Heartgard best for heartworm protection
Hopefully you read my post on the merits of Frontline Plus and how to save a few dollars in the process. Ok, now a word on heartworm preventative…
If you live anywhere where there aren’t hard, killing frosts, you have no business stopping your heartworm preventative! Let me repeat: Treat your pet every singe month with a heartworm preventative if you live anywhere where some plants can survive all winter. Here in Illinois everything dies back or goes dormant for at least three months of the year: December, January, and February and these are the months that I stop heartworm treating my dogs. But this is the first time every that I did not treat for the full 12 months. Again, the reason I stopped was to try to save some money and it felt safe to me. But heartworm is a NASTY parasite and it will kill your dog. Don’t mess around. Prevention is easy but not all products are created equal.
I have been treating my pets (Cleo the cat and all my dogs) for the past 20 some years with Heartgard. The dogs LOVE the meaty chew and even our nearly 15 year old gobbles it up. It is never difficult to get the medication into the dogs. But you have to have your vet’s prescription to purchase the medication so I always just bought it from my vet. However, last year I tried two things. First I shopped online and found that the same products were slightly cheaper on PetMeds.com than at my vet. Second, I tried Interceptor. Shopping at PetMeds was a GOOD idea, switching products was not. See, I like Heartgard because it is easy to get the correct dose into my dogs and that dose covers other parasites as well; parasites like round worm and others. Interceptor says it covers other parasites too but the product comes in a hard tablet form and my dogs either swallowed it whole (the package said they were supposed to chew it for it to be effective) or refused to eat it. So I was forced to either jam it down their throats (which I did one month) or grind it up and mix it with some wet food – which was WAY more hassle than I wanted.
Not only was getting the med into my dogs a pain, but it seems that the product didn’t work well. None of my dogs has contracted heartworm, but when we had a foster dog who was really sick I decided to worm all my dogs after she had left, just to make sure they were clean. I used Panacur (also purchased through PetMeds.com) and after the treatment found a large roundworm in one of my dogs stool…a parasite supposedly covered by Interceptor! Needless to say I no longer felt confident using that medication to treat my dogs and switched back to Heartgard. Now, I do admit that the reason was likely due to my administration errors – either the dog swallowing the entire tablet or me grinding it and missing some of the resulting powder. I do not want to suggest that the product doesn’t do what it says it does. But I am saying that the hard tablet administration method didn’t work with any of my four dogs and so there is a strong chance it won’t be easy to administer with your dog either. I’d go with Heartgard.
So, remember, spring means that the little bugs, parasites, and other nasty things that can hurt our dogs and make our lives miserable are right around the corner. Protect your sanity and your dog’s (and your) health and treat them preventatively for fleas, ticks, and heartworm. Make sure you check with your vet to get the product that is right for your specific circumstances. I’m no veterinarian, but I have used these products that I’m endorsing for a long time and, hey, this is my blog so I can say what I want to.