Image courtesy of VCA Hospitals
Happy Monday! The past few weeks we have received many questions about flea and tick control in our clinic, so the staff at Anza Animal Clinic would like to share some valuable information about the importance of flea and tick control for your pets.
When is flea season?
While many other parts of the country have designated “flea and tick seasons,” in California we have to worry about fleas and ticks year-round as a result of our mild climate. Fleas thrive in warm environments, and the optimal temperature range for fleas is between 70 and 85°F. Since temperatures in California remain within that range for most of the year, much of the flea population is able to continue to breed and infect hosts all year long.
Does my indoor pet need flea and tick prevention?
Fleas have the ability to jump extremely far and can live without a host anywhere from a few days up to two weeks. That means that they can latch onto clothing or inanimate objects from outside and be brought into your home. Fortunately, ticks are not able to jump great distances, but they are quite adept at grabbing on to passing objects through a behavior called “questing.” Ticks will climb to the top of a tall structure like a blade of grass and wait with its front legs outstretched in hopes of coming into contact with its next host. Thus, even if your pet stays strictly indoors, it is possible for them to catch fleas or ticks from an external source.
While flea and tick bites can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in both pets and humans, the most important reason pet owners should regularly utilize flea and tick control products for their pets is because flea and tick bites can spread a number of diseases. Worse yet, a number of those diseases can be transmitted zoonotically, meaning that the disease can be transmitted from animals to people. The best way to prevent the spread of such diseases is preventing flea and tick bites altogether.
At Anza Animal Clinic, we offer a number of different topical and oral flea and tick control products, several of which also can protect against intestinal parasites. Determining which product is best for your pet can be challenging, so we recommending discussing flea and tick control with your veterinarian at your pet’s next visit.