Most people who live with Dogs now know the importance of heartworm disease prevention. This means that a heartworm medicine needs to be picked, and boy can it get complicated! The problem for many people is simply the wealth of choice that is now available. The more choice, the harder the decision and the more complicated it can get!
But it is important that we do pick a medication, and it is very important that we then use it every month of the year that there is even a slight risk of our pets being bitten by an infected mosquito.
In this article I want to run through the most popular options currently available, tell you exactly what they will protect against, and, finally, offer my suggestion on what may be best to use. Bearing in mind your budget and the level of protection you require.
Before any animal is given a heartworm medicine they must first be tested by a Vet for the presence of heartworm disease. Once they are given the all clear, then it is safe to give them one of the many heartworm medications discussed below.
Topical solutions are medications that are applied externally, and directly to the skin. Many people prefer this type of application as it is easy, we can be sure our pets have had the full monthly dose, and they also protect against other common Dog issues.
Advantage Multi is one of the most popular options. Not only will this prevent heartworm disease but it actually does all of the following:
- Prevents heartworm disease
- Kills adult fleas and treats flea infestations
- Treats for lice
- Treats for mange
- Treats and controls hookworms, roundworms and whipworms
The other popular topical solution option is Revolution for Dogs. These two medications are what Vets recommend if you want to use an external heartworm medication. Revolution does the following:
- Prevents heartworm disease
- Kills adult Fleas and stops flea eggs hatching
- Controls and treats ear mite infections
- Effectively deal with ticks
- Treats for sarcoptic mange
Out of these two options Advantage Multi is the better seller, not surprising as it deals with fleas, lice, mange and common intestinal worms too.
Pills come in two basic forms for Dogs. Regular pills and tasty chewables. There is no surprise that the chewables are much more popular than any other option. They make medicating so simple. They are given from the hand, and Dogs love the meaty flavor. Let’s look at the most popular option first.
Available in regular or Plus form, Heartgard chewables are the number one, bestselling heartworm medication for Dogs. The regular option will prevent heartworm disease and the Plus will do the following:
- Treat and control roundworms
- Treat and control hookworms
- Prevent heartworm disease
Trifexis is less well known than some options, which is surprising as it is one of the most comprehensive there is. It will do all the following, with a simple tasty monthly pill:
- Guards against heartworm disease
- Kills fleas
- Treats and controls adult hookworms
- Treats for roundworms
- Treats for whipworms
If you do decide to buy Trifexis then you are picking a pill that gives more protection than any other currently on the market. It can replace not only any other heartworm medicine, but also common intestinal wormers, as well as flea medications too.
Interceptor is the other popular pill that owners use. Again it is a nice tasty tablet, so medicating is never going to be an issue. Given once monthly all through the year it protects against the following:
- Heartworm disease
There are other medications available as well, but the above are the most popular, and most widely available.
It bears some serious consideration before you begin a course of treatment. Many people rush into these things only to find they could have used either a cheaper option, or were unaware that some options guard against other common parasites as well.
If you know that intestinal worms are a problem then choose accordingly. If you have to deal with fleas on a regular basis then it is certainly a lot more cost-effective to use a medication that will also kill fleas and guard against re-infestations.
Whatever medication you do decide to use then be aware that the American Heartworm society recommends that Dogs be given the medication every month of the year for total protection. They have more information for Dog owners on this page.
Simple Safety Precautions
Never forget that these medications need to be used safely. That means always following the guidelines on the packet, never using more than once monthly, and not combining with other medications that offer similar protection.
They should also be stored safely and well away from children and animals. This is especially the case for the chewable tablets. They are appealing to Dogs in the extreme, and children may mistake them for a treat too. So keep well out of reach and stored away safely.
With heartworm disease cases on the rise the main thing is that all Dog owners should really consider using one of the medications discussed above, to ensure the safety of their pet. These are not expensive treatments to buy, the monthly cost is totally negligible. If you do really struggle to afford them, maybe if you have to treat multiple animals each month, then don’t forget that for some of the most popular options there are generic versions.
Generics are just as safe, and certainly just as effective. The main difference is simply that they are not under the branded name and will be sent in much plainer packaging. We are not concerned about packaging though, the safety of the animals we love and live with is our main concern, right?
Karen runs the pet meds Website Tato Chip, along with her two beloved animals Tato the Cat and Chip the Dog. The animals love nothing more than hunting out low prices for pets meds and providing a wealth of information about popular pet medications.