have been problems with dogs. Frontline stopped working but COMFORTIS does work. I have had no bad reactions so far and no problem giving it to my dogs. I have 17 dogs as I rescue so this is a problem for me. Comfortis is not cheap , but it works. One more thing, constantly check your dog's gums to make sure they are a good pink color. Fleas cause Tape worms and they suck the blood from your dog which can kill it.

Montana Mtn's Snowdrift answered on 12/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Lil Man

Didn't know about the tick prob being worse on the east coast between Dec through May. So now we know why our dogs pickup a hitchhiker. Our chi's are definitely inside doggies but they do go for a walk everyday and each one had picked up a tick with in days of each other just a few weeks ago, So I would say keep up the flea and tick regiment, It's not a big deal and it's better than finding one of those creatures on your dog. Your doggie will thank you for your effort.:)

Lil Man answered on 12/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Abby (In Memory)

For years now, I've held off on applying Advantage/Frontline to my dogs during the fall/winter months with the thought that the weather in the Pacific Northwest was too cold for fleas to survive. Well, I found out at the vet yesterday that I was wrong. For the first time ever I have a dog with fleas. I've now switched over to Comfortis (oral medication) because it seems she's allergic to flea bites and it Comfortis works better than Frontline.

Abby (In Memory) answered on 12/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I only use flea meds when my dogs actually get fleas and start itching. The last time I used it was when we rented a house that had 10 cats who lived with the prior tenant. Or like the awful time I agreed to keep someones cat for a week. the two years ran between those two events. Before that had again been years.

I try to keep my family naturally healthy including my pets.

I want to let you know I went two years without ever using any flea meds, and without fleas in my house and my dogs go with me all the time. My husband is very sensitive to the bits so he would be putting up a stink along with my dogs if we had them. A couple months ago I took my lab Texas to visit an old friend for the weekend and he came home itchy so we bathed him as soon as we noticed and that was the end of that. We feed a good food, run the vaccum, and bath with dog shampoo 1-2 times a year. -we live in Oregon-

Texas answered on 12/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


No it is just as important in the wintertime as it is the summertime, especially in warmer areas. Cold kills fleas, but not the eggs, especially those that are nestled next to your dog's warm skin. The cold merely makes them go into stasis-kind of like hibernation-until the temp is right for them to hatch. Nothing better than a nice warm house to make them hatch! Same with ticks-cold kills them but not the eggs or whatever you call them.

Dexter answered on 12/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

Claudia MONET The Deutschess

You wouldn't stop any of your own medication because of the cost or for any other reason, so why compromise your pet? If it is a matter of cost, go to the local ASPCA and they have programs to help. Just as with spaying - I received a certificate for $25 discount simply by asking.

Claudia MONET The Deutschess answered on 12/3/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Ashley (RIP 3/15/99 - 10/22/12

I discontinue using Frontline around November each year and start again in the Spring, around Aprilish when the weather starts to turn warm again. I feel that if you do NOT have fleas in your home, there is no need to continue the medication during the winter. I've lived in Southern California for many years and just moved to Oregon. I've followed the above for many, many years and have never gotten fleas on my dogs. To my knowledge, a frost kills fleas.

Ashley (RIP 3/15/99 - 10/22/12 answered on 12/4/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Flea and tick prevention is important, but for the safety of your pet, please remember that the poison put in the flea and tick collars, as well as the tick prevention shots, goes directly into your best friend's blood. If it is going to kill the ticks, it probably isn't good for your dog.

Fleas are normally attracted to the same species. For example, fleas on a prairie dog will seldom jump from a prairie dog to your canine companion. If this does happen, then you should address the issue.

Ticks are a major problem where I live. There are millions of them near the river where I take my pup.

However, we do not, and will not, subject our child to the poisons that the tick collars or shots have in them.

Instead, we comb him or brush him soon after our return, and remove the parasites from his coat.

Frequent inspections are also required, but the end result is a healthy canine friend who will live a fuller life than that of one doped up on medication.

Member 760938 answered on 12/5/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Your best bet is to continue year-round. I can guarantee you, those who are suggesting you stop for a particular period of time either 1) don't do so but find it to be theoretically sound and/or 2) will be complaining about flea problems come spring-time!

There is no such thing as a "shot" for prevention of ticks. The only tick preventatives are topical or in the form of a collar. If ticks are a huge problem where you live, and the topical you are currently using seems to be effective, stick with it. If ticks are not a problem, then go with a product for fleas only!

Additionally, keep in mind that your TOPICAL flea and tick preventatives (frontline plus, advantix, etc.) ARE NOT absorbed into the bloodstream. They are absorbed into the fatty layer of the skin and the hair follicles. Not the blood stream.

Continue with your preventative if you live in an area where such pests are a concern.

Member 558242 answered on 12/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I just found a new product at the Global Pet Expo. It is called Shoo!TAG. It is a "green" proudct. This small tag you hang on the collar uses eletromagnectic frequencies to repell fleas and ticks on dogs and cats. It has no chemicals and they say it lasts up to 4 months. No mess and inexpensive! This was the buzz product there and they won best product awards. It sounds fantastic -a good safe alternative. I hate putting chemicals on my pets!

Member 807150 answered on 2/21/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Holly Belle

I haven't treated either of my two indoor cats since the fall, and have yet to give Holly Belle any flea/tick meds, although I knew the time was approaching as the weather is getting to be really nice here in No. California. I waited too long - my 12 year old son is now covered with flea bites and I feel horrible. Have only found one flea on Holly, none on the cats - they always prefer my sweet son Stephen... and he is obviously even MORE important to me than the furbabies. Was certainly not worth the monetary savings to have Stephen with scabs all over from itching his flea bites... BAD MOM! I've learned the hard way...

Holly Belle answered on 3/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I thought the same thing, and wanted to stop during the winter. But 2 of my 6 pups got ticks one warm day in February. The ticks continue to live through the winter and once you stop the treatment for a few months it takes a while to get a blood level back up in the dog, leaving them unprotected. I learned my lesson and will continue treatment year round.

Maxine answered on 4/29/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer