As a pet parent, you probably heard a lot about heartworm disease. Even though this disease is one of the most preventable, its infection rate has been on the rise. Giving your dog his/her monthly medication may not simply be enough, there are other ways to help prevent heartworm disease. But as you take further steps toward prevention, don’t fall for one of these six mistakes.

1. Not getting a yearly heartworm test

You may want to opt for discount heartworm medication, but giving your dog just any medication may not suffice. You should always consult with your veterinarian before giving your pet medication. A check up where blood can be tested for heartworms should be done annually before you begin the medication.

2. Restricting treatment to seasonal doses opposed to treating year round

Even though you may believe spring and summer are likely for infection, you should not leave your pet vulnerable during the other seasons. Most prevention works by eliminating an infection contracted the month prior, so pets that are not protected throughout the fall and winter are especially at risk.

3. Not paying attention to your dog’s weight gain or loss

Your dog’s heartworm medication dosage is based on weight. Weight can fluctuate in growing dogs. Your dog’s weight should be carefully monitored to ensure proper dosage is administered.

4. Not being aware of all treatment options

There are both topical and oral options for treatment available for heartworm prevention, so if a pet doesn’t tolerate one product, it doesn’t mean that an owner should forego prevention entirely. There are many different products available on the market, you should always discuss options with your vet. It is also important to know that flea and tick medication should not be given in place of heartworm medication.  

5. Not giving preventative treatment to indoor pets

Your dog may be an inside dog, but that doesn’t mean he’s protected from heartworm disease. Most likely, your dog spends a portion of his/her time outside, whether it’s going for walks or go to the bathroom or a trip to the vet.

6. Giving doses late, missing doses, or not knowing what doses to give every month

One of the biggest mistakes pet parents make is missing their administering date. Much of the medication out there requires administering the dosage every four weeks. But missing the date may allow for the heartworms to grow.