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How to Prevent Heartworm Disease for Your Dog

How to Prevent Heartworm Disease for Your Dog

The sun is finally starting to shine brighter and the temperatures are rising. Our dogs are wagging their tails a bit more often because the outdoors feel great on their shiny coats compared to the cold of winter. April is Heartworm Awareness Month. With Spring in full swing, it’s a good time to talk about this mosquito-borne disease, since prevention is the best medicine.

 So first let’s understand exactly what heartworm disease is and then we will take a look at a few prevention options.


What is Heartworm Disease?

According to the American Heartworm Society, “Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body.” Heartworm disease affects many different types of mammals, as they are the main host for heartworm insects to live and mate, and can even infect humans, in rare cases. Under the right conditions, mosquitos transmit the disease between infected animals.

Heartworm Prevention Techniques

Talk to your veterinarian to see which heartworm prevention technique is best for you and your pup. Medication is one way to help your dog stay heartworm free. The medications work each month by eliminating immature stages of the heartworm parasite. Types include:


Type of Prevention


Oral medication (pill)


Injectable Medication (shot)

Every 6 months


Why it’s Important

If your pup experiences any warning signs, contact your vet and seek medical attention for your dog right away. There may be few to no symptoms for a while, but over an extended period of time signs can include:

  • Mild persistent cough
  • Fatigue after moderate activity
  • Unwillingness to exercise
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite

This disease can cause serious harm; the longer it has affected your pup. So do what it takes to stop heartworm disease from the start. Talk with your veterinarian about how to best manage heartworm in your area of the country. Keeping your furry friend happy and healthy is the key to a smiling face and adorable puppy dog eyes! 

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How do you keep your pup safe from Heartworm? Share your experiences with us in the comments!

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