Heartworm in pets is a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. The larvae are passed into the dog’s bloodstream where they then travel to the heart, causing serious harm to your pet. Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or a veteran in the field, here are just a few ways you can help protect your pet from heartworm every year.

Heartworm preventative medication

This one may seem obvious, but it’s often the most effective and underused way to prevent heartworm in pets. There are tons of different kinds of preventative products you can use on your dog. The products can be administered topically or orally, and using prevention medication is much more cost-effective than it would be to take a dog to emergency animal hospitals once they get diagnosed with heartworms. Taking the time to invest in preventative medication could very well mean all the difference in your pet’s life.

Regular visits to the veterinarian

Make sure you are regularly taking your pets to the veterinarian. You need to bring them in for vaccines every three to four weeks until they’re 16a weeks old, and then once-a-year annual checkups are recommended after that. Routine heartworm tests are essential to making sure your dog is safe and healthy. While any animal hospital in Tucson can screen for heartworms, treatment after heartworm is contracted is a different story. Make sure you’re invested in your pet’s health.

Repel bugs in your home and your yard

Mosquitoes are one of the biggest offenders when it comes to spreading heartworm to your pets, so you want to make sure you repel them when you can. Get rid of any stagnant water you have around the house and the yard. You can also spray insecticide around your yard, as long as it’s a pet-friendly one. Finally, burning citronella candles really helps keep the bugs away too. Remember: it only takes one mosquito carrying heartworm to infect your beloved four-legged friend. Are you willing to take that risk?

Add garlic to your pet’s diet

This may sound strange, but garlic can actually help prevent heartworm. Feed your dog one clove of fresh garlic for every 10 pounds of body weight every day. You can even crush up the garlic and add it to their food. As long as you don’t exceed seven cloves of garlic per day, this natural prevention trick should not harm your pets. That being said, it’s also important to consult your veterinarian before you make any dietary changes for your four-legged friend.

Your family veterinarian is here to help protect your pets from heartworm. Make sure you give them a preventative treatment, take regular visits to the veterinarian, and keep the bugs away at home. You can even try adding garlic to their diet to prevent heartworm too. You don’t need to wait for an emergency to become familiar with our veterinary services. Get the best care you can find for all of your pet’s health needs. We are more than just an animal hospital. Call your family veterinarian for more information about routine check-ups.