Dog fleas like warm weather. So it stands to reason that during the cold, Winter months our dogs are at less risk of fleas, right? If you live in the northern hemisphere, Winter brings cold weather and cold weather kills fleas, simple as that - yes?
The reason why dogs can get fleas in cold weather is down to a couple of things
- The notorious resilience of dog fleas
- Central heating
The Definitive Truth About Dog Fleas And Cold Weather
Cold weather does not kill dog fleas that live in a nice, warm centrally heated home.
The sales of dog flea treatment drops during the cold months and vets believe this is because many dog owners simply do not realise that fleas are just as rampant in the winter as the summer months.
Warning: Watch The Following Video At Your Own Discretion (it contains fleas jumping in close up detail)
“It might be cold outside,” says veterinarian, Sean Wensley, “but our warm houses provide the perfect breeding ground for fleas.
"People turn up the central heating to keep their homes warm, but this means that fleas are able to thrive”
“Pet owners should take effective steps to rid their pets, and their homes, of these parasites by carrying out a regular flea treatment programme,” added Sean.
Fleas can lay thousands of eggs all around our homes.
That means wherever your dog goes in your home, if they have fleas, the fleas take that journey too and experts have suggested some homes can have as many as 20,000 flea eggs living in the carpets and warm nooks and crevices of the average centrally heated home.
Flea eggs develop in to fully adult dog fleas within just a few weeks.
Can Dog Fleas Bite Humans?
Yes. And did you know, there are some worms you can catch from your own dog too!
In simple terms, if your dog has fleas - even during the cold Winter months - there's every chance those fleas can bite you too.
Important: How often should I treat my dog for fleas?
Sean said: “A population of just one hundred fleas can increase to over ten thousand fleas within the space of just six months because of the rapid rate at which they reproduce.
Flea eggs fall off your pet wherever it goes, in particular where they sleep. So if your pet snoozes with you at night, your bed could be infested with hundreds of flea eggs.
With around 14 million cats and dogs in the UK today, most at some point in their lives will be affected by fleas.
Cold Weather Does Not Kill Dog Fleas That Live in Warm Homes
“It is vital that owners regularly use appropriate flea treatments in the correct manner” adds Sean. Cold weather alone will not kill dog fleas who have been given a chance to thrive in a warm, centrally heated home. Floors, carpets, corners - all can be a haven for dog fleas in cold weather if the house is warm.
Dog Flea Danger - Read This Warning
“Using a dog flea treatment on a cat can result in fatal poisoning, as can exceeding the recommended dosage, so always consult your vet for advice on the best flea treatment to use. Vets regularly see pets that have been treated incorrectly with flea treatments, some of whom, sadly, do not survive.”
“Remember too that treating your pet is only part of the solution as you will have to treat your home and any other pets within your household too. Everything the dog or cat comes into contact with should be treated with a product recommended by your vet, otherwise it is inevitable that the fleas will come back.”
Fleas can cause very serious health problems. They are one of the most common causes of distressing skin problems in dogs and cats and in severe cases smaller animals, particularly kittens, can die from anaemia due to blood loss from the feeding fleas.
Dog Fleas And Cold Weather: The Facts
- Dog fleas thrive in a warm environment - central heating in many homes during Winter months allows fleas to thrive.
- Dog fleas can jump 20cm high, over a metre long and will jump around 10,000 times when looking for a dog or cat host.
- Dog fleas can feed for up to three hours from one site, and can drink up to 140% of their own body weight in blood.
- Eggs, larvae and pupae can also be carried around the house on the soles of our shoes.
How To Defeat Winter / Cold Weather Dog Fleas?
Treat the cold Winter months the same as the Summer months. Once you recognise that dogs can get fleas in cold weather, you should maintain your dog's anti flea treatments in consultation with your vet the same as if it was the height of the hot Summer.
Fleas thrive when left untreated. This includes your dog and the places where your dog goes within your home. You treat your dog and you treat your home. You do this during the Winter months too.