Now that the weather is getting warmer, pets and pet owners spend more time outside enjoying the welcoming spring temperatures. We love to take our dogs on long walks, hikes, and 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 brings out all types of insects. April is National Heartworm Awareness Month, and preventing heartworm in your pets is essential for their health. 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 worldwide. According to The American Heartworm Society, over 1 million dogs are currently infected with heartworm. This disease spreads through the bite of an infected mosquito. When a dog is bitten, the larvae enter the bloodstream and nest themselves in 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 long and live 5-7 years in an infected animal. This can have serious health implications on your dog. 

Impacts on Health

This is an uncomfortable disease to have. If left untreated, heartworm can damage your dog’s heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys, costing your dog their life. Heartworm treatment is expensive, lengthy, uncomfortable and painful for your dog. This disease is extremely scary, expensive, and difficult to treat, but prevention is easy. The best way to protect your dog from heartworm is to block it before it happens and save yourself stress and money. 

How do I prevent Heartworm in my dog?

If you are concerned about heartworm disease in your dog, the first step is to take them 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. Your vet can prescribe your dog monthly preventive medicine if the test results are negative. Depending on the type of medication, your dog will need monthly doses of treatment that can be taken orally, topically, or injected. These medications effectively exterminate the parasite in its early 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 the American Heartworm Society online.

reventing heartworm in your pets is essential for their health.

 Are you looking for the perfect Spring Dog Sitter? 

Look no further than Top Tails! When the Spring warmth rolls in, it’s hard to ensure your pet is receiving the exercise and care they need. But with TOP TAILS Pet Sitting, you can be sure your furry friend gets the best care and attention during the day while ensuring they are happy and healthy in the Spring. When you can’t be home to do it yourself, TOP TAILS ensures your pup gets the necessary care! By hiring TOP TAILS for pet care in Philadelphia, you can 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 your pets’ needs.

If you’re interested in trying TOP TAILS Pet Sitting’s pet concierge or vacation 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 and show you what makes TOP TAILS the place for pet care Philadelphia residents trust!

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