Now that the weather is getting warmer, pets and pet owners alike tend to spend more time outside enjoying the welcoming spring temperatures. We love to take our dogs on long “walkies,” and maybe even to their favorite dog park, but we’re not the only ones who come out of hibernation during these warm months. This time of the year is beginning to bring out all types of insects. With this in mind, it is imperative to ask: are you protecting your dog from the dangers of heartworm? April is National Heartworm Awareness Month. Here’s what you need to know about this disease and how to prevent your four-legged family members from contracting it!

What is Heartworm? 

Heartworm is a potentially fatal, parasitic disease that infects pets everywhere around the world.. According to The American Heartworm Society, over 1 million dogs are currently infected with heartworm. This disease is spread through the bite of a mosquito and has been reported the have affected animals in every state in the US. When a dog is bitten by an infected mosquito, the larvae enter the bloodstream and nest themselves into the heart, lungs, and other surrounding blood vessels. It is here that they mature into adult worms and begin to reproduce. Adult worms can reach up to 12 inches in length and are able to live 5-7 years in an infected animal.

If left untreated, heartworm can lead to damage of your dog’s heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and essentially cost your dog his/her life. Although this disease is extremely scary, expensive, and difficult to treat, prevention is easy. The best way to protect your dog from heartworm is to block it before it happens.

How do I prevent Heartworm in my dog?

If you are concerned about heartworm disease in your dog, the first step is to take him/her to the vet for a heartworm test. This is important because if your pet is already infected and begins preventative treatments, it can cause great harm or even death. If the test results are negative, your vet can prescribe your dog monthly preventative medicine. Depending on the type of medication, your dog will need monthly doses of medicine that can be taken orally, topically, or can be injected. These medicines work by effectively exterminating the parasite in its premature, larval stage. The best way to keep your pup safe and halt the chance of heartworm is to be consistent with monthly preventative treatments. For more information about heartworm disease, protection, and prevention, please visit American Heartworm Society online.

 

Looking for the perfect Spring Dog Walker? Look no further than Top Tails!

When the Spring warmth rolls in, it’s hard to make sure that your pet is receiving the exercise and care that they need. But with TOP TAILS® Dog Walking & Pet Sitting, you can be sure that your furry friend is getting the best care and attention during the day, while also ensuring that they are happy and healthy in the Spring. When you can’t be home to do it yourself, TOP TAILS® makes sure that your pup gets the regular exercise and proper care they need! By hiring TOP TAILS® for pet care in Philadelphia, you’ll be able to rest assured that your dog, cat or small animal is in good hands while you’re away. You can always trust that our team members will provide your furry family members with the best care because they are trained and experienced in meeting all of your pets’ needs.

If you’re interested in trying out TOP TAILS® Dog Walking & Pet Sitting’s pet concierge, vacation, or dog walking services, visit our website now or call 215-508-1903 to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable Philadelphia pet care providers. We can answer any questions you have and show you what makes TOP TAILS® the place for pet care Philadelphia residents trust!

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