Protect your pets from fleas year round. Fleas enjoy temperate weather with high humidity, so we often notice fleas most often in the summer. But once the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, we feel at ease and see fleas a lot less often. But just because fleas are back in hiding doesn’t mean they’re gone. Fleas reproduce year-round, especially in southern climates where even the winters are hot and humid. They say “out of sight, out of mind", so it’s no surprise pet owners let up on flea medication during the winter seasons. But in actuality, even when your pet is infested, only 1% of fleas are actually seen by pet owners. In fact, during the winter months, fleas are more likely to take shelter indoors where it’s warm.
Prevention vs. Treatment
Many pet owners opt to use flea and tick medications only after the infestation occurs. They believe this will save them money they don’t need to spend on using repellents, like K9 Advantix or Frontline Plus. But sometimes preventing the problem will save you from a sudden and excessively large cost. Fleas can be on your pet without your knowledge in egg or larval states.
If your pet does happen to get infested then you can face quite the financial burden. Flea infestations can often spread throughout a home and it can be costly to remove them from an infested area. Additionally, these fleas can transmit diseases to you or your pets that can be costly to treat. Aside from the costs, it can be a great deal of effort to have to treat fleas after the fact, combing through fur and checking furniture to ensure that the infestation has been totally eradicated.
Treatment is still an option for risk takers, but we can only see what kind of risk they’re taking if we compare the efficacy of flea repellants with a lack of treatment. Although it depends on the ingredients of your medication, studies have shown that flea medication with permethrin and imidacloprid, like K9 Advantix, are 98.43% effective over the 30 day period for which typical flea medicines encourage between reapplications.
This means that If before applying medicine, your pet had a measly 10% percent chance of infestation this winter. Without adjusting the percentage of the medication, you are 5 times more likely to suffer from an infection if you stop using flea medications to protect your pet. In actuality, the risk is much greater than that, as 98.43% effective assumes an environment where pets are subject to fleas. If the winter does drop the risk to 10%, it would make more sense to make the comparison of 10% to 0.02%. That’s a heck of a gamble, if you ask me.
The two leading brands of flea repellent are K9 Advantix and Frontline Plus. Both have a more than 95% efficacy rate when it comes to preventing fleas and ticks. However, their key ingredients vary and only Frontline Plus offers a formula that is safe to use on cats. The key difference between the medications is that K9 Advantix uses the permethrin and imidacloprid combination to kill and repel fleas, whereas Frontline Plus uses fipronil and s-methoprene.
If you are a dog owner, you have two excellent choices of flea medications with different strengths. For more information, you can look at this buyer’s guide and this ingredient guide.