Winter is here, and the cooler weather tends to make us let our guard down about ticks, fleas, and heartworms. Before you decide that you can skip a month on your preventatives, read these cold hard facts.

Cold Comfort. Let’s start with the good news. Mosquitoes don’t live in really cold weather. This is cold comfort, since we don’t usually have enough really cold weather to kill all fleas, and mosquitoes are still biting. In addition, heartworm larvae can take up to six months to grow to adulthood. If you stop heartworm medication in the fall, and your pet gets bitten this month, the heartworm has months to develop.

Hard Truth. Like mosquitoes, ticks also die off in really cold weather, unless they find a warm place to hang out. Their options include piles of leaves on your daily walk, or a nice warm hidden spot inside your pet’s ear.

Facts of the Matter. The fact is that we see pets with fleas all year long. Fleas have no problems at all finding warm places to live and grow…and bite.

So, don’t put your preventative meds away with the pool toys! The cold hard fact is this: The only way to keep your pet and your family safe and protected during the fall and winter is to stay diligent, no matter the weather.