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Baby, It’s Mild Outside: Winter Parasites

In the hustle and bustle of the year’s end, there’s probably one thing that couldn’t be farther from your mind… parasites!

Paint a picture in your mind of your street on a picturesque December day. You likely imagine snowy sidewalks, frosty pavement, and snowflakes glimmering in the streetlights. While certainly beautiful, this chilly winter scene is likely not the reality in Southern Ontario for the majority of the month. More realistically, we get a mix of cold snaps interspersed between milder days.

On moderate days like this, you likely enjoy leaving the house in fewer layers and driving on clearer roads. Maybe you even take the kids to the park. Or maybe you take the dog for an extra-long walk while the cold isn’t so biting! Meanwhile, ticks are emerging from their dormant state and starting to look for an animal or human on which to feed. When they burrow in the skin to do so, they can transmit diseases such as Lyme Disease to the host. These diseases can be life-altering, and even fatal.

As a pet parent, you likely understand this danger and keep your furry family member on parasite prevention throughout the late spring, summer, and early fall. This is usually followed by a hiatus of several months throughout the coldest part of the year. This is because, in the past, Southern Ontario simply hasn’t had enough mild days (or ticks, for that matter) for our winters to pose much of a threat. Other parts of North America are not so lucky and must give prevention year-round.

Unfortunately, as our winters have become milder and tick migration to our area has increased, we’re starting to be more comparable to our friends south of the border. These days, if your furry family member is not on parasite prevention throughout the winter, they may not be adequately protected against tick-borne disease. This is especially true if they spend any time outdoors, but some species of ticks can thrive indoors too.

To keep parasites off your pet and out of your home, ask your veterinarian if you should consider winter parasite prevention. We may not see ticks 365 days of the year, but we certainly see ticks 12 months of the year. By taking a proactive approach to year-round parasite prevention, you ensure that your furry family member can enjoy a disease-free and happy winter in Southern Ontario.


Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com. Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.


Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

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