Can a Dog Get Fleas in the Winter?

The short answer is, unfortunately, yes! But don’t stop reading yet. In today’s blog, we’ll explore the reasons for fleas hanging around in winter, what you can do to protect your pet (and the rest of your household), and the importance of keeping your dog protected all year round from fleas and other pests. At Sagamore Animal Hospital in Rye, NH, we are always looking to bring you new and interesting topics revolving around keeping your pet healthy. If you have further questions about pet parasites or need an appointment, just give us a call today at  (603) 431-8785!

dog get fleas in winter in rye, nh

Understanding Fleas in Winter: Conditions that Lead to Infestations

Fleas are not just a summer problem. Many pet owners might think that fleas die off in cold weather, but that’s not entirely true (but we wish it was). These resilient parasites can survive in various environments, including during the colder months of winter. The main condition that allows fleas to thrive during winter is a warm and humid environment. Inside our homes, where the heating is on, fleas can find the perfect breeding ground. They can live in your carpets, bedding, and furniture, waiting for a chance to hop onto your pet.

Indoor Warmth: A Flea Haven

Your cozy home provides the ideal temperature for fleas to survive during winter. They prefer temperatures of 70-85°F and high humidity levels, which are conditions often found indoors during the winter months.

How High is My Dog’s Risk of a Winter Flea Infestation?

While fleas are less active outside during the winter, the risk of your dog getting fleas during this time is still significant, especially if they interact with other animals who may be carrying fleas. Avoid play dates with dogs if you are unsure about their flea-protection status, and contact area boarding facilities to ask about their parasite-prevention policy before making a reservation for your pet. But other animals are not the only flea carriers; humans can carry them around on their clothing, too!

Flea infestations are certainly annoying for everyone who experiences them, but they can also potentially lead to several health issues for your dog, including flea allergy dermatitis, tapeworms, and in severe cases, anemia. This is why it’s essential to be vigilant and protect your pet from these parasites all year round.

The Tenacity of Fleas: Why Do They Stick Around?

Fleas are incredibly hardy pests. Their life cycle allows them to survive in various stages – egg, larva, pupa, and adult – throughout the year. The pupa stage is especially important, as this is when the flea larvae are protected inside a virtually indestructible cocoon. This resilience makes it essential to maintain flea prevention for your dog all year round. Regular flea treatments, prescribed by your veterinarian, are the best way to protect your dog from fleas and their potential health risks.

Effective Strategies for Flea Prevention

While it’s vital to consult with your veterinarian for the best flea prevention strategy for your dog, there are also additional general practices that can help. These include regular bathing and grooming, maintaining a clean home environment, and using veterinarian-recommended flea prevention products. Consistency in these practices is key to keeping your dog (and your home) flea-free throughout the year. 

Have More Questions About Fleas and Your Pet?

We hope this information has helped you gain a better understanding of the risks of fleas in winter and the importance of year-round protection for your pet. For any concerns about flea prevention or to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Sagamore Animal Hospital in Rye, NH, at (603) 431-8785.

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We're proud to have many long-time staff members at our hospital who get along like family and treat their patients and clients the same. The compassion and commitment of our veterinarians and staff make our team a reliable, trusted partner for you and your pet.