If you’re a dog owner then you’ve been told to use Heartgard for dogs or a similar product to prevent heartworm. But is it really that important? The answer is yes. Dog owners often don’t understand how heartworms operate or just how serious they can be. Here are the facts you need to know:
1. Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes and live in the blood. Heartworm larvae live inside mosquitoes and wait eagerly for the mosquito to stop for a meal on a dog. The larvae then enter the dog’s blood where they circulate to the heart, lungs and sometimes other tissue. These tissues provide their ideal environment. When they mature and reproduce, their babies pass back into the blood, until eventually they’re picked up by another mosquito bite.
2. Fortunately (since we all get mosquito bites), heartworm cannot be passed from a dog to a human. Many people worry when they find out that their dog has heartworm that they or their children are in danger. The worms live only inside the body of the dog and, except in the rarest and most unusual cases, they cannot cause problems even if they enter the human body.

3. Dogs will show no symptoms for up to 6 months after infection. The frightening thing about heartworm disease is that the heartworms can already be in your dog, growing stronger and stronger, and you have no idea. This is why it’s important to use Heartgard for dogs or a similar product proactively.
4. Coughing dogs may have heartworm. When the heartworms are fully mature in the heart and lungs, the dog will finally start to show symptoms and the most common of these is coughing. There are several other reasons a dog may develop a cough, but heartworm is a major one. Heartworms in the lungs essentially cause respiratory disease, so dogs may cough after exercise, at other times, and may get worn out from exertion.
5. Not all dogs can be cured of heartworm once they get it. This is another reason it’s so important to use Heartgard for dogs to prevent heartworm. If your dog does develop heartworm, they will have to be tested to see if their kidneys and liver can handle the treatment. To cure a dog of heartworm, a low dose of poison has to be introduced into the dog’s system, and not all of them can handle this.
If you don’t use Heartgard for dogs, you are taking an unnecessary risk. When you weigh the risks of not protecting your dog from heartworm against the benefits of using Heartgard or similar products, it’s a no-brainer. Show your dog that he or she is a member of the family today and ensure they are safe from the dangers of heartworm with Heartgard and other great products.