Cares center stage

Cares Center Stage: Outsmart Fleas and Ticks Year-Round

When you think of parasites that might be harming your dog – ticks, in particular – it’s natural to associate them with warm weather. While tick season used to be primarily a spring and summer issue, with a potential break by late fall depending on where you live, we now know that ticks are becoming more and more prevalent year-round. Due to warmer winters and the extended tick season, common misconceptions like “ticks aren’t active in colder months” or “I live in the city and my pet stays indoors most of the time” can help parasites catch you by surprise.

Whether you’re out at the dog park or exploring a nearby trail, the reality is that parasites are active all months of the year and have many ways of surviving the winter. Pests can burrow into warm places like tall brush and wood – allowing them to find homes in places like decks/patios, playground equipment, trash and stacks of wood.[1] Even if your pet never sets a paw outside, fleas and ticks can still make their way into the home and stay there for long periods of time. Fleas and ticks can jump onto things like moving clothing, furniture and trash, as well as other animals that may enter your backyard.

Not to mention, these parasites have long life cycles which gives them a much better chance at jumping onto pets and entering homes. For example, blacklegged ticks have an average life cycle of two years, and the most commonly found fleas on dogs have a life cycle that can last as long as 12 weeks.[2,3]  

Luckily, veterinarians can help your pet avoid fleas and ticks by prescribing a year-round parasite preventative. Here are a few reasons using one is so important for pets and the people caring for them:[4,5]

  • Parasites are dangerous and can cause disease and complications in both pets and their owners, including Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis (bacterial infections), babesiosis (a malaria-like disease), flea allergy dermatitis and anemia.
  • Pet owners often see very little direct evidence of flea infestation because the eggs are so small. Tick bites can also be hard to detect. This makes it difficult to confirm and remove pests from pets and the home once they are there.
  • Tickborne diseases can result in serious complications for humans that may require a trip to the hospital. Early action against ticks decreases your risk of experiencing symptoms such as fever, skin rashes and muscle aches.

If your pet is left unprotected, parasites can get inside the home and infect shared spaces, potentially carrying Lyme disease and other harmful illnesses. If a member of your family were to become ill from a flea or tick bite, medical appointments and extermination treatments will be necessary.

The best way to avoid these pests is to give your pet an extended duration flea and tick treatment. BRAVECTO® (fluralaner) provides 12 weeks* of continuous protection against fleas and ticks with a single dose,[6-8] lowering pet parents’ chances of forgetting a treatment. BRAVECTO® 1-MONTH (fluralaner) Chews are approved for dogs and puppies 8 weeks of age and older, and allow pet owners to start their dog on a monthly flea and tick regimen in early life to ensure there are no gaps in protection.

Protecting your pet from fleas and ticks can be simple. Be sure to talk to your vet about BRAVECTO and learn how to check your pets for signs of fleas and ticks at home.  

*BRAVECTO kills fleas and prevents flea infestations for 12 weeks. BRAVECTO Chew and BRAVECTO Topical Solution for Dogs kills ticks (black-legged tick, American dog tick, and brown dog tick) for 12 weeks and also kills lone star ticks for 8 weeks. BRAVECTO Topical Solution for Cats kills black-legged ticks for 12 weeks and American dog ticks for 8 weeks.

BRAVECTO Chews for Dogs are for dogs 6 months of age or older, and is safe for pregnant, breeding and lactating dogs. Side effects may include vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive thirst and flatulence. Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures or neurologic disorders.

BRAVECTO 1-MONTH Chews are for dogs 8 weeks of age and older. Side effects may include itching, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, elevated ALT, lethargy, and weight loss. Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures or neurologic disorders.

BRAVECTO Cares from Merck Animal Health is committed to the well-being of your pets. We’re here to help you keep your pets happy, healthy and active so you can get the most out of your time together.

BRAVECTO Cares also partners with NEADS®, an organization that trains World Class Service Dogs for people living with disabilities. You help support NEADS when you protect with BRAVECTO.

For more about NEADS, visit To make a donation, click here.

Copyright © 2020 Intervet Inc., d/b/a Merck Animal Health, a subsidiary of Merck & Co. Inc. All rights reserved.



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preventing ticks in the yard. Accessed August 2020.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How ticks spread disease. Accessed August 2020.
  3. Dryden et al. Parasites & Vectors. 2015;8:364.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preventing ticks on your pets. Accessed August 2020.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms of tickborne illness. Accessed August 2020.
  6. BRAVECTO Chew [prescribing information]. Madison, NJ: Merck Animal Health; 2014.
  7. BRAVECTO Topical Solution for Dogs [prescribing information]. Madison, NJ: Merck Animal Health; 2016.
  8. BRAVECTO Topical Solution for Cats [prescribing information]. Madison, NJ: Merck Animal Health; 2016.