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Avoiding the Heartbreak of Heartworms–Even in Winter

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We realized that it has been 10 years to the month since we missed one dose of the heartworm preventative we always keep our dogs on…a missed dose that resulted in our dog Yoda getting heartworms. We were traveling for a week that January and between making arrangements for our trip and our pet sitter, we completely forgot about giving heartworm preventative to our dogs. A few months later, we found out our terrier mix Yoda had contracted heartworms.

Be sure to check with your vet to learn if you need to be giving heartworm preventative during the winter months. (Also, even though you might be hip deep in snow, if you and your dog will be traveling to a warm destination, check and see what you should do about heartworm preventative!) We live in Texas and have freezing nights and cool days–but still it’s warm enough to keep a mosquito population going year around.

And don’t think you’ll be saving money by skipping a dose. Even in today’s tight economy, that heartworm preventative is a great investment when compared with the cost of treatment (not to mention the cost to your dog’s health and the worry and guilt you’ll go through.)

We learned our lesson; we now give heartworm preventative like clockwork all year long. Regardless of what’s going on with our schedule, we’re always on the lookout for that day marked on the calendar when we hand out those “special treats” to the dogs. We then mark off the date and mark the next month’s date on the calendar so we never forget again.

Our story had a happy ending–Yoda’s heartworm treatment went well and he survived many more years all the way to the age of 15. We want to make sure you spare yourself and your dog the heartbreak of heartworms, though…check with your vet!