Spring is almost here, which means warmer weather and longer days are on the way. Unfortunately, so are pesky bugs. Critters are not only irritating for your dog but they can be very harmful too. In fact, the deadly parasite heartworm is transmitted only by mosquitos. Here are a few tips to keep your dog safe:
- Routine Veterinarian Visits: Schedule your dog for his annual checkup. Performing routine heartworm testing is usually included in this checkup and is the first line of defense for keeping your dog safe.
- Preventative Medication: There are a variety of preventative products that you can use on your dog to ward off mosquitos and prevent heartworm. These products can be administered orally or topically, and prevention is far more effective and less costly than treatment if your dog is diagnosed with heartworm. But, remember that preventives are not used to kill the adult worm and some can cause severe problems if given to animals with adult heartworms. You should follow the recommendations of your veterinarian prior to giving the preventive product.
- Keep Your Home Mosquito Free: It may not be top of mind, but mosquitos can also be a threat in and around your own home. Mosquitoes can breed in small amounts of stagnant water, which can be found in flowerpots, empty containers left outside (buckets, toys), rain gutters, and low-lying areas in the yard.
- Outdoor bug control: Minimizing bugs in your yard is very important in helping to keep bugs away from your dog. You may want to consider using insecticide spray for your yard, but be sure you chose a pet-friendly product and you follow the manufacturer’s instructions properly.