• Spring is the ideal time to catch up on heartworm prevention
      Spring is the ideal time to catch up on heartworm prevention.
      Spring is the ideal time to catch up on heartworm prevention
      March 19, 2013

      With spring on the horizon, many pet parents will be fine-tuning their pest management systems in preparation for the impact of flea season, but one outdoor parasite you shouldn't overlook is heartworm. According to the American Heartworm Society, dogs are considered the primary host for these parasites that are carried by mosquitoes who implant heartworm larvae into the dog's body. Unless a dog has been administered a heartworm preventative, the larvae will eventually grow and will take safe harbor in your dog's heart, lungs and blood vessels. If it's not kept in check, heartworm could be fatal, so it's vital that you take the appropriate steps to protect your dog in the coming season. Here are a few ways to get started.

      Make a spring wellness appointment
      Visiting your vet in the late winter and early spring is a great chance to get a series of health concerns out of the way and go over any potential issues that your dog has been exhibiting. Additionally, this is the perfect opportunity for you and your vet to go over the many heartworm prevention options you have available to you. According to Dog Channel, this is most typically a pill or tablet that is given each month to stunt the growth of heartworm larvae so they never get to a full-grown stage where they can negatively affect your dog's health.

      Flea and tick prevention
      Using traditional flea and tick treatments like topical drops can also work wonders to protect your dog against heartworm infestation. Hartz® UltraGuard Pro® Flea & Tick Treatment for Dogs and Puppies will not only protect your dog against fleas and ticks at any stage of their life cycles, but it will also repel mosquitoes for up to 30 days after application. Because mosquitoes are the primary means of spreading heartworm, taking this extra step to protect your dog can dramatically decrease his or her chances of contracting the parasite.

      Practice mosquito prevention
      Limiting your dog's exposure to mosquitoes is also a major consideration when preventing heartworm, so start by removing any open containers with rainwater that could become breeding grounds for the insects. In addition, consider altering your dog walking schedule to avoid the early morning and evening when mosquitoes are out in full force. A few subtle changes like these could make a major difference in reducing your dog's chances of developing heartworm.

      This content is provided by the flea and tick experts at Hartz. We believe in offering safe, effective and affordable parasite prevention for every dog and cat.