As a pet owner, one of your primary responsibilities is to protect your furry friends from parasites such as heartworms, fleas, and ticks. These pests can not only cause discomfort for your pet but can also transmit potentially life-threatening diseases. Preventive measures are, therefore, crucial in maintaining your pet’s health, particularly during the summer months when these pests are most active.

Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, can have severe implications for your pet’s health, and treating it can be costly. The average cost of heartworm treatment for dogs can be upwards of $2,700, potentially thousands more if surgery is needed​1​. On the other hand, heartworm prevention is much more affordable, with the American Animal Hospital Association placing the average cost of preventative heartworm treatment for dogs at $15-$55 per month​.

To protect your pet, it’s essential to establish a relationship with a local veterinarian early on. Your vet should test your dog for heartworms every year, and heartworm preventives should be used year-round. These preventives come in several forms, including chewable pills, topicals, and six-month or 12-month shots. Many heartworm pills and topicals also protect against other parasites, including fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and ear mites​3​.

Flea and Tick Prevention

Fleas and ticks can carry and transmit diseases, which is why preventing infection is equally important​4​. Preventives come in a variety of easy-to-use dosages and forms, but not all products on the market are effective. Your veterinarian can help you find the best product for your pet, considering factors like age, size, breed, and overall health​3​.

In addition to using preventive treatments, it’s vital to be vigilant about checking your pet for ticks, especially after walks in grassy or wooded areas. If you find a tick, use tweezers placed close to the skin and pull the tick straight out. It’s a good idea to save the tick so that your vet can identify the type and any particular concerns​3​. There is also a vaccine for Lyme disease in dogs, which your vet can recommend based on your pet’s lifestyle and local tick prevalence​3​.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

In all, there’s no one perfect way to treat all of these nasty parasites. Preventing them is always far better for both your health and that of your pet​3​. Remember that preventive treatments are an investment in your pet’s health, saving you from potentially high treatment costs and your pet from discomfort and disease.

For your convenience, consider ordering preventive treatments from Animal Hospital of Lake Villa’s online pharmacy. It offers a wide selection of effective preventives for heartworms, fleas, and ticks. Please note, you may need to seek approval from your vet before making a purchase.

Protect your furry friends this summer and all year round. They depend on you for their health and happiness!