Caring for your dog can be stressful at times, but the love, excitement, and fun this family member brings to your home makes it a worthwhile experience. Unfortunately, your dog will require ongoing care to ensure they remain loving, happy, and healthy. Considering heartworm disease is difficult to treat and deadly, preventative measures must be taken. With this guide, you will learn a few simple solutions to protect your dog.
Mosquitoes transmit heartworms from one animal to another. By repelling these annoying flying insects away from your home and dog, you can reduce their risk of becoming infected.
One of the most important things you should know is that pest repellant sprays are not safe for use on your dogs. The toxic chemical DEET may repel mosquitoes and other pests, but it can irritate your dog's skin and eyes. In addition, these pest repellants can cause nausea, vomiting, and even seizures.
To protect your dog, remove anything that would appeal to mosquitoes. Empty pots, plants, and other items that may hold stagnant water. Clean items with liquid dish soap and dry off before storing. Also, keep your landscaping neat and trim. High grass blades and overgrown plants hold in moisture that will appeal to mosquitoes.
Clean out your dog's water bowl regularly as well. Dump the old water and wipe down the bowl before filling it with fresh, clean water. If your dog stays outdoors most of the day, cleaning their water bowl regularly is essential.
Avoid letting your dog out at dusk or dawn if possible. These are peak times for mosquitoes to be active, which can increase the risk of a bite that infects your dog.
Whether your dog stays outdoors throughout the day or they only go outside to use the bathroom, preventative medications are helpful.
These medications are available in a few different forms including an oral pill, topical cream, and even an injection by your veterinarian. Some dogs do not like the taste of the oral pills, so the creams or injections would be a better option. You can ask a veterinarian, like Robert Irelan DVM, which method would be best for your dog.
These mediations attack the heartworms in your dog's bloodstream while preventing them from growing into adult stages. This reduces the risk of severe symptoms that can become life threatening.
From lethargy and a decreased appetite to weight loss and possible heart failure, heartworm disease is a serious condition that deserves proper understanding. If your dog is showing any of these signs, it's important to consult a veterinarian immediately.