As vacations and summer travel come to an end, so do a lot of outdoor activities like going to the beach or lake with your dog. But with cooler weather comes new activities to enjoy with your best friend like hiking, hunting and biking.
Unfortunately, we sometimes forget that summer pests and diseases continue and may even increase through autumn and winter.Changing climates, urbanization of rural areas, suburban and rural residences all result in regional and local microclimates, sometimes limited to our own neighborhood.
One of the biggest continuing risks in autumn is vector borne disease. Mosquitoes can be an ongoing pest and health hazard and can expose our dogs to heartworms and us to more exotic diseases such as Dengue Fever, West Nile virus and the latest risk of Chikungunya virus (often called Chick-v).
The only disease that we know to be a risk to our dogs is heartworm disease. However, the same mosquitoes that transmit heartworms also transmit these other diseases to humans. Aggressive mosquitoe control is important to protect our dogs and people.
Flea and tick risks
While most people consider summer to be flea and tick season, in some parts of the country autumn can be one of the worst times for exposure. Don’t let up on flea control just because the weather gets colder! A relatively small population of fleas can explode into a major infestation at the first warm spell. Fleas are always present in rodents and wildlife, which may look for warmer environments in your attic, crawl space or garage. The best approach is to assume there are always fleas present and administer flea control as directed all year round.