How to Prevent Heartworms in Your Pet

How to Prevent Heartworms in Your Pet

How to Prevent Heartworms in Your Pet

How to Prevent Heartworms in Your Pet

How to Prevent Heartworms in Your Pet


How to Prevent Heartworms in Your Pet

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal ailment that affects pets, specifically dogs, cats, and ferrets. It is caused by a parasitic worm transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.

While heartworm disease is treatable, it can be expensive and cause long-term health problems for your pet. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent heartworms in your pet.


Get Your Pet Tested for Heartworms Regularly


Heartworm testing is a simple blood test. The American Heartworm Society recommends that all dogs be tested for heartworms once a year, even if they are on preventative medication. Testing is crucial because it allows you to catch heartworms early when treatment is most effective and affordable.


You can have your dogs tested for the disease when they reach seven months of age. The test is crucial not just in knowing whether your dog has the parasite, but also to know whether the animal can be given any preventative medicines. It is vital for the dog not to have the parasite when giving them any medication. If they are already infected, the medicine may do more harm than good.


Give Your Pet Monthly Heartworm Preventative Medication


There is a variety of heartworm-preventative medications available. They come in the form of pills, topical treatments, and injectables. These medications work by killing immature heartworms before they have a chance to become adults.


Oral and topical products are given monthly, while injectables are administered every six months. It is crucial to give your pet the medication on schedule and not miss any doses to ensure optimum protection.


Prevent Mosquitoes from Entering Your House


Heartworm-preventative medication is effective. But it is also a good idea to reduce your pet's exposure to mosquitoes. You can do this by keeping your pets indoors during mosquito season, especially at dawn or dusk when the bugs are active. Installing screens on windows and doors may also prevent mosquitoes from entering your place.


Keep Your Pet’s Environment Clean


The only way to get heartworm is to be bitten by an infected mosquito. Mosquitos breed in stagnant water, which could be found on containers outdoors, flowerpots, and rain gutters. Keeping these areas clean will prevent mosquitoes from breeding. So your pet is less likely to be bitten by mosquitoes and acquire the disease.


Talk to Your Veterinarian About Preventative Options


Your veterinarian is the best source of information regarding preventing heartworms in your pet. They can recommend the best preventative medicine for your pet's specific needs. They can also guide you on how to reduce your pet's risk of exposure to mosquitoes.




Preventing heartworms in your pet requires a multi-faceted approach. You cannot prevent the disease with a single step. You must have your dog tested for the disease regularly, keep your pet’s preventative medication on schedule, and keep your place clean to reduce mosquitoes around.


While heartworm prevention requires time, effort, and commitment, it is much cheaper and safer for your pets than the treatment of the disease. You can also be sure your pet will stay healthy and happy for many years.

For more on the ways to prevent heartworm disease, contact Bergen County Veterinary Center. You can visit us at our office in Waldwick, New Jersey, or call 201-205-2500 to book an appointment today.